April, May, June 2015

Want to learn more about Luke? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.

Lesson 1: The Coming of Jesus (Luke 1-2)
We start a new series studying the Gospel of Luke. I'm excited, and I hope you are too. Luke is a physician and a historian. He is an educated man who is writing for a non-Jewish audience. When you write, do you want to be clear? I know some writers are more concerned about you concluding that they are smart, rather than being clear. Luke wants to be clear. He suggests that he will bring a better account than any prior accounts of the life of Jesus. Let's dig into Luke and his clear teachings about our Lord Jesus!

Lesson 2: Baptism and Temptations (Luke 3 & 4)
Have you wondered how you should share the gospel with those around you? Jesus calls us to tell others about Him, but exactly how is a challenge. Hold on to your hat as we study the approach of John the Baptist! How do you deal with temptation in your life? We are also going to look at how Jesus and the Holy Spirit teamed up to defeat Satan's temptations. Let's dig into our study of Luke!

Lesson 3: Who Is Jesus Christ? (Luke 4,7 & 9)
The debate continues as to the nature of Jesus. Was He merely a great man, a good prophet, or was He fully God and fully man? Was He the Messiah, the Son of God? Luke, we decided, is fully convinced of what he is writing. So, far, he recorded that Gabriel and the angels said Jesus was God. Let's dive in and continue to explore what Luke records that Jesus said about Himself!

Lesson 4: The Call to Discipleship (Luke 5-6, 9-10)
Have you been on a mission trip? If you speak to your neighbor about the gospel, is that a mission trip? If you find that people don't want to hear what you have to say about the gospel, what should you do? Keep trying? Make your presentation more interesting? Our study this week is about how Jesus called the disciples and sent them out as His representatives. If you want to represent Jesus, come with me and let's explore what the Gospel of Luke has to teach us!

Lesson 5: Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 4, 6 & 13)
What do you think about the Old Testament? Is it filled with harsh rules? Do you think of the New Testament as being focused on love, rather than rules? Recently, the controversy over homosexual rights has me reading and discussing the Bible's approach to marriage. Have you considered that the New Testament tightened the rules on marriage compared to the Mosaic law of the Old Testament? See Matthew 19:3-9. It also appears (Matthew 5:27-28) to have tightened the rules on adultery. If it is wrong to think that the New Testament replaced stricter rules with love, what about the Sabbath? Are the rules about the Sabbath tightened or loosened in the New Testament? Could it be that the whole question about the enforcement of the rules is missing the point? Perhaps Jesus is simply restoring the original application of the rules. Let's dig into our study of Luke and find out!

Lesson 6: Women in the Ministry of Jesus (Luke 2, 7, 8 & 10)
One morning this week I read an article reporting that women are treated like animals in many places of the world. I don't personally know if that is true, but I am sure that in some places now, and in Jesus' time, women did not have equal status with men. How did Jesus relate to women? What lessons can we learn for today? Let's jump into our study of Luke and find out!

Lesson 7: Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Prayer (Luke 11)
How is your prayer life? Could it use an infusion of energy? Since God already knows about your needs, maybe you don't need that much energy. Indeed, why should you have to repeat what God already knows? This week we learn some exciting things about prayer, the Holy Spirit, and boldly asking. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible!

Lesson 8: The Mission of Jesus (Luke 15 & 16)
In a discussion about outreach, a fellow told me that at his church "we preach the straight gospel." I understood they just preached church teachings with no frills and outsiders should be attracted to an honest message. "How is that working out for you," I asked? He lowered his head and confessed they had one new member in the last ten years. Luke records Jesus' amazing strategy for outreach. Let's jump into our study and learn more!

Lesson 9: Jesus, the Master Teacher (Luke 4, 5, 8 & 10)
Have you read a car bumper sticker saying "Resist Authority?" How about "Question Authority?" I never read a sticker saying "Act with Authority." Is authority bad? What do you think is behind these sayings which attack authority? People attack authority because they think they are smarter, or in some way better, than those in authority. Is this a reasonable assumption? If you claim authority, aren't you claiming to be better? Our lesson this week is about Jesus as teacher, but it also has a great deal to teach us about authority. Let's dig into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 10: Following Jesus in Everyday Life (Luke 12 & 19)
Do you want others to have a high opinion of you? I do. When I've made mistakes, my main concern was about my reputation. During my years of Bible study, I've learned that I should be more concerned about God's opinion of me. Part of being concerned about what others think is good, if the goal is to influence others towards God. But, this week I had a conversation with a Godly man who told me that he was worse than I thought. I'll bet you would say the same thing - you are worse than your reputation. What does that say about your concern regarding God's opinion of you? Let's explore what the Bible teaches us about this!

Lesson 11: The Kingdom of God (Luke 11, 17 & 21)
I often write about the Kingdom of God and I mention it when I'm talking to others. What, exactly, is the Kingdom of God? You would hope that I have an idea of what I'm talking about, right? While I do, our lesson this week showed me I had a lot to learn to better understand what God has in mind. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn together!

Lesson 12: Jesus in Jerusalem (Luke 19, 20 & 22)
Luke 19:28 starts out "After Jesus had said this." What had Jesus had just said? The story we studied two weeks ago about the servants, the minas and executions! Recall that Jesus rewarded those who were diligent, and even gave the fellow with the most wealth the mina of the lazy servant! Then the king's enemies were killed. It was not a typical Jesus' story, but it is the lead into our study of Jesus' last week on earth. Is there a connection? Let's dig into our study of the Bible and find out!

Lesson 13: Crucified and Risen (Luke 22-24)
The goal of Luke's writing comes down to this, our last lesson: to bring us to the conclusion that Jesus is God. God came to earth and lived as a man to reveal God's character, and then God died in our place to save us. Jesus rose from the grave to eternal life giving us the choice of eternal life. It is a powerful story that has changed the course of history and given the highest hope to humans! Let's dive into our final study of Luke and learn more!

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Would you like to help us share the Bible Study of the Week with others? At present, the Bible Study of the Week can be read in ten languages: Bosnian, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. We welcome serious volunteers who are willing to spend the time each week to translate the lessons from English into another language. We are particularly interested in having the lesson translated into Portuguese. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer to translate.