Lesson 7

Jesus Models Victory

(John 6, Luke 4)
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Introduction: How did Jesus deal with sin when He was here? In Lesson 2 of this series, we studied Satan's open and direct attempt to get Jesus to sin when they were in the wilderness. This week we move beyond the direct approach to see how Jesus was tempted by His friends, neighbors and followers. Let's jump in!

  1. Promotion

    1. How do you feel when someone compliments you? (It feels good because you feel worthwhile! Everyone wants to be respected and appreciated.)

    2. Let's read John 6:3-5. The last time you were in a crowd, did you think about feeding them all?

      1. Why do you think Jesus suggested this to Philip? (Jesus obviously felt an obligation towards the crowd. Apparently He planned to speak to the crowd for a long time.)

    3. Read John 6:5(b)-7. The text tells us that Jesus asked this to "test" Philip. Did Philip pass the test?

      1. What, exactly, is the test?(If you are not sure, we will come back to this later.)

    4. Read John 6:8-9. How does Andrew do with the test?

    5. Read John 6:10-13. Knowing the end of the story, tell me what the proper answer is to Jesus' question in John 6:5? (The proper answer is that you do not need to buy any food because Jesus can perform a miracle and create food.)

      1. Now tell me, did Philip ( John 6:7) pass the test? (No. Philip looked at things purely in human terms. He did not take into account that Jesus had the power to do anything.)

      2. Did Andrew ( John 6:9) pass the test? (No. He, too, looked at this in human terms.)

    6. What is the lesson for us in dealing with the problems of life? (We don't "pass" Jesus' test unless we factor in that He has the power to do anything to fix our daily problems. This was a great miracle, but it concerned a simple subject - eating lunch.)

    7. I mentioned in the introduction how our study in Lesson 2 fits into this study. Remember in Matthew 4:1-3 how Jesus was tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread?

      1. What did Satan say to Jesus that was a temptation? (He questioned whether Jesus was God and asked Him to perform a miracle to prove it.)

      2. When Philip and Andrew failed to pass the test, were they like Satan when he challenged whether Jesus was like God?

      3. John 6:6 says that Jesus was testing Philip. Is this also a test for Jesus? Or, is this miracle to feed the crowd a different matter than Satan's "bread" temptation in Matthew 4? (When we studied Matthew 4 we discussed the fact that God had just told Jesus that He was the Son of God ( Matthew 3:16-17). Satan was suggesting to Jesus that He should doubt God's word. To remove this doubt Jesus should perform a miracle. It was a matter of trusting God. I don't see Jesus being tested the same way in John 6. In John's account of the crowd, Jesus is giving His disciples the test Satan gave Him in the wilderness: will the disciples trust God or will they trust themselves to buy or find the food?)

    1. Read John 6:14-15. Do the people have more faith in Jesus than Philip or Andrew?

      1. If you were Jesus, would you withdraw or would you think this was a tremendous compliment? A chance for a great job promotion?

      2. Why did Jesus withdraw from this great honor?

        1. Read John 18:33&36. (Jesus did not come here to be a worldly king.)

        2. Read Matthew 4:8-10. Is Satan offering to make Jesus the king of the world?

        3. Is the crowd in John acting like a friendly substitute for Satan?(These temptations are similar. Satan held out to Jesus the "kingdom" of the world if He would worship him. These people that Jesus fed also held out to Him the "kingdom" of the world. In neither case did Jesus yield to temptation.)

      3. Is worldly honor and glory a temptation for us? I once had a church member who told me that she could no longer be involved in church ministry because she had been promoted at work. Is this an example of a trade off of the earthly kingdom for the heavenly kingdom?

        1. Does Satan come to you and ask you to choose earthly power and authority in place of your work to advance the kingdom of heaven?

  1. Problems at Home

    1. Read Luke 4:16. Imagine that you have returned to the church where you grew up. What are some of your feelings? Are they generally good?

      1. Do people remember you as an adult or as a kid?

    2. Read Luke 4:17-20. Jesus had their attention. If you were sitting there in the audience, what would you be thinking? (We will learn later that the people had heard of Jesus' miracles in other towns. They were probably fitting these miracle stories into this text.)

    3. Read Luke 4:21-22. What has Jesus just announced? (That He is the Messiah.)

      1. How can the crowd "speak well" of Jesus and at the same time say, "Isn't this Joseph's son?" (Read Luke 4:23. Jesus was reading their minds. This shows that they were, indeed, hopeful that He was the Messiah. They had heard of His miracles in Capernaum. However, they had some doubts because they knew his father. They had seen Jesus grow up. This familiarity creates a "contempt" problem.)

    4. Read Luke 4:24-27. Jesus starts out saying that no prophet is accepted in his hometown. He then gives two examples of people who were helped by a miracle who were not even Jews and did not even live in Israel, much less the "hometown." Why use such extreme examples to illustrate a much narrower point?

      1. Why point out that no widows or lepers in Israel where helped, just these two foreigners?

      2. What does Jesus mean by "physician heal yourself?" (You would think that a physician would be most concerned about making sure he and his family were healthy. Thus, they expected Jesus to do miracles in their town - His hometown. I think Jesus made a judgment that they would not accept Him. That is why He illustrated His decision with two examples from the great prophets. If the people were open to Bible truths, they could accept this.)

    5. Read Luke 4:28-29. Were the people open to Bible truths? Was Jesus right in His assessment of the people? (Yes. Insult me and I'll kill you was their attitude. Just two paragraphs later, paragraphs involving stories of Biblical examples, the people go from (v.22) "all spoke well" to trying to throw Jesus off a cliff.)

    6. Since our lesson is about examples of Jesus "modeling victory," what kind of victory is this? What lesson about overcoming sin are we supposed to learn from this for our own lives? (Jesus did not make pleasing others His first priority. He had a mission, He knew it was not going to work in his hometown, so He told them the truth and moved on.)

    7. How many times have you heard someone tell a story about how they were in some church, got insulted, and left. Even if we agree the story-teller was wrong in what he or she was doing, we all shake our heads sadly because we would be much more tactful and never insult anyone in our church. Does this Luke 4 story support our approach or the approach of those handing out insults?

      1. We used to have a lady in our church who used to bring new members in by her evangelistic efforts, but at the same time seemed to drive out an equal number of current members by "plainly speaking her mind." Do you know of anyone like that?

      2. Is Jesus' example in Luke 4 intended for those who hand out insults or those who get insulted and angry? (I think there are two lessons to be learned. First, doing God's will is more important than pleasing everyone. Second, and more important, I think this is a story for those who get insulted. Jesus was right, these people were not prepared for Him. They needed to put away pride and have a heart conversion so that they could rationally consider Bible truth.)

        1. Those of you who are students of the gospels will know that this is not the only time Jesus insulted people. Have you noticed any pattern to Jesus' insults? (We tend to insult those who can do us no harm. The weak and the hurting are often the targets of our insults. Jesus, on the other hand, insulted the proud and the powerful. He seemed to be very careful about not insulting "delicate" personalities. He was kind, and not insulting, to sinners who were searching for help. Compare Matthew 23:27 and Luke 11:45-46 with Luke 19:1-10.)

    8. Friend, how about you? Are you staying away from church because you were once insulted? Or, is the time you might spend on promoting the gospel eaten up by time spent seeking promotion at work? God calls on us to make Him our first priority. Not our injured pride. Not our ambition for earthly glory.

  2. Next week: The Great Controversy in the Parables of Jesus.

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