“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus in Luke 19:10 (NET)
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus in Luke 19:10 (NET)
Jesus was on a mission when He became a man; he had the Father’s work to do. If we are to come home to Him, we must come in humility trusting that He must seek and save us for we are incapable of doing it ourselves. Consider what a sacrifice it was for Him to leave the grandeur of heaven, where everything praised Him, to come to earth to be ridiculed and rejected by those He came to save.
Read Luke 17:1-6.
These verses contain some instructions for Christ-followers; we have responsibilities toward one another as part of the family of faith. Jesus emphasizes His words by saying, “Watch yourselves” (NET & NIV), or “Be on your guard” (NASB).
1. What makes these particular instructions so important that He would use these words?
2. How do these instructions relate to one another?
Sometimes understanding something about nature is helpful in understanding the Bible, as we see from this comment in the NET Bible.1
A black mulberry tree is a deciduous fruit tree that grows about 20 ft (6 m) tall and has black juicy berries. This tree has an extensive root system, so to pull it up would be a major operation.
3.Sharing question: Apparently, the disciples needed more faith to live this way. In what area of life do you need more faith if you are to live as Jesus desires you to live? Why?
Read Luke 17:7-10.
4. Write a sentence explaining the point of this parable and how it applies to you personally.
Read Luke 17:11-19.
Again, Luke reminds us that these events all took place during the Jerusalem journey.
5. Describe the Samaritan leper’s worship.
6.Responding to God: Spend your remaining time with God, simply thanking Him for all His blessings. List as many as you can.
Read Luke 17:20-21.
The NET Bible and the NASB read, “The kingdom of God is in your midst,” while the NIV says, “within you.” This explanation in the NET Bible helps explain the meaning.2
[In your midst] is a far better translation than “in you.” Jesus would never tell the hostile Pharisees that the kingdom was inside them. The reference is to Jesus present in their midst. He brings the kingdom. Another possible translation would be “in your grasp.”
Note #27 in NET Bible p. 1859
I find that there are times when I look around at the world trying to find God at work, to see signs of His kingdom program. Yet, often it is in His daily presence, His handiwork in my heart where I best see His reign advancing. He is preparing me to be part of His kingdom by making me a woman whose heart belongs to the King.
7.Sharing question: How has God revealed Himself to you this past week? How have you seen His kingdom in the midst of your daily life?
Read Luke 17:22-37.
Jesus’ reference to the days of the Son of Man may be confusing, but the NET Bible explains:3
This is a reference to the days of the full manifestation of Jesus’ power in a fully established kingdom.
8. What apparent misunderstanding about those days does Jesus correct in 17:23-24?
9. How were the days of Noah and Lot like the coming days of the Son of Man?
The time will come when judgment falls upon the earth. It may be a difficult concept for us to grasp. Yet, deep in our souls we long for justice as we look around at the evil and injustice that permeate our world. Peter describes the coming Day of Judgment in his second letter.
Read 2 Peter 3:7-13.
10. What do you learn from these verses about God’s heart toward those facing judgment?
11. Rather than judgment, believers anticipate the fulfillment of God’s promises. What awaits us according to 2 Peter 3:13?
12.Responding to God: Pray for those you know who need to come to faith, those whom God seeks to come home.
Read Luke 18:1-8.
13. Luke explains the point of the parable himself. What is it (v.1)?
14.Sharing question: How does this parable encourage you with a specific prayer need that you have right now?
Read Luke 18:9-14.
15. What quality is essential if we are to come home to Jesus according to this parable? Why must we have it when approaching God?
16. Too often we believers look down on unbelievers, or less “spiritual” believers, just as this Pharisee did. Sharing question: Do you tend to be proud of some of your behavior? Be honest about the areas of pride in your heart—perhaps your service to God, your prayer life, your church attendance, your success at work, your intelligence, or your abilities.
Read Luke 18:15-17.
17. Explain how we can receive the kingdom like a child. What is it about a child that we must emulate? How does this relate to the parable of 18:9-14?
Read Luke 18:18-30.
We have read previously of Jesus dealing with money and possessions in His teaching. Review Luke 12:22-34.
18. Jesus put His finger on the rich man’s sin. In the light of Luke 12:34, how would you describe it?
19.Responding to God: Come before the Father in confession today. Perhaps you need to be cleansed of pride, of thinking that you are a pretty good person. Maybe you need to confess that your heart is not fully His. Believe that He hears and will forgive (1 John 1:9).
Read Luke 18:31-34.
20. List all the things that Jesus predicted would happen to Him in Jerusalem.
This note in the NET Bible was very helpful in explaining why the disciples seem so dense!4
This failure of the Twelve to grasp what Jesus meant probably does not mean that they did not understand linguistically what Jesus said, but that they could not comprehend how this could happen to him, if he was really God’s agent. The saying being hidden probably refers to God’s sovereign timing.
Read Luke 18:35-43.
21. How did the blind man reveal humility? What were the results?
Read Luke 19:1-10.
22. How did Zaccheus show humility?
Our Precious Word from God this week is 19:10, where Jesus states His earthly mission. As we think about coming home to Jesus, we need to remember that He seeks us even before we turn back home.
23.Sharing question: How have you seen Jesus seek you at a time when you were lost, either as an unbeliever or as a stray sheep?
24. How does Romans 3:10-18 confirm the need for God to seek the unbeliever first?
25.Responding to God: Write a prayer thanking God that He initiates our relationship; He does not wait for us to look for Him.
Read Luke 19:11-27.
26. Again, Luke comments on the reasons Jesus told a parable. Explain his words and how the parable relates to the situation.
27. With each character in the story below, describe three things: 1. their actions, 2. the nobleman’s reactions to those actions, and 3. what this reveals about their character:
28.Sharing question: If Jesus returned today to claim the earth as His kingdom, how would you explain what you have done with all that He has given you? Have you used it for His glory and the benefit of His kingdom? Share with your group one area where you need to improve—time, money, possessions, giftedness, etc., and one way you can improve in that area.
29.Responding to God: James 1:5 promises that God will give us wisdom when we ask. Write a prayer asking for wisdom in handling all the blessings that God has given you. Listen for His answer.
I grew up in churches where my mom was always the organist and I was given the opportunity to play piano in the main service on a regular basis. I took it for granted and assumed that wherever I went, I would be given the same opportunity. I knew that I had the ability and looked forward to using my skills at Northwest Bible.
When I started attending, I met with and auditioned for all the right people and was told that I would get to play. Month after month went by and I started getting frustrated because I wasn't given the opportunity I expected. (It didn't help that the church pianist was far more talented than me!) I finally "resolved" that I would even play for the children's choir, which to me was settling for less than I deserved. Even then, they still didn't use me! What a blow that was to my ego.
I finally had to say, "Lord, I don't know what you're doing, but you've given me these gifts and I want you to use them where you need me." Shortly thereafter, I was asked to play on a new worship team. Quite honestly, we were awful and I was somewhat embarrassed. But little did I realize the doors that would open because of my obedience to start playing with that worship team.
It was extremely humbling when I was asked to play in the main worship service on Sundays. My attitude was 180 degrees from where it had been when I started attending. I've actually lost some of my technical ability that I had through college so it has really caused me to lean heavily on God to provide the skills to play week after week.
My pride kept me from playing for some time, but God was able to use me once my heart was in the right place. My playing is His gift to use for His glory!
1 NET Bible Note 14, p. 1858.
2 NET Bible Note 27, p. 1859.
3 NET Bible Note 29, p. 1859.
4 NET Bible Note 23, p. 1863.