Spring 2021 Bible Reading Plan, Week 13: Luke 17 - Temptation, Forgiveness and Faith...
This week's Scripture passage is Luke 17.
(Click here for a PDF of this week's study.)
In verses 1-4, Jesus warns us about being a temptation to sin to others. We are to live our lives in such a way to encourage, serve and help others rather than doing anything that might cause another to stumble or sin.
He also commands us to rebuke each other when we sin and to forgive each other when we repent...as many times a day as necessary.
In verses 5-6, the apostles seem to be responding to the warning and command to forgive daily and repeatedly in verses 1-4 by asking Jesus to increase their faith. To which Jesus teaches that true genuine faith, even in a small amount, will produce great results.
In verses 7-10, Jesus teaches that we are unworthy servants of God, who owes us nothing. In turn, we owe HIm our obedience and our entire lives.
In verses 11-19, Jesus heals 10 lepers. Only one, a Samaritan, returns to thank Him. Jesus said to him, 'Your faith has made you well', using a Greek word translated 'well' that implies salvation. The other 9 were healed physically but perhaps this man's faith, demonstrated in gratitude, brought a deeper healing.
In verses 20-37, When the Pharisees ask about the coming of His Kingdom, Jesus teaches that His Kingdom is present now in His person (v.21). He speaks about HIs crucifixion (v. 25) and also about His second coming (the day of the Son of Man) which will be evident to all (v.24-37). Expecting His return, we His followers, are to be living our lives for Him and not for ourselves (v.33).
Questions for Reflection and Discussion:
- Just as the father of the demon-possessed boy in Mark 9 asked for help with his unbelief in an 'impossible' situation (Mark 9:24), here in verse 5 the apostles ask for their faith to be increased right after Jesus teaches about temptation, sin and the unlimited exercise of exhortation and forgiveness.
- Are we depending on God or our own strength to follow these 'impossible' commands?
- Do you joyfully forgive or is it a hard legalistic exercise in obedience? Are we more aware of God's great forgiveness of our many sins against Him than others' sins against us? (Matthew 18:21-35)
- Are you acting on your faith? When we ask God for faith, we need to believe He gives it to us, and obey.
- In Philippians 2:12-13, Paul says, 'Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.’
- Meditate on the two teachings in verses 7-19.
- Humility and gratefulness are so important in our walk with the Lord. We are nothing without Him. In Acts 17:28, in his address to the Athenians, Paul teaches 'In Him we live and move and have our being'.
- Are you cultivating these two attributes and evidences of salvation in your life?
- Are you waiting for the Kingdom of God to come or are you aware it is already here? The Kingdom is both 'already now' and 'not yet’. The Kingdom is where the King resides and reigns and where His will is done. Jesus resides in your heart by His Spirit and He will one day return and reign on earth. Jesus said we are to pray for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
- Is Jesus your Savior and Lord?
- In what areas of your life can you be more obedient to your Lord and King and bring more of His Kingdom rule to your life, family, neighborhood, and workplace?