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Sabbath School Lessons on Luke
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 10: Following Jesus in Everyday Life *
Introduction: 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!
- No Fear
- Read Luke 12:4-5. Who is this person who can throw us into
hell? (I think Jesus is speaking of God.)
- Who can only "kill the body?" (Other humans.)
- What is Jesus' point? (We should fear God more than
we should fear humans.)
- Read Luke 12:6-7. Does God know you? (Yes! God does not
forget even the sparrow. He knows how many hairs are on my
- Why would Jesus tell us to fear God who can throw us
into hell, and then tell us "don't be afraid?" (Jesus
is building an argument against fear. He says that if
we are going to fear anyone, it should be God. But,
God loves and cares for us.)
- Let's go back and pick up Luke 12:1-3. Who knows what we
have said in the dark and in the inner rooms? (God!)
- Why is hypocrisy so foolish? What does this have to
do with fearing humans?(Hypocrisy is saying one thing
in public and doing another thing in private. Jesus'
argues that this is foolish because God knows how we
live. Why would we hide it from other humans - those
who cannot send us to hell, but be content to have
- One answer is that it feels good to have other humans
think we are better than we actually are. What does
Jesus say to that? (The bad things will come out.)
- Read Luke 12:8-9. Let's revisit the last question. If it
feels better to have other humans falsely think we are
better than we are, who are we saying is most important:
God, other humans or us? (Other humans and us.)
- If I think that I am more important, and the opinion
of humans more important than the opinion of God, how
does this relate to Jesus' statement that we should
acknowledge God before humans? (I think Jesus' point
is that our priorities are backwards.)
- Read Luke 12:9-10. Do you recall times in the past when
you did not speak up for God because you did not want to
be embarrassed? Is that "disowning God?"
- The Right Fear
- Look again at Luke 12:10. Can you see the pattern of
Jesus' argument? Hypocrisy is preferring the opinion of
humans over God's opinion. Disowning (or failing to
acknowledge) God is putting the opinion of humans before
God. This mind set shows that we fear humans more than we
fear God. Jesus teaches that this attitude is irrational.
Is Luke 12:10 a warning or a comfort? (If you find, as I
do, that Jesus' comments speak to our sins, the good news
is that Jesus says that can be forgiven.)
- Is there any warning? (Blasphemy against the Holy
Spirit will not be forgiven!)
- Read Matthew 12:30-32 and Mark 3:28-30. What do you think
it means to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? (I think
Jesus is saying that certain attitudes are hopeless. In
Luke, the problem is thinking that the opinion of others
is more important than the opinion of God. In Matthew and
Mark the problem is calling the work of the Holy Spirit
the work of Satan. I don't think Jesus is drawing a line
in the sand and saying "If you step over this, you can
never be forgiven," rather, He is saying, "If you have
everything reversed, you have no hope of arriving at the
- Read Luke 12:13-15. What if the brother is violating this
fellow's inheritance rights? (Jesus says this is not the
main point - He is here to save our souls not our
- Is this another one of the "upside down" views of
life? Our focus is on things and not God?
- Read Luke 12:16-20. Is being rich wrong? Should we prepare
for our retirement? (Deuteronomy 28 and the heroes of the
Old Testament suggest that being rich is related to right
living. Numbers 8:23-26 suggests that God believes in
- Read Luke 12:20-21. What is the problem? (If this rich
fellow dies that night, he will have lost everything for
which he worked and planned.)
- What does this have to do with hypocrisy and
blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? (I think this is
another example of having things turned upside down
in our mind. This fellow is more concerned about his
financial future than his future with God. It is
appropriate to be concerned about what others think,
it is appropriate to fear humans, it is appropriate
to prepare for old age, but we must have the right
attitude: God's opinion is the most important.
Fearing God (who loves us) is the most important
aspect of life. This means our relationship with God
is the most important part of our plan for the
future, not our relationship with money.)
- Read Luke 19:11. Were the people right about what would
happen? (Jesus was present, but the Kingdom of God was not
- Read Luke 19:12-14. Why does Jesus add this detail about
the subjects hating the future king? What has this to do
with the false expectations of the people about the
Kingdom of God? (They wanted Jesus to assert His power,
overthrow the Romans, and establish the Kingdom of God.)
- Anything about upside down thinking seem familiar
here? (Once again, the people are focused on the
- Read Luke 19:15-19. Is Jesus a capitalist? Why didn't he
say to the ten minas fellow that he should give 2.5 minas
to the five minas fellow so that they would have the same
amount: 7.5 minas?
- Read Luke 19:20-23. What complaint does the one mina man
have about the king? (He complains that he is a capitalist
and that he is afraid of the king.)
- If this is a parable about God, does this fellow fear
God? (Yes, but this is the wrong kind of fear.)
- Notice that he carefully kept the mina in a cloth.
What does this suggest?
- Read Luke 19:24-25. Do you agree with the objectors?
- Notice that the successful guy is entitled to the
money of the one mina guy who does not handle his
money properly. How can you reconcile that to the
story of the rich fellow (we just studied) who has
decided to retire and enjoy his wealth? The rich guy
would enjoy his own money.
- Read Luke 19:26-27. Here is a story! The lazy guy who
hates capitalism has to give his money to the very rich.
The enemies of the king are brought in and killed. Not
exactly what you are used to Jesus saying, right?
- What is a mina? (It is money according to Luke 19:15.
It is about three months wages.)
- Do you think this parable is about money?
- Who do you think are the king and the enemies in the
parable? (Jesus appears to be the King and the Jewish
people His enemies. They thought Jesus would
overthrow the Romans, and when He did not, they
became the enemies of what He had in mind. Note that
Jerusalem was destroyed a few decades later.)
- Let's see if we can put this together. If Jesus is the
King, and those who rejected Him are His enemies, do minas
truly represent money? (I think they might. But, I don't
think that is the main point. They represent talents used
to advance the Kingdom of God.)
- Friend, can you see how the different stories in our study
have a common point? The most important aspect of life is
our relationship with God! Will you determine today to
develop your talents to advance God's Kingdom?
- Next week: The Kingdom of God.
* 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.