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Christ Challenge Conventional Thinking. AG Sunday School Teacher

 

Memory Verse: Luke 14:23

The lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (KJV).

Central Truth

Believers should follow Jesus’ example of engaging with sinners.

The Lesson Outline
1. Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

A. Responding to Need

Luke 14:1-4

B. A Question of
Compassion

Luke 14:5-6

2. Jesus Teaches Humility and Service

A. Humility Rewarded
Luke 14:7-11

B. Helping the Helpless
Luke 14:12-14

3. The Great Banquet Invitation
A. Room at the Table

Luke 14:15-20
B. Compel Them to Come
Luke 14:21-24

Learning Objectives
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1. Develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for Jesus’
teachings on compassion, humility, and generosity.

2. Commit to having a welcoming attitude toward those in need of God’s grace.

3. ldentify Christlike actions of reaching those outside of God’s kingdom, and pray that God will provide ways for students to minister to them.

 

Introducing the Lesson

Today’s lesson describes Jesus highlighting attitudes of compassion, humility, and a proper response to God. He teaches the importance of Compassion as He heals a man even when others thought the timing was not right. He then shares how humility brings about different results than pride, and how believers must wholeheartedly embrace what God has for them. In all of this, we will find that both our attitudes and our actions play key roles in how we determine to walk with God and obey Christ.

 

The Holy Scriptures

Luke 14:1-16
[1]And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.
[2]And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
[3]And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
[4]And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
[5]And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
[6]And they could not answer him again to these things.
[7]And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
[8]When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
[9]And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
[10]But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
[11]For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
[12]Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
[13]But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
[14]And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
[15]And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
[16]Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:

 

Commentary and Application

1. Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
A. Responding to Need–Luke 14:1-4
In all four Gospels, Jesus met those whose rigid stance on Sabbath Law blinded them to othèr aspects of God’s will. Luke 14 begins with a Sabbath day meal Jesus attended at the home of a leading Pharisee. (This particular man was one who carried authority, either as a member of the Jewish ruling council or over other Pharisees).

 

There, Jesus encountered a man suffering with “dropsy” (verse 2, KJV), a disease produced by
accumulation of fluid in the arms and legs, resulting in swelling- a disease then regarded as incurable. “Behold” (KJV) suggests that the man appeared suddenly in front of Jesus. His presence at the feast may have been orchestrated by Jesus’ enemies, eager to force a
confrontation as they watched Him intently.

 

Human beings-whether as individuals or conspiring together -may imagine they are in Control as they scheme against others. However, God freely demonstrates His power to bring about His own purposes by working through–or contrary to the plans of sinful human beings. Any intent by Jesus’ enemies to trap Him was overshadowed by His compassionate act of healing the man who stood before Him, thus fulfilling God’s purposes (see Acts 10:38).

 

Before the healing, Jesus asked, “Is it permitted in the law to heal people on the Sabbath day, or not?”
(Luke 14:3, NLT). This posed a dilemma for the Pharisees and experts in the Law. On one hand, the Law did not actually forbid healing on the Sabbath. But if they admitted it was lawful, they would be unable to criticise Jesus afterward. Those who attempted to trap Jesus using His own compassion were themselves trapped in silence by their own duplicity.

 

Having asked their opinion and receiving no answer, Jesus then healed the man (verse 4). At times, Jesus healed with a simple touch (see Luke 4:40); here, He took hold of the one needing healing. In a similar way, the apostle Paul put his arms around a young man who had died, and raised him to life (see Acts 20:10).

 

Questions for Application

In what ways have Christians, historically or more recently, let a poor interpretation of Scripture hinder their ministry to others?

 

How does Satan attempt to trap believers, even when they are doing the right things? How can we overcome these traps?

 

B. A Question of Compassion–Luke 14:5-6
Before the Pharisees could respond with criticism or accusation after the healing, Jesus spoke first. He did not ask them about the actions of people in general, or even about the Jewish community at large. Rather, He focused on the attitudes of the Pharisees and Law experts who were present (Luke 14:5). Would they rescue valuable livestock on the Sabbath, or let a child suffer and perhaps die, believing the Sabbath required it?

 

Jesus’ question was rhetorical: None of them would let their child or animal remain trapped.
Compassion even for
livestock-demanded action. Compassion also moved Jesus to heal the man with dropsy moments before. Those who questioned Him were silent, powerless to argue against the need for compassion regardless of whether or not it was the Sabbath (verse 6).

Questions for Application

What are some practical ways believers can show compassion, even to strangers?

How can the the ministry of compassion open the door for sharing the gospel?

2. Jesus Teaches Humility and Service
A. Humility Rewarded– Luke 14:7-11

Starting in Luke 14:7, Jesus turned His attention to those vying for position at the feast. He had earlier corrected His own disciples as they argued among themselves about their relative importance (see Luke 9:46-48). Here in Luke 14, Jesus watched as those attending this Sabbath feast “were trying to sit in the seats of honour near the head of the table” (verse 7, NLT), perhaps pushing or shoving one another in
the process.

 

As Jesus stressed the need for humility, we are reminded of Proverbs 25:6-7, in which Solomon warned those who try to exalt themselves before kings. Jesus turned His message into a parable, picturing His audience as the characters. He began by telling them not to pick the place of honour when invited to a wedding feast-the very opposite of the behaviour these leading Jews had just exhibited (Luke 14:8).

 

All those who would seat themselves in places of honour risked the humiliation of being reseated in the lowest position (verse 9). A host may seat his guests in order of their age, their rank, or their social position. He is also free to give the place of prominence to someone he values personally for whatever reason. In any case, the guest who pushes himself forward is shamed when he is moved to the lowliest place, a place left empty as the other guests fought over the better seats.

 

Jesus has taught us to practice humility as the alternative to pride an alternative that will be rewarded (verse 10). When guests voluntarily sit down in the lowest place, their host may insist they move to a more exalted position. As an added touch of tenderness, the host in the parable calls his humble guest “friend,” even as the host did not address his proud guest this way.

 

Jesus stated the underlying principle of His words in verse 11:
One must choose between humility, which results in exaltation, and self- exaltation, which results in humiliation. This important teaching is repeated later in the New Testament (cf., James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; see also Proverbs 3:34).

 

Questions for Application
In what ways did Jesus model perfect humility for us in both His attitudes and actions?

How can humble living help us draw others to Christ?

 

B. Helping the Helpless– Luke 14:12-14

After teaching His fellow guests against fighting for social position, Jesus applied that same priority to His host. Just as an invited guest may choose a seat-and be exalted or humiliated based on that choice a host chooses who is invited in the first place.

 

In naming those not to invite, Jesus may have been looking around the room at those the host treated with the closeness of a friend or family, and those whose appearance displayed wealth position (Luke 14:12). Such quests would likely return the invitation to satisfy the obligations of family, society, or wealth. If so, that is all the reward the host would receive.

 

Instead, Jesus said, invite “the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind” (verse 13, NLT), those who lacked basic needs, and who could not return the host’s generosity by inviting him to a feast of their own.
The word “crippled” (“maimed,” KJV) referred to an individual who was missing a limb or unable to use that limb.

 

Jesus said that when the host invited those in need, such a host would be rewarded by God (verse 14). This reward does not take place in this life, but in the next. The choice Jesus offers is a stark one: You can choose to act in such a way that people will repay you, or you can choose to act in such a way that God will genuinely bless you with everlasting spiritual blessings.

Questions for Application

How can Christians use whatever wealth or status they have received to draw attention to God’s goodness ?

What are some ways believers can stay focused on pleasing God rather than trying to please people?

3. The Great Banquet Invitation

A. Room at the Table-Luke 14:15-20

While hearing Jesus téach, one of the guests was reminded of the Jewish hope in the kingdom of God (Luke 14:15). The Jews looked forward to a kingdom set up by the Messiah, a time of victory over their national enemies –and a time of Jewish authority over the Gentile world.

 

Jesus did not respond directly to the man’s comment. Rather, He used a parable to show a more inclusive view of the future Kingdom, pictured as a “great feast to which many were invited (verse 16, NLT). It is clear that the banquet host in the parable represents God, who invites all to accept the sacrifice of Christ and to enter into the everlasting life of the Kingdom (see John 3:5,14-17).

 

Sadly, when the master sent his servant to announce the time of the great feast, those invited made excuses instead of accepting the host’s generous hospitality (Luke 14:17-20). Two made the shallow excuse that they needed to examine purchases they had made–major ourchases they had likely examined already. What an insult to reject the Master’s offer. This represents those who put their own interests ahead of the kingdom of God (see Matthew 6:33).

 

The last invitee Jesus specifically mentioned was a man who declined the invitation by saying, “I just got married, so I cant come” (Luke 14:20, NLT). According to Deuteronomy 24:5, a newly married Jewish male was exempt from military service and other public duty for an entire year. And so, for the man to make this excuse was an even deeper insult than that given by the other two men-as if one could compare the joy of a banquet to being conscripted into military service!

 

Question for Application
How is God’s invita tion to Kingdom living greater than any other invitation a person can ever receive? Explain.

What does Jesus mean when He says, “Seek the kingdom of God above all else” (Matthew 6:33, NLT)?

B. Compel Them to Come–Luke 14:21-24
In the parable master was furious when he heard that his offer had been rejected by all who were invited (Luke 14:21). He responded by ordering his servant to go into “the streets and alleys of the town” (NLT)-places avoided by prideful religious people-and bring in the financially needy and physically disabled.

Since there was still room at the banquet (verse 22), the generous host issued one more directive to his servant: Go outside the city to the “country lanes and behind the hedges” (verse 23, NLT) and compel those he found to attend the great banquet. In the context of Jesus’ ministry, this likely refers to God’s inclusion of Gentiles-non-Jewish people —in His kingdom.

Jesus was sent first to the Jewish people, whose experience with the Law and the prophets served as the foundation for His death and resurrection. Following His ic ascension, the disciples were all the entire world Jews and Gentiles alike-the good news of salvation through Him, By showing God’s desire to include those dwelling outside of the Jewish community, Jesus foreshadowed the Great Commission to welcome all into God’s kingdom. Those who respond positively to God’s invitation will forever celebrate in His presence. On the other hand, those who reject God’s invitation will experienice God’s judgement.

 

Question for Application
What can Jesus’ example teach us about loving treatment toward the poor and those who have disabilities?

How does knowing there is still room at God’s tàble motivate us to share the gospel with others?

Why did the excuses made by those in the parable anger the generóus host?

Call to Discipleship
Jesus used various settings to teach, whether at seaside to invite His
listeners to fish for people, or near a collection box to share how God sees the
heart of the giver (see Matthew 4:18-20; Mark 12:41-44). in today’s lesson.
Jesus used the setting of a Sabbath feast to teach that compassion is to be
practised every day of the week. He reversed conventional thinking by
teaching that promotion comes after individuals humble themselves.
Humility, as well as compassion, is displayed when a host invites those who
cannot return the favour. The greatest Host of all is God the Father, whose
invitation for the Kingdom is the greatest of all.

Ministry in Action

Who in your life would benefit from an act of compassion? Make plans to serve that person in Jesus’ name this week.
Consider your actions when you have opportunity to either promoté yourself or promote someone else? Do you show humble deference to others
and give them an occasion to use their gifts and talents?

ldentify anything that keeps you from fully participating in God’s kingdom. Ask for the power of the Spirit to overcome this impediment.

 

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Action Point

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