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Lesson 9: Jesus, the Master Teacher *

Introduction: 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!

  1. Authority and Teaching

    1. Read Luke 4:31-32. What do you think it means to have a message "with authority" or to teach with "authority?"

      1. Have you ever been in a Bible study or Bible class where all present gave their opinion and no one relied on any authority outside their own thinking?

        1. If so, how helpful was that?

      2. What is the best thing about discussion? (People are forced to think about the issues.)

        1. What is the worst thing about this kind of discussion - based on personal opinion? (No authority! While it is good to promote careful thinking, the Bible is our authority. My philosophy is that a Bible teacher should teach the Bible, and that means having a conclusion to which you lead the class.)

    2. Read Luke 4:33-36. What authority of Jesus is mentioned here? (Authority over demons. Jesus taught with authority and had authority over sin.)

      1. Can you have authority over sin? Demons?

    3. When you think about Jesus, do you think He was a rebel against existing authority? (I often hear that, and in some ways that seems true.)

    4. Read Proverbs 24:21-22. What does this teach us about being a rebel? (It is a bad idea.)

      1. Who punishes rebels? (Both God and the king!)

      2. What if God and the king are not on the same side?

      3. We seem to have three sources of authority. God, the king and you (me). Which source or sources of authority are suspect?

  2. Authority and the Elements

    1. Read Luke 8:22-25. Let's look carefully at the question that begins Luke 8:25: "Where is your faith?" Why did Jesus ask that? They awakened Jesus, so that showed their faith in Him! (Jesus wanted to know why they needed to wake Him, why didn't they rebuke the storm?)

      1. Why didn't they? (They lacked faith.)

    2. Re-read Luke 8:25. What is the focus of the disciples? (Jesus has authority over the winds and the water!)

      1. Where should their attention have been focused? (They are looking too low! They had a wonderful conclusion that Jesus is God. But, Jesus' question about their faith makes me think that they could have rebuked the elements - and the elements would have obeyed them! Wow!)

    3. Recall my earlier question about sources of authority? Presumably you answered that you were the suspect source of authority. If the disciples had rebuked the storm, would they have been using their authority to direct divine authority?

      1. Consider whether Jesus' question, "Where is your faith," might have been a rebuke against their fear rather than a rebuke that they did not take care of the storm themselves. What do you think? Perhaps I was mistaken in saying they were looking "too low?"

  3. Authority and Sin

    1. Read Luke 5:20. The background story is this: the friends of a paralyzed guy dig through the roof and drop him in front of Jesus while Jesus is teaching. Do you think Jesus' response is what the paralyzed guy and his friends wanted to hear?

    2. Read Luke 5:21-23. How would you answer Jesus' question?

    3. Read Luke 5:24-26. What authority does Jesus demonstrate? (He has authority to forgive sins!)

      1. If that is the case, why did Jesus have to die? (Read Colossians 2:13-15. Jesus' triumph over sin came at the cross. We came alive with Jesus when He rose from the grave.)

    4. Consider this story of the paralyzed guy. What would you say is the key to Jesus' teaching? (His authority over sin and disease.)

      1. In Jesus' teaching in the storm, what was key? (His authority over the storm.)

      2. In Jesus' teaching in connection with the demon (Luke 4) what was key? (His authority over the demon.)

      3. What about your teaching, can you teach with authority? Or, do you lack the tools that Jesus used to teach with authority?

    5. Re-read Luke 8:24-25 and read Luke 9:1-2. Could the disciples have calmed the storm? (We know that Jesus gave them authority over demons and sickness. Why not authority over storms?)

      1. Can you have that same authority? Or, has that time passed? (Do you recall our discussion two weeks ago, in connection with Luke 11:5-13, about asking boldly in prayer? I think we should ask! Imagine how that would increase the authority of your teaching!)

    6. Read Luke 22:42-43. Recall that Jesus' victory at the cross gave Him final authority over sin. What lines of authority do we see in Luke 22? (This seems essential to our discussion of authority and teaching. Our goal is to be in line with divine authority. We cannot be rebels against God. We cannot seek our own authority. But, God partners with us in His authority. That is why He invites us to "ask boldly.")

  4. Testing Jesus' Teaching

    1. Read Luke 10:25. What is the motive for this question from the law expert? (To test Jesus.)

    2. Read Luke 10:26-29. Who ends up being tested? (The law expert! He wants "to justify himself.")

    3. Read Luke 10:30-32. What is the race of the man who has been robbed and beaten? (Given the journey, the odds are that he is Jewish.)

      1. What is the race of the priest and Levite? (Clearly Jewish.)

    4. Read Luke 10:33. Why is this man's race (perhaps national origin is more accurate) mentioned? (Because Samaritans and Jews detested each other. The priest and the Levite would be natural "neighbors" to the Jewish victim as compared to a Samaritan.)

      1. Why did the Samaritan stop? ("He took pity on him.")

    5. Read Luke 10:34-36. Let's get back to the original question ( Luke 10:27-29), who is the neighbor who we should love as we love our self? (It includes people who we don't like for racial/national origin reasons. This, of course, is not what the law expert had in mind for "neighbor.")

    6. Read Luke 10:37. What is Jesus telling the law expert to do? (The law says "love" and the story says the Samaritan "took pity." We need to take pity on those who are not our natural friends.)

    7. Is there more to this story than "be kind to others, even those you don't like?"

      1. Jesus put the Samaritan in the role of a "teacher" to the Jewish law expert. What gave the Samaritan sufficient authority so that the law expert had to admit the correct answer? (His unselfish love. His pity.)

        1. When I suggested that you should boldly ask in prayer for these extraordinary powers that Jesus used to teach, what extraordinary power do you have for teaching right now? (The ability to be kind to those who are not your natural friends!)

        2. Will such kindness bring divine authority to your teaching?

    8. Friend, God may give you great authority, but the teaching authority that He gives all of us right now is to act with love and kindness to those who are not our natural neighbors. Will teach with authority?

  5. Next week: Following Jesus in Everyday Life.
* 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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