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Lesson 6: Give it Up and Come Home (Luke 11:14-13:35)

A Precious Word from God

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Jesus in Luke 12:34 (NET)

Introduction

It feels like every lesson hits me right in the face and I land on the floor! Over and over Jesus tells us that coming home to Him involves changing a lot of our attitudes and actions. He calls us to give Him more than we have ever given Him before. He calls us to come home with our whole hearts.

A Precious Word from God

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Jesus in Luke 12:34 (NET)

Introduction

It feels like every lesson hits me right in the face and I land on the floor! Over and over Jesus tells us that coming home to Him involves changing a lot of our attitudes and actions. He calls us to give Him more than we have ever given Him before. He calls us to come home with our whole hearts.

This week our study deals with a lot of subjects. We cannot cover it all in detail but will have to focus on certain verses. If you have time, you might look at the Diamonds in the Word optional study questions to give you more insight into those passages.

Day One Study

Read Luke 11:14-32.

    1. What were the various responses to Jesus’ casting out the demon (11:14-16)?

    2. How did Jesus argue the absurdity of the accusation in 11:15? Explain His logic in your own words.

    3. According to 11:16 a group tested Jesus. How did Jesus rebuke them later in the passage? What is ironic, given what Jesus just did? What does it reveal about them?

  • Diamonds in the Word: Read the notes in your Bible or commentary concerning the illustration Jesus gave in 11:21-26. Explain them in your own words.

Jesus was hard on those who looked for signs because they did not believe what they had already seen. He was the only sign they needed.

    4.Sharing Question: Have you ever been guilty of asking for signs before you were willing to risk belief? In what situation right now are you afraid to step out in faith unless you see the “sign” first? It may be things such as a career path, a step forward in a dating relationship, witnessing to a co-worker, or risking vulnerability in your small group.

    5. Compare Luke 11:27-28 with Luke 8:19-21. What truth did Jesus continue to emphasize? Why might He have done this?

    6.Responding to God: Consider your answers to #4 and #5. What response do you need to make to Jesus’ teaching? Write down your prayer.

Day Two Study

Read Luke 11:33-54.

Jesus’ illustration in 11:33-36 pictured the attitude of the Pharisees that we see revealed in the remainder of this passage.

    7. How did this illustration set the stage for Jesus’ words to the Pharisees in 11:37-54?

    8. Go back through the passage and list the various attitudes and actions of the Pharisees and lawyers (experts in the law) that Jesus denounces.

The Pharisees had a choice at this point—to open their hearts and come home to God or to refuse to hear God’s word and repent. They chose the latter.

    9. How did their choice affect their interaction with Jesus (11:53-54)?

  • Diamonds in the Word: Go to your Bible resources such as a Bible dictionary, a Bible encyclopedia, or a commentary and find out more about the Pharisees and scribes.

Read Luke 12:1-12.

    10. In light of the Pharisees’ power and influence in the land and their obvious distaste for Jesus, how did Jesus both warn and encourage the disciples?

    11.Sharing question: What did Jesus say here that encourages you as you face a specific fear?

    12.Responding to God: Write a prayer or poem of thanksgiving to God for the truths and promises in His Word.

Day Three Study

Today’s lesson involves a lot of verses, but persevere because tomorrow you will cover only seventeen verses! It all averages out.

Read 12:13-34. Memorize the Precious Word from God this week, and meditate upon its meaning for you personally.

    13. We live in a highly materialistic society. Summarize the major principles Jesus taught about material goods in these verses.

    14.Sharing question: Go to your closet and consider what is there. How does it reveal where you are really at home, in this world or in heaven?

Read Luke 12:35-59.

    15. How do these verses relate to Jesus’ teaching on treasure?

    16.Sharing question: When Jesus returns, we will stand before Him and account for our lives, not to pay for our sins but to gain reward. Share with your group how much this truth affects you as you live daily. Using the illustrations of the parables, which kind of slave/servant are you?

  • Diamonds in the Word: Explain the relationship of 12:49-59 to this section or do further study of the bema seat judgment in 2 Cor. 5:9-10.

    17.Sharing question: Review Jesus’ words in 12:30-34. Ask God to show you what you need to do with some of your “stuff” in order to come home with your full heart. Be specific.

    18.Responding to God: Ask God to help you keep your eyes on the eternal rather than today’s circumstances or the things that this world considers to be “needs”.

Day Four Study

Read Luke 13:1-9.

    19. How did the Galileans’ words reflect their beliefs about God as Judge (review Luke 12:57-59)? What was wrong with their perspective, according to Jesus?

    20. How does the parable in Luke 13:6-9 relate to what Jesus said in 13:2-5? What was His main point in this parable?

  • Diamonds in the Word: How would you explain the suffering in this world to someone who has just encountered tragedy? You are free to read on this subject. Use Scripture, even if you would not use it with the person.

Read Luke 13:10-17.

    21. Contrast the responses of the synagogue official, the crowds, and Jesus’ adversaries to all that happened in the synagogue.

     

    22.Sharing question: What kinds of legalistic attitudes have you encountered from believers? Share any attitudes of your own that reflect more concern with rules than with people.

    23. How would you have felt, if you were this woman at these points in the story:

  • Before the healing
  • After being healed
  • Upon hearing the criticisms of the official
  • After Jesus responded

    24.Sharing question: Relate the story of a time when either you spoke up for “justice” or someone spoke up for you when you faced injustice.

    25.Responding to God: Write a prayer asking God to give you Jesus’ courage in facing the suffering and injustice of others. What do you have to give up in order to stand up for the rights of others? Is there any present situation in which you need to act?

Day Five Study

Read Luke 13:18-30.

  • Diamonds in the Word: Read the notes in your study Bible or commentary concerning the two parables in 13:18-20. How do they picture God’s kingdom?

Jesus never answered the man’s question of 13:23. Rather than talk about the few or the many, Jesus made the man focus on himself.

    26. What did Jesus want this man to consider about himself (13:24-30)?

    27. What relationship do you see between Jesus’ words about the door in 13:24-25 and His teaching in 13:1-9?

    28.Sharing question: It is so easy to turn our attention from our own relationship with God to others. We hear a sermon and think about a friend or co-worker who needs to hear it. We study for our weekly lesson in Luke and wish a family member could be there to hear the discussion. Have you been guilty of failing to let God speak to you during this course by concerning yourself with others? Confess your attitude to your group. You may want to write down a prayer request for the week asking for your heart to be open to hear God’s personal message for you so that you come home to Him.

Read Luke 13:31-35.

    29. What surprises you from a human perspective about Jesus’ attitude toward Jerusalem?

    30.Sharing question: Do you grieve over those who will perish because they refuse to hear God’s word? What about those who are the enemies of Christ, who harm God’s servants? Think of a person or group in this category—perhaps those in the bondage of Islam who hate Christians; perhaps Americans who fight for restrictions of our religious liberty. What did Jesus say about your attitude toward them in Luke 6:27-36?

    31.Responding to God: Write a prayer for those you mentioned in the previous question. What attitudes do you have to give up to pray for them?

This woman literally came home by giving up her security and trusting God. She chose to invest in her family rather than in financial security. Consider in what sense you will come home when you trust God in a specific situation.

Kay’s H’s Story

Kevin and I had always planned on my staying home once we had children. However, when the time came and Emily was born, it was more difficult than I had expected to leave a career I had worked so hard at for over 10 1/2 years. We had prayed, and planned, and sought advice from godly couples, and we believed we knew what God wanted us to do. However, giving up half our income while at the same time adding all the expenses of a new baby made me nervous. In the end, we decided just to trust God to provide for our needs, convinced of the importance of my investing time and energy in our child (and eventually children). The difficult thing to give up was not so much the money or the material things, though we have had to make different choices on spending than we would have if I had continued working. Really, it was much more difficult to give up the sense of control over our financial security and to trust God to take care of us.

We (mostly I) wrestled with this decision to leave work for several weeks after Emily was born. When I finally yielded completely to God, and with Kevin's encouragement, I went to the office one last time to tell my boss what we had decided. It also happens that he was Kevin's boss, too, and he was not surprised by our decision. In fact, he was very kind and wholeheartedly supported us. My resignation would take effect as soon as my maternity leave ended. But what came next is what really caused our faith and dependence in the Lord to deepen. About a week after I announced my decision to resign, I got a phone call from the project staffing administrator. He said the company was planning a "reduction in force" and, knowing that I had already planned to resign, he asked if I would like to volunteer for the lay-off. He explained the pros (several additional months of pay and benefits) and cons (there weren't any, since I was planning to leave anyway), and I told him Kevin and I would discuss it and get back to him. As Kevin and I talked later that day, we both realized that this was God's way of affirming our decision to trust Him with our finances and needs. It was like a huge sign saying, "I'll take care of it." And, through everything, He has.

Sometimes I get frustrated that we don't have the financial freedom two incomes would afford us, or the sense of security having both of us employed during such uncertain times might provide. But then I remember God's confirmation 6 1/2 years ago that investing in our children's eternal lives on a day-to-day basis is much more important right now than the material things we've given up, and I'm encouraged to keep trusting Him to provide.

Related Topics: Curriculum, Discipleship, Gospels, Kingdom, Rewards, Spiritual Life, Suffering, Trials, Persecution