Morning Bible Study
Thanksgiving / staff changes
Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.
He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.
In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents
like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.
Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just
at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.
9:46-48 The Greatest
:46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest.
:46 which of them would be greatest
I imagine that Peter, James, and John had more than a few things to
contribute to this conversation.
They were the “inner three” that got to go places with Jesus that the
Peter could claim that he was the one who God spoke through to make the
breakthrough confession that Jesus was the Christ. (Mat. 16:17)
James and John believed in their own greatness so much they sent their
mother to ask Jesus for a favor. (Mat. 20:21)
NKJV) And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to
Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the
other on the left, in Your kingdom.”
When the other ten disciples heard what James and John’s mother had done,
they were a bit upset at being upstaged.
NKJV) And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with
the two brothers.
:47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child
and set him by Him,
:47 perceiving the thought of their heart
Jesus didn’t have to hear any of their arguments. He knew what they were
:47 took a little child and set him by Him
Jesus is going to answer their question about greatness with an object
lesson using a child.
:48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name
receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is
least among you all will be great.”
:48 Whoever receives this little child
You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat the children in the
Some people feel that children are nothing but trouble.
Jesus is not be very close to people like that.
:48 whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me
Jesus is saying that if I want to know God, I need to know the One that God
(John 14:6 NKJV) Jesus said
to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through Me.
:48 he who is least among you all will be great
The path to greatness
Some people have the mistaken notion that the path to greatness is connected
to who you hang out with. If you want to be “great”, you need to hang around “cool”
Followers of Jesus should be “hanging” with those that others ignore.
It might be children.
It might be the handicapped.
It might be the homeless.
It might be a person who is new to the church, and who has
come here all by themselves and doesn’t know anyone else.
Sometimes all it takes is to just say “hi”.
– Just Say Hi
NKJV) —42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know
that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and
their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall
not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be
your servant. 44
whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the
Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a
ransom for many.”
You don’t become “great” in God’s sight by stepping on
people. You become great by learning to serve others.
Jesus came to serve and give His life for us.
F.B.Meyer: “I used to
think that God’s gifts were on shelves stacked one higher than the next, and
the higher you got, the more gifts you got. Then I found out that they were
really on shelves one lower than the next, and the lower you became, the more
:49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons
in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”
:49 Now John answered
Just what is the apostle John answering? I don’t recall a question…
The great Greek scholar A.T. Robertson writes,
“As if John wanted to change the subject after the embarrassment of the
rebuke for their dispute concerning greatness”
We are seeing that John, as well as the other disciples, weren’t perfect
Jesus didn’t pick perfect men to follow Him.
Jesus picked messy people, and what we see in the gospels is the
transformation of these messy men into men that God would use.
:40 we forbade him because he does not follow with us
When you are insecure about your path to becoming “great”, you’re not going
to be happy with competition.
You see the other guy as some sort of a threat to your goal of “world
When our kids were young, we used to love to watch Pinky and the Brain
John is acting like someone who is insecure about his world
domination, not someone who wants to see God’s work done on the earth.
:50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not
against us is on our side.”
:50 …is on our side
On the same team
Sometimes people that should be on the same team end up fighting against
I think that sometimes churches do themselves more harm than good when they
fight with other churches.
We can get so nitpicky about the differences between us that unbelievers
don’t have a clue as to who this Jesus is we claim to follow.
13:35 NKJV) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love
for one another.”
I believe God has allowed various denominations to accommodate the variety
of people who become believers.
Some people need quiet, solemn rituals. Other need a bit more emotion. Some are in between.
It’s okay if people don’t worship the same as you do.
Of course, we need to be careful how far we take this.
There is such a thing as a church preaching “another
Jesus” (2Cor. 11:4), and there are “false apostles” (2Cor. 11:13).
Non-Christian cults like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses do
not believe in the same Jesus described in the Bible.
But within the Christian church, there is a huge variety
of styles and flavors.
Don’t get defensive when you talk to folks who attend other churches. Encourage
them in their church.
We’re not the only church in Fullerton.
We’re not even the only good church in Fullerton.
We are all part of the body of Christ. We are all on the same team.
Things go easier when a team learns to work together.
Video: Minions Changing Lightbulb
I remember Pastor Chuck telling a story of when he used to
belong to something like the Rotary Club years ago. They had an “invite your
enemy” banquet where each businessman was to invite his competition. Someone
asked Chuck which pastor he was going to invite. Chuck responded, “I’m not in
competition with other churches. I’m going to invite the bartender at the bar
down the street.”
You can handle the enemy better when you identify the actual enemy (Satan),
and learn to work with those on your team.
Video: Travel in Groups
You may even find there are Christians with questionable motives, but Paul
1:18 NLT) But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or
genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice.
And I will continue to rejoice.
9:51-55 Firing up Samaria
:51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up,
that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,
:51 set His face to go to Jerusalem
As we’ve been mentioning the last couple of weeks, Jesus is on His last
trip to Jerusalem where He will fulfill His prophetic mission by being
betrayed, and dying on a cross for the sins of the world.
:52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a
village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.
:52 sent messengers before His face
These “messengers” are the advance men setting up arrangements for Jesus
and the people following Him.
:52 they entered a village of the Samaritans
The Samaritan race came about when the Assyrians caused foreigners to
intermarry with the few remaining Israelites after the fall of the northern
kingdom in 722 BC.
The Samaritans rewrote some of the Mosaic Law and changed the names and
places so that Abraham offered Isaac on Mount Gerazim
instead of Moriah, and the feasts were all celebrated in Shechem
instead of Jerusalem.
Today, there are about 800 Samaritans left.
:53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the
journey to Jerusalem.
:53 they did not receive Him
When the Samaritans found out that Jesus was on His way to worship in
Jerusalem, they ignored Him.
The Samaritans and Jews hated each other.
In the next chapter (Luke 10), Jesus will tell a story of what it means to love
We call the story the “Good Samaritan”, because the one man that was
willing to help the poor victim of thieves was a Samaritan.
He told this story after He had been rejected by the Samaritans.
:54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said,
“Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume
them, just as Elijah did?”
:54 to command fire … as Elijah
Commanding fire from heaven speaks of asking God to send lightning to
I think this is incident shows us why Jesus came up with His nickname for
James and John.
(Mark 3:17 NKJV) James the son
of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”;
I still have this sneaking suspicion that James and John were members of a
biker gang on their weekends away from their fishing business.
Keep in mind that James and John might have been a little inspired from what
had happened up on the mountain of transfiguration.
They had met Moses and ELIJAH.
Commanding fire from heaven was a signature miracle of the prophet Elijah.
The first time he did it was when he had his great showdown between the
prophets of Baal and himself (1Ki. 18)
God answered Elijah by sending fire (lightning) and consuming the sacrifice
up on Mount Carmel.
The next time this happened in Elijah’s life was when the king of Israel
sent his men to arrest Elijah.
Each time the king sent a troop of fifty men to take Elijah, Elijah called
down fire and burned up the men (2Ki. 1:9-10)
I find it interesting that James and John aren’t asking Jesus to call down
fire, but they’d kind of like to try
Jesus doesn’t need defending
In the middle ages the church sent armies to battle the Muslims in the
middle east. It was a dark day for the church to think that it could do God’s
will by killing people.
Last January, radical Islamic terrorists killed twelve people in Paris because
the Charlie Hebdo newspaper continued to print cartoons that were offensive to
Were the Charlie Hebdo cartoons offensive? Horribly so.
While some radical Muslims would say they are commanded to kill the
infidels, this is not what Jesus commands His followers to do.
I do think it’s a legitimate use of force for a nation to defend itself.
(Romans 13:4 NKJV) For he is
God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not
bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute
wrath on him who practices evil.
But don’t confuse national defense with defending
Christianity. Jesus doesn’t need this kind of defending.
:55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner
of spirit you are of.
:55 what manner of spirit you are of
We are supposed to be men and women who produce the fruit of the Holy
Spirit, which looks like this:
NKJV) —22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.
I don’t see a hint of calling down fire from heaven in the fruit of the
:56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
And they went to another village.
:56 they went to another village
A few weeks back Jesus had given His disciples instruction of what to do
when they entered a village and the village didn’t want to listen to what they
had to say.
(Luke 9:5 NKJV) And whoever
will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust
from your feet as a testimony against them.”
Jesus has just given them a lesson as to what that means.
You shake it off and move on.
You don’t destroy them.
:56 not to destroy men’s lives but to save them
Save or Destroy
Sometimes when we are criticized, we go into “attack mode”
Video: LOTR - Battle
God has no interest in destroying people.
(Ezekiel 33:11 NKJV)
to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God,
‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from
his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O
house of Israel?’
Jesus’ main concern is that sinners are saved. That doesn’t happen if you
(1 Peter 3:8–9 NLT)
—8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each
other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a
humble attitude. 9
repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you.
Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do,
and he will grant you his blessing.
I’ve known that feeling, wishing I could call fire down on people I get mad
with. I’ve heard of people praying “curses” on people they’re mad at. That’s
What happened to the Samaritans?
This wasn’t Jesus’ only time with the Samaritans.
John records Jesus meeting a woman of Samaria at a well,
and after she came to believe in Him as the Messiah, she affected her entire
city. (John 4)
When the first wave of persecution hit the early church, Philip headed to
Samaria to preach (Acts 8).
8:6–8 NKJV) —6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by
Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean
spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and
many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that
This was the beginning of a great revival that took place
among the Samaritans.
I don’t think that would have happened if an entire
village had been destroyed by fire.
It might be that today you haven’t yet “received” Jesus into your heart.
Does God want to destroy you? No. He wants to save you.
That’s why God sent Jesus to die for our sins.
But God can’t save you until you receive Jesus into your heart.
1:12 NKJV) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become
children of God, to those who believe in His name: