Are you afraid yet?
A new year brings lots of new possibilities, not all of them good. And if we think our world is dangerous, it might be good to reminded of how dangerous the world of Jesus and his disciples was. Plus, of course, there's the approaching danger of Jesus' arrest to keep the disciples afraid. This week's study is filled with reminders of fear, why we should or shouldn't be afraid... and of our value to God.
(66) Approaching Danger
News of last week’s lively discussion with the lawyers and Pharisees would spread quickly among the crowds in Jerusalem. After all, Jesus is a seriously newsworthy figure, and gossip is the biggest source of news. Read Luke 12:1-3
1. How is hypocrisy like leaven?
2. How is hypocrisy like trying to keep things hidden?
3. What might Jesus have said in “private” that is now public knowledge?
4. What might the disciples be tempted to say that will bring them into danger?
5. What might the crowds say that will cause danger for them too, given the presence of Roman soldiers?
Jerusalem was a dangerous place, not just for Jesus. Watching their words would be a sensible precaution, but that doesn’t mean the disciples should go around in fear. Read Luke 12:4-7
1. What does Jesus say they should fear? (Read verse 1)
2. Who does Jesus say they should fear?
3. Who or what should we fear?
4. How valuable are we? How valuable do you feel?
The disciples are probably pretty sure of themselves. After all, they’re with Jesus. But we know what the next few months will bring. We know Peter will be so afraid he denies Jesus. Read Luke 12:8-9
1. How were Jesus’ words and his love balanced in the story of Peter?
2. How good are we at balancing the words of the Bible with God’s love?
3. Read Luke 12:10 What’s the difference between speaking against Jesus and speaking against the Holy Spirit?
4. Read Luke 12:11-12 Should we worry about bringing up faith in conversation with our neighbors?
5. Should we worry if we feel like the Spirit told us to speak and we said nothing?
Luke includes Jesus’ teaching on worry soon after this. Can you imagine the disciples, like us, worrying about what they should be worrying about? We’ve already covered the passage earlier, but let’s look again at Luke 12:22-34
1. Read Luke 12:22-23 Does this include worrying about what we might say, where we might go, what jobs our kids might be offered…? What worries you most?
2. Read Luke 12:24-25 Same question as before… How valuable do you feel?
3. Read Luke 12:25-26 Does this help us stop worrying?
4. Read Luke 12:27-28 Does the beauty of nature inspire you? Does it help you stop worrying?
5. Read Luke 12:29-30 How sure are you that God knows what you need?
6. Read Luke 12:31 How can we remind ourselves that God knows what we truly need?
7. How do we answer people who say that God doesn’t always provide what’s needed?
8. Read Luke 12:32-34 Would worrying about which possessions or how many possessions to sell count as worrying?
9. How can you tell where your treasure is?