Kevin’s lesson for Sunday:
What would you choose if you were asked to name one chapter, or other group of verses which epitomize Christian character? Here are some obvious choices:
— The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12)
— The fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
— The parable of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-46)
You can choose own chapter. But for our lesson I nominate Luke 14, a meaty chapter where Jesus uses real life events and parables to drive home central themes about Christian character and attitudes.
See the very brief summary below and a few questions for discussion. More importantly, think about how you would apply the lessons from each of these accounts to your life.
Luke 14:1-6 – Jesus heals a man with a dropsy on Sabbath.
Question: How do you balance strict adherence to the law with accomplishing the “greater good?” When (or do) the ends justify the means?
Luke 14:7-11 – the parable of the wedding feast, a lesson in humility. The key of the parable is “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” The saying follows a situation where a person voluntarily foregoes an honored place to choose a place of less honor.
Question: How far we do we have to go to exhibit the type of humility Jesus discusses? Do we always have to put others before self?
Luke 14:12-14 – the parable of the great banquet. The key to the parable is that we are to do things for people without any expectation of return.
Question: Where can you find opportunities to assist others without expectation of return? How far do you have to look?
Luke 14:15-24 – Avoiding excuses.
Question: Do you find excuses to avoid doing the right thing? What opportunities might you miss?
Luke 14:25-33 – The cost of discipleship. Jesus concludes by saying, “so therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (v. 33).
Question: How far is far enough in serving God?