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A Word from Kay Daigle on how to use the resources for this study…I want to encourage you to complete the personal lesson below before you click on any of the accompanying elements that may be found with this lesson (audio lecture, manuscript, PowerPoint, or handout). This study was written to help you maximize your personal spiritual growth. That means that you first spend time with God through His word, and then hopefully, discuss what you learned with a small group of women. After that, if you want to hear the audio (or read the manuscript) and follow the PowerPoint, filling in the handout, then that is a great time to do it! I cannot cover all the verses in depth, but you can read and study them for yourself. It is best for you to think through the passages before hearing what anyone else thinks, even me! You will find some lessons without lectures. At our church we use some of those weeks to spend extra time in our small groups sharing life stories, having a longer prayer time, or expressing how God is working in our lives.
“Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you.”
Jesus in Luke 6:20 (NET)
Our study this week involves the stories of several people who were poor spiritually, realizing their total dependence upon God. As we think about what it means to come home to Jesus, we realize an attitude of humility is a prerequisite.
Read Luke 6:12-16.
1. Review Luke 6:1-11. What was happening when Jesus chose the twelve?
2. What do you learn about making major decisions from Jesus?
3. Read John 6:64. We Christians often think that if we pray enough and ask God to open the right doors, all will go well; otherwise, we conclude that we must have missed God’s will. What do we learn about this idea from this passage about Jesus’ choosing of the twelve and this verse in John?
4. Read John 15:8, 16-17. What do these verses mean in a personal way to those of us who are disciples of Jesus?
5.Sharing question: Relate a story from your life when you made a major decision with much prayer. As you look back, how do you see God’s hand in that decision, even if things did not go smoothly or as you expected?
6.Responding to God: Write a prayer concerning a big or small decision that you are currently facing. Can you tell God that you will trust Him, believing that He knows better than you, even when the results are not easy?
Read Luke 6:17-49.
You may be more familiar with Matthew’s account of this, or a similar sermon. Although Jesus stood on a plateau, or level place, it could have been in the midst of mountains; thus, this may be the same sermon recorded in more detail in Matthew 5-7, known as the Sermon on the Mount. If not, Jesus repeated some of the major teachings on another occasion. We could spend a long time on this message because the teaching is so rich. Sadly, we do no have enough time to do so. You might mark this spot and return to it once the entire study of Luke is over so you can study it in more detail.
Your Precious Word from God this week is from this sermon. As you memorize it, meditate upon what it means to be poor.
7. There are four contrasts in Luke 6:20-26. By saying it in both positive and negative ways, Jesus emphasized His point. Summarize the four contrasts.
8. List the specific ways Jesus taught us to love our enemies (6:27-36).
9.Sharing question: Think of the person who is your enemy by Jesus’ definition—the one who hates you, mistreats you, strikes you, or steals from you. How are you doing with loving actions toward him or her? What one specific loving action can you do for her this week in application of Jesus’ comments?
10. In light of the context of the entire passage (6:17-49), do Jesus’ instructions against judging others mean that we cannot hold them accountable, calling their words or actions sinful, or determine they have a heart issue? Explain your answer.
11.Sharing question: Evaluate yourself according to Luke 6:43-49. How does this reflect humility? What can you do to listen and obey more carefully?
12.Responding to God: If you are artistic, draw a picture that represents some part of Jesus’ message in this sermon. Put yourself in it to represent your response to that message. If are you not artistic, try it anywayJ You don’t have to show it to anyone! Then, talk to God about it.
Read Luke 7:1-10.
13. How did the centurion exhibit spiritual poverty and faith?
14. What was Jesus’ response to this faith and why? What specific things can you learn about faith and humility from the centurion’s example?
Read Luke 7:11-17.
15. What were the results of Jesus’ raising the widow’s son?
16. The centurion showed great faith, and Jesus responded. Why did Jesus act in the case of the widow, according to the text? What does this teach you about Jesus’ character?
17.Sharing question: What lessons can you apply from the two stories you have studied today when those around you need healing?
18.Responding to God: Write a prayer, poem, or psalm of thanksgiving to Jesus for who He is based upon these two stories.
Read Luke 7:18-35.
19. One of those who heard the report about Jesus (Luke 7:17) was John the Baptist. Compare John’s question for Jesus (Luke 7:19) with previous statements he made in John 1:26-34. What change do you see? Read Luke 3:15-20. What has happened that might explain John’s question to Jesus?
20.Sharing question: What kinds of events in your life have brought doubt when you previously had faith?
21. Compare Jesus’ answer to John with His message in the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:18-21).
22.Sharing question: How does Jesus’ assessment of John the Baptist (Luke 7:24-35) despite John’s doubt encourage you?
23.Sharing question: If Jesus evaluated you before others, what would He say? What do you want Him to say about you at the end of your life? What actions do you need to take to become that person? What part does humility play in being that person?
24.Responding to God: Write a prayer of self-assessment, and request God to change you into the person you just described.
Read Luke 7:36-50.
25. Describe the events at the Pharisee’s dinner.
What was nard? The NET Bible tells us.1
Nard or spikenard is a fragrant oil from the root and spike of the nard plant of northern India. This perfumed oil, if made of something like nard, would have been extremely expensive, costing up to a year’s pay for an average laborer.
26. Contrast the woman’s love for Jesus with the Pharisee’s.
27.Sharing question: If your love for Jesus were measured by your sacrificial actions, how would you rate? What specific action would be most revealing? Why?
Read Luke 8:1-3.
Considering that this was the first century rather than our own, this is an amazing account. As women, we need to appreciate Luke for the stories of women that he alone of the gospel writers includes. It is interesting that there is no record in the gospels of a woman responding negatively to Jesus!
28. What impresses you about these women, particularly considering their culture?
29.Sharing question: Think about the woman who anointed Jesus and these women who traveled with Him. In what one way would you like others to better see your love relationship with Jesus? What can you do to improve to make it true?
30.Responding to God: Just as Peter and Levi, or Matthew, left everything behind and followed Jesus, so did a group of women. Ask God to give you such love and commitment to Him.
In our lesson we saw Jesus move on behalf of those who lacked faith. This next story reminds us that God is at work for our benefit even when we doubt Him.
During the first year of our marriage God moved on my behalf when I did not have the faith to believe that He would. My mother died unexpectedly during that year. I was pregnant with our first child. We were living in a different city, and I knew no one. Dick had been working there for a year before we married. Even though I was a Christian and also had the assurance that my mother was with the Lord, I was still angry with God for taking my mother from me. It hurt so much knowing that our child would not grow up having a grandmother.
For several months I kept to myself, grieving quietly and making no effort to try to make new friends in my new town. God reached out to me through one particular family in the church we attended. Sam worked for the same company as Dick. His wife Sue wouldn't take no for an answer when I insisted that I didn't want a baby shower. I told her I had no friends there to invite. She invited her own friends, and they showered me with much love and support.
The Lord gave us a beautiful baby girl. Six months after she was born Dick was transferred back to Dallas. We still keep in touch with our friends there who reached out to us in our time of need.
1 NET Bible Note 18, p. 1820