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Lesson 4: The Call to Discipleship *

Introduction: 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!

  1. The Call

    1. Read Luke 5:1-3. What kind of use did Jesus find for a fishing boat? (Innovative thinking! He used it as a stage to present His teaching.)

    2. Read Luke 5:4-5. Since Jesus thought a boat should be used as a stage, what did Simon Peter think about Jesus' fishing advice? (He did not think Jesus was an expert. The time to fish was at night, and they caught nothing that night.)

      1. Why did Peter follow Jesus' suggestion? (Because Jesus asked him to do it. Whether Peter was humoring Jesus or whether he was doing it to show respect, we do not know.)

    3. Read Luke 5:6-7. Is Jesus excellent at fishing?

    4. Read Luke 5:8-10. How would Simon Peter answer the prior question? (Peter thinks this is a miracle, and not that Jesus is "excellent at fishing.")

      1. Why does Peter ask Jesus to leave? (He realizes the difference between Jesus' pure and divine nature, and his sinful life.)

        1. Have you ever reacted this way to Jesus?

    5. Focus on Luke 5:10. Jesus says, "Don't be afraid." Afraid of what? Being close to Jesus? Recognizing our sinful nature?

      1. What does this say about recognizing that we are sinful and still witnessing?

    6. Read Luke 5:11. What have they sacrificed?

      1. Read Matthew 4:19-20 and John 21:3. The Matthew 4 call seems to be before Luke 5 and the John 21 account is after Jesus' death and resurrection. When Luke says ( Luke 5:11) that Peter, James and John "left everything," what does he mean? (They left the fish. It may also mean that they left the fishing business until after Jesus was crucified.)

    7. Read John 21:4-6 and John 21:15. Do you think it is a coincidence that Jesus begins His call to service both times with an incredible catch of fish? (I don't think so. Jesus is saying that He will supply their needs. He called them to follow as a disciple when He was here, and He called them to follow as disciples and witnesses after He returned to heaven.)

  2. The Commission

    1. Read Luke 6:12-16. What special thing has happened here? (Out of all the disciples who were following Jesus, He selected twelve and gave a special commission to them.)

      1. Notice the way Jesus prepared to make the selection. When you have important decisions to make, do you spend time in prayer?

    2. Read Luke 6:16 again. How could this happen? We have our perfect Lord, who spends all night praying, and one turns out to be a traitor! (We all have free choice. Some failures, even when we make the choice, are not our fault.)

  3. Mission

    1. Read Luke 9:1-2. This is the first "mission" trip for the apostles. Notice that these two verses describe how the apostles were equipped and their mission. Let's talk about how they were equipped. What kind of power were they given? (Power over all demons and disease.)

      1. What do think it means that they had power over demons and diseases? (They had the power over everything that can go wrong. They could perform miracles.)

      2. Is this possible for us today?

      3. I just attended some programs about evangelizing. The leaders mentioned nothing like this. Is this a serious omission? Can you imagine the success Christians would have in evangelizing if they were equipped with power do perform miracles?

    2. Re-read Luke 9:2. What is the mission? (To preach and to heal.)

      1. Aside from packing in the crowds, why do you think they were told to heal? (We need to consider the dynamics of this. God loves us. He wants to relieve misery at the same time as we hear the good news about the gospel.)

      2. If you are not equipped to heal, what could you do to relieve misery as part of evangelizing?

    3. Read Luke 9:3. This sounds like poor preparation. Why did Jesus give this instruction?

      1. Is Jesus making a point about the level of faith this would require?

      2. Is Jesus making a point about how evangelistic efforts should be funded?

        1. Who will be doing the funding? (It appears that the people who hear the good news provide the support for the apostles.)

        2. In the evangelistic efforts I've seen most recently, we seem anxious to say we are not collecting money. Have we gotten things backwards?

    4. Read Luke 9:4. What is the purpose for this instruction?

    5. Read Luke 9:5. What are the apostles to expect? (That people will welcome them.)

      1. What do you expect in your evangelistic endeavors? (You need to wrestle the people into belief?)

      2. How does this suggest we should modify our approach to making disciples? (What if we just go where we were welcomed, and leave alone those who do not welcome us.)

        1. This seems to be a radical suggestion. What problems do you see, if any, with this suggestion?

    6. Read Luke 9:6-7. Did Jesus' plan work? (Yes! Even Herod heard about it!)

    7. Read Luke 9:10. Why is the report important? (No doubt they had exciting and encouraging stories!)

    8. Read Luke 10:1-2. You might have said to yourself about the previous story, "These are the twelve apostles, I'm doubtful these instructions apply to me." What does this text tell us? (We now have a mission for those who are not apostles.)

    9. Read Luke 10:3-4. Is there danger? (Yes, there are "wolves" and people on the road to avoid.)

      1. How are they to prepare? (The exact same way as the apostles - which is to say they have no material preparation.)

    10. Read Luke 10:5-6. What is this "peace?" Are you missing peace in your life?

    11. Read Luke 10:7. We speculated before on who should pay and why. How do these verses clarify this? (The people you are evangelizing should pay because "the worker deserves his wages.")

      1. Each year I pay a substantial amount of money to help support mission trips. These trips are not to evangelize me. Are my contributions a mistake? (My understanding is the people being evangelized cannot afford to pay.)

    12. Read Luke 10:8-12. This reinforces the idea of preaching where we are welcomed. Should we apply this rule today, or does this apply to a different culture?

      1. Notice the mission. It is the same as for the twelve apostles. Must we have the "heal the sick" component of the mission if we have any hope of being welcomed?

      2. For those living in the United States, can you think of anywhere you would hold an evangelistic effort that is welcomed?

    13. Read Luke 10:17-21. Was this mission trip a success?

    14. Friend, will you pray that God will reveal the "hidden" things about evangelism to us? Would you like the joy and peace of sharing the gospel with others? Why not commit to exploring this further?

  4. Next week: Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath.
* Copr. 2015, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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