As we continue our series, Brock Snook unpacks the scene in Luke 19:1-9 in which a despised tax collector, Zacchaeus, climbs a sycamore tree to see Jesus pass through a crowd. When Jesus calls him out of the tree in order to be a guest at Zacchaeus's home, we find that salvation is available to anyone who simply accepts Jesus’ free invitation. However, if you don't decide to come down from your tree, you not only reject Him as your savior, but also force Him to be your judge.
In this message from Luke 18:15-18, Andrew Schey teaches on the importance of becoming like a little child before God to receive His blessing. As his disciples attempted to turn away parents seeking Jesus' blessing for their babies, Jesus challenged societal values and hierarchy by blessing children, though they were unworthy in their weakness and lack of righteousness. As a child, you too must embrace your weakness and acknowledge your needs If you are to receive Jesus' blessing.
In a parable from Luke 18:9-14, Jesus teaches the importance of humility, as those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. The simplicity of this teaching can cause the message to be overlooked. However, as teacher Kyle Vick points out, a true understanding and practice of the humility Jesus is after is challenging, but Jesus himself says that the one who is humble is justified before God. Are you willing to name your needs and shortcomings before Jesus, who wants to bless you?
In this teaching from Luke 17:20-18:8, Jesus answered the question of when the Kingdom of God would come, describing a present spiritual reality rather than a calendar date. In this study, Brian Sumner challenges all who hear this teaching not to limit it to a literal, physical understanding of the details and how the events of the end times will happen, but to receive this as a teaching for you today. While the Second Coming of Jesus has not yet happened, the Kingdom of God is a present spiritual reality if your eyes are open to the miracles of God around you and you are living an active, urgent life for God, preparing the way as a preacher of the gospel in whatever position or community God has placed you.
Andrew Schey leads this study on Luke 17:11-19, which records the account of Jesus healing ten lepers as he was traveling along the border of Samaria and Galilee. While all nine were physically healed, only one came back to thank Jesus, and only one was healed spiritually and received salvation. What separated him from the other nine was simply his heart of gratitude, which is the door to eternal life. Are you more concerned with physical healing and improving your immediate circumstances, or are you concerned with eternal wellness and thanking the Giver for your blessings?
In this message, Andrew Schey teaches from Luke 17:7-10, which contains one of an assortment of Jesus' teachings on how we ought to be as disciples. in the passage, Jesus relates the humility we ought to have through the dynamic between a master and servant, as all who accept God's grace are His servants. If you accept the gospel, you can do so with entitlement or humility, but only humility reflects what Jesus is after. Where is your heart? Is your heart full of gratitude as an unworthy servant or are you entitled to His grace as if God owes you?
In this message from Luke 16:19-31, Andrew Schey leads a study on Jesus’ teaching about the Rich Man who neglected the beggar, Lazarus, who was laid at his doorstep. Jesus shows that that all who hear the teaching found in scripture and receive God’s grace are accountable for what God has revealed to them, and have a responsibility to love and tend to the needs of those around them. There are many needs in the world, and your healing from your own sin and brokenness comes as you love others as Christ first loved you. Will you neglect or care for a “Lazarus” in your own life?
Chris Shaddix leads this study on Jesus' parable of the shrewd manager, found in Luke 16:1-15, a teaching Jesus uses to challenge all of his followers to live generously, in a way that worships God, not money. Greed is an attachment to money, but generosity is an attachment to God that transforms hearts and teaches His children to value the greater good of others. Because of God's great generosity and grace He first extended to us, we can be generous in the way we use everything at our disposal, including money, as tools for serving others and for the sake of God's Kingdom. Is money a tool or an idol in your life?
In this message from Luke 15:1-32, Andrew Schey teaches that Jesus practiced what he preached in the way he esteemed the lowly and the social outcast. In fact, Jesus used three parables to demonstrate the depth of God’s concern for those who are lost, the focused attention of His search for them, and His compassionate and merciful love for each of His children, demonstrated in the parable of the prodigal son. Many are familiar with this story, but do you connect with it emotionally? Are you able to receive the loving embrace of God the Father, and do you understand the depth of His rejoicing at the return of one of His lost children?
In his previous teaching, Jesus told you to make every effort to enter the narrow door, and, as Andrew Schey points out, this teaching of Jesus from Luke 14:1-24 is one of many teachings found in this gospel, which provides an application for what making every effort looks like in a real-life context. At yet another meal with the Pharisees, Jesus confronts their selfish priorities, as nothing is more important than compassion for the suffering of even one person. Using a parable, Jesus teaches that everyone should let go of their self-obsession and, like God, be concerned with attending to and caring for those in humble and lowly walks of life without any expectation of a return, as all are equal in God's Kingdom. God does what He is asking for - do you? Or are you stuck in the prison of self-obsession?