GOD MEETS US IN JESUS CHRIST
- LUKE’S GOSPEL
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record the life of Jesus Christ and his ministry in the four Gospel books. We shall trace the life, and ministry of Jesus Christ as written by St Luke to Theophilus. St Luke was a medical doctor.
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHESIES ABOUT THE MESSIAH
Introduction: Read 2 Samuel 7:13, Isaiah 7:10-16
Meaning: The word Messiah is from a Hebrew word meshiach, which means the anointed: thus a Messiah is one called, anointed and appointed by God to serve Him.
A prophecy refers to a prediction of what will happen in future.
Messianic Prophecies: These are those predictions that were made by the prophets to describe the coming of a righteous King who will rule Israel according to God’s will.
The origin of the Messianic prophecies in the Bible starts with Prophet Nathan’s prophecy to King David.
The Roman ruled the Israelites before the birth of Jesus. They hated the Roman leadership and longed for somebody of their own to lead them into victory over the Roman rule.
The prophet of Israel (the Old Testament) communicated a message that God would send a messiah to bring all people into a lasting relationship with Him. The prophets who were sent had different ideas about the Messiah. Their ideas about the Messiah were different from the Jewish expectations – whereby they hoped for political King to lead them into victory over the Roman rule. But the prophets were talking about a religious one – to free them from sin.
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
- a) Explain the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Messiah.
- b) Relate the concept of the Messiah in the Old and New testaments.
- c) Explain the link between the Old and the New Testament
- d) Discuss the role of John the Baptist.
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHESIES ABOUT THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH.
(i) NATHAN’S PROPHECY (2 Samuel 7:3 – 17) and (Psalms 89: 20 – 38).
David proposed to build God a house. Nathan, the prophet was given a message (an oracle) for David. In this prophecy, God told Nathan to tell King David that:
God would ensure that the Kingdom of David would last forever.
An heir from David’s lineage would rule
David’s heir shall build a house for God’s name. God would establish the throne of his Kingdom forever.
David heir shall be God’s son and God shall be his father.
David house and Kingdom shall be established forever.
David died. But God’s mercy shall not depart from the heir of David. Hence the promise that the Kingdom of David, shall last forever referred to the messiah who was to come. David is an ancestor of
(ii) ISAIAH’S PROPHECY – Isaiah 7: 10 – 16; 9: 1- 7; 61:1 –2; and 63.
In these readings, Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be:
Born of a virgin
A boy, born of a virgin and called ‘Emmanuel’ that is ” God with us”
A Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, The everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace
The Spirit of God inside him
Anointed of God
Sent to preach the good news to the poor, to bring liberty to the captives, proclaim the year of favor from God.
Isaiah also prophesied that the Messiah would be the suffering servant (Isaiah 53)
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SUFFERING SERVANT – ISAIAH 53
He would bear the sins of human kind
He was oppressed, afflicted, despised, and rejected of men
He bore suffering and disgrace submissively
He was mocked and spat on and wounded
He was innocent of sin and yet treated as a criminal.
He was pierced and wounded in the sides
He was crucified with thieves and made intercession for the sinners
He was buried in a rich man’s tomb.
iii. JEREMIAH’S PROPHECY- JEREMIAH 23: 5 – 6.
God promised to rise up a (branch) who shall:
Choose as King, a righteous descendant of David
Rule wisely, do what is right, and just in the world
Execute justice on the earth
Ensure that Judah and Israel are safe and live in peace
Be called ‘the God our righteousness” – “The Lord our salvation’
What does the term a ‘righteous branch ‘means?
- MICAH’S PROPHESY, (MICAH 5: 1 – 5).
Micah prophesied that:
The Messianic King shall come from Bethlehem
He shall lead with authority
He will bring peace
- THE PSALMIST PROPHECY (Psalm 41:9 and 110:1 –2).
David spoke of
Betrayal by a close friend
Messiah is referred to as ‘the Lord’
The messiah shall rule/reign in the midst of enemies.
Nathan, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Psalmist prophecy (David) and Micah prophesied of a Messiah to come. The Jews expected a Messiah who would be a political leader, a victorious ruler and a King. They expected a
Who would lead his people into a time of great national power and prosperity;
In whose reign, there shall be no illness, no sorrow, no injustice,
In whose reign, there shall be no fear
In whose reign, land shall be filled with joy and peace
Who shall rule forever.
1) Describe the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the Messiah
2) What does the term Messiah mean?
3) Highlight the Jewish expectations of the Messiah in the Old Testament?
4) Did Jesus Christ fulfill the O.T. Prophecies concerning the Messiah? How?
5) Which prophets in the Old Testament prophesied about the expected Messiah?
THE CONCEPT OF THE MESSIAH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
The concept of messiah is found in Luke 1:26 – 38; 2:1-23; 23:1 – 35; 24:50 – 51. The writer of Luke’s Gospel makes it clear that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah. How did He do this? Well Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies because:
Jesus was born from the lineage of David (Mathew 1)
Angle Gabriel said the child to be born shall rule forever (Luke 1:32) Nathan’s prophecy
Jesus was born of Mary a Virgin, as pre told by Isaiah 7:14
Messiah is called Emmanuel, Isaiah’s prophecy. Mathew 1:18 – 25
Jesus was born in Bethlehem – Micah’s prophecy
The Messiah would be a ‘Son of David’ – Nathan, and Jeremiah prophesies. Jesus was referred to as a ‘Son of David’ (Luke 18:38)
Jesus would bring salvation said by Simeon during dedication of Jesus. Luke 2:29 – 32. This was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.
Jesus referred to himself as the Messiah by reading the scroll. Isaiah61:1 – 2. And Luke 4: 18 – 19
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would perform miracles. Jesus performed many miracles.
The prophecy of the suffering servant (Isaiah 53) was fulfilled through the passion, death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
We see Jesus betrayed by one of his disciples – friend, fulfilling the Psalmist prophecy.
Note that the Jews in the New Testament expected a messiah who would deliver them from the rule of the Romans. Jews expected Jesus to be a political leader or king. However, Peter called him ‘the Christ of God’ (Luke 9:20). Matthew called him King of the Jews in chapter (2verse 2). Hence, Jesus came as a Spiritual Leader and King, and not as a political Leader / King.
- What does the name Emmanuel mean?
- Explain the concept of the Messiah in the New Testament?
ANNUNCIATION OF THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
The parents of John the Baptist were Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. Zechariah’s name meant ‘God has remembered’. Elizabeth’s name meant ‘God has sworn’.
John the Baptist
- The Annunciation – Read – Luke 1:5 – 25.
Zechariah was a priest. He and his wife Elizabeth were old, good and righteous people of God. But they did not have a child. They were barren. But God gave them a child, John the Baptist. His birth was announced to his father, Zechariah, when he was in the temple offering incense. An Angel appeared to Zechariah and told him that his prayers had been heard. His wife Elizabeth will bear a son. The angel said the child would be called John, which means that ‘God is gracious’. The child
Will be set aside to serve God.
Will be filled with the Holy Spirit
As an adult, John
Will be a Nazarite. He should neither cut his hair nor drink wine.
Shall turn many hearts of people to the Lord their God.
Shall also turn the hearts of the fathers to their children
Zachariah expressed unbelief to these words. Angel Gabriel told him that he shall be dumb until the fulfillment of the God’s words.
The Birth, Circumcision and Naming Of John the Baptist
Elizabeth brought forth a son. This brought great joy to her and Zachariah. The cousins and neighbors of Elizabeth wanted the Child to be named Zechariah after the father. But Elizabeth insisted on the name John. When Zechariah was asked to name the child, he wrote down the name John. On the 8th day, the child was named John as the angel had said. John was circumcised on the 8th day according to the Jewish traditions.
After naming his Child John, the mouth of Zechariah opened immediately and he started to speak. He sang a song – referred to as Benedictus in Luke 1:67 – 79. As he sung the Benedictus, Zechariah prophesied that God has:
Raised up a horn of salvation on the house of David
Remembered his covenant with Abraham
Zechariah said this about his Child John:
He shall be the prophet of the most high
The child/John shall prepare the way of the lord by
(i) Calling men to forgiveness
(ii) Showing men the light of salvation
(iii) Guiding people into peace.
THE ROLE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
The role of John the Baptist is found in Isaiah 40: 3–5, Malachi 3:1, 4:5-6, and Luke 7: 20-35.
John the Baptist had an important role to play according to the Angel who announced his coming birth.
His role was to:
Be a Prophet with qualities of Elijah (see Malachi 3:1, 4:5)
Announce the good news to come just like Elijah did.
Be the link between the Old Testament and New Testament
Prepare the way for the Lord
Announce the coming of God’s reign that was near
Preach a baptism of repentance
Baptize with water
Introduce people and his disciples to the Messiah – Jesus Christ
Fulfill the Prophecy of Elijah that a messenger was sent before the coming of the Messiah John the Baptist was likened to Elijah.
Topic review questions
- Outline the qualities of John as described by angel Gabriel to Zechariah
- Why was John referred to as the second Elijah?
- What lessons do Christians learn from annunciation of the birth of John the Baptist?
- Describe the birth of John the Baptist
THE INFANCY AND EARLY LIFE OF JESUS – LUKE 1:26 – 38
- Angel Gabriel announces the birth of Jesus.
Angel Gabriel said that Mary would conceive and bear a child. Angel Gabriel called Mary ‘the highly favored one’. Mary was an ordinary virgin girl in Galilee engaged to marry Joseph, a descendant of David. The Angel said that Mary will bear (i) A Son (ii) called Jesus (which means God serves. (iii) The child shall be great (iv) He shall be called the son of the highest.
(v) He shall be given the throne of his father David (vi) He shall reign forever (vii) His kingdom will never end.
Read again and explain what angel Gabriel said concerning the child to be born to Mary?
- Mary visits Elizabeth. Luke 1:39-56
Angel Gabriel had told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was also going to have a child. Mary went to visit her. The child in Elizabeth’s womb leaped when Mary greeted Elizabeth. The Holy Spirit revealed to Elizabeth that Mary is the mother of her Lord, the Messiah. Mary answered Elizabeth by singing the hymn “The Protector” in Psalm 121:3, The Love of God. Psalm 103:17, 98:3 The Magnificent. In this hymn Mary says:
Her soul magnifies the Lord.
The Lord has regarded the poor and those of low estate.
God’s mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
God humbles the proud and mighty, and exalts those of low estate (the lowly)
God has filled the hungry and sent the rich away empty
Through the magnificent, Mary, expresses her joy, gratitude and favor given to her and the world.
- The birth of Jesus Christ. Luke.2: 1 – 20
The birth of Jesus took place in Bethlehem, in Judea, during the reign of Augustus Caesar, a Roman Emperor. During that time, Rome was conducting a census of the people / citizens for the purpose of collecting taxes. The census was ordered by the emperor to determine payment of taxes. The method that Rome was using was counting. Joseph, of the house of David went to his hometown, called Bethlehem; for the census. Jesus was born during this time. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger because there was no accommodation in Bethlehem.
The first people to receive the news that a Savior was born were the shepherds. An angel announced the birth of the Savior, Christ the lord, to the shepherds. The shepherds went to Bethlehem and saw the child Jesus. They spread the word concerning what had been told them about the child.
How was the annunciation of the birth of Jesus extraordinary?
- The dedication of JESUS – LUKE.2: 22 – 38
Like John the Baptist, Jesus was circumcised, and named on the 8th day. He was named Jesus which means ‘the savior’ or Yahweh or save’s. Mary and Joseph observed the Jewish customs according to the Law of Moses. For her purification and dedication of the child Jesus, Mary brought a pair of turtledoves as an offering. The fist born males were dedicated to God as Holy. Simeon took the child up in his arms for dedication and said that:
“The child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel. A Sword will pierce Mary’s soul on account of the child.” Prophet Anna also came to the temple and prophesied that the child shall bring deliverance.
- Jesus at the Temple Luke 2:42 – 52
The parents of Jesus Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem every year for the feast of the Passover. When Jesus was 12, he accompanied them to Jerusalem. After the feast the parents went home without realizing that their child, Jesus was not with them. But while on the way, they realized he was not amongst them.
They returned to Jerusalem, and looked for him for 3 days. They found him sitting in the temple; listening and asking teacher’s questions. All those who were in the temple were astonished by his wisdom and intelligence. It is in the temple that Jesus is revealed, first as a true son of his people and also as light and salvation for all people. On being questioned by Mary and Joseph, Jesus answered thus:
”Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house, about my Father’s business?” This was an echo of Malachi 3:1 “the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple”.
Answer these questions
1 Trace occasions when angels appeared to people in the New Testament
2 How did Jesus follow the customs and traditions of the Jewish people?
- Occasions when angels appeared to people in the New Testament
(a) Angel appeared to Zechariah to announce birth of John the Baptist
(b) Angel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus Christ
(c) Angels appeared to the shepherds on the night Jesus was born
(d) Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream warning him to flee to Egypt with the child and Mary
- How Jesus followed the customs and traditions of the Jewish people
(i) He was named on the 8th day
(ii) He was circumcised on the 8th day
(iii) His parents took him to the temple for the annual cerebrations of the. Passover
(iv) He went to the synagogue
(v) In his dedication as a first male, his parents offered the sacrifices expected from them.
Topic Review Questions
- Explain events leading to the birth of Jesus
- Describe the meeting between Mary and Elizabeth
- Describe the birth of Jesus
- Explain the dedication of JESUS
- Describe Jesus at the Temple
THE GALILEAN MINISTRY – LUKE 3-8
John the Baptist and Jesus Christ
THE PREACHING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (Luke3: 1 – 20)
John the Baptist preached about:
- Baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Baptism means to dip in water’. Repentance means ‘change of heart/mind, turning around. Baptism was a symbol of repentance, which means a total change heart/mind, a confession of sins). Baptism of water was a preparation of the baptism of fire and Holy Spirit by Jesus.
- He warned people of God’s coming Judgment. The religious leaders stressed outward observance of the law rather than inner righteousness. John the Baptist told them to bear fruits worthy of repentance.
He told them to live righteous lives and not as hypocrites (brood of vipers). Religious leaders also assumed that since they were descendants of Abraham, God would not punish them. He warned them that God could raise descendants of Abraham from stones.
- c) He announced the coming of the Messiah as Judge. John the Baptist became famous that some thought he is the promised messiah. He however pointed to a messiah who will not baptize with water but with the Holy Ghost and fire (Jesus Christ).
- d) He preached on social justice. He taught, emphasized, advised:
That those who have should share with those who do not have
The need for fairness and honesty for example tax collectors not to collect more than what was required.
That soldiers should not to abuse their power by accusing others falsely, robbing. They were told to be content with their wages.
e). He condemned King Herod’s immoral behavior. King Herod had married Herodians – his own brother’s wife. Herod imprisoned John the Baptist and this led to his death (Luke 3 v.22)
What does the term social justice mean?
Find the answer in (d).
Summary of the teachings of John the Baptist
He taught on repentance and forgiveness of sins.
He warned people of God’s coming judgment.
He announced the coming of the messiah who would be judge.
He preached on social justice. Those who have should share with the poor.
He emphasized the need for fairness and honesty.
He warned against abuse of power by those in power and authority.
He condemned taking of bribes, corruption and over taxation.
He condemned sexual immorality (adultery).
Relevance of the teachings of John the Baptist to Christians today
The teachings challenge Christians to be fair, honest, and just in their dealings with other people.
Christians should avoid being hypocritical to one another. Christians need to know that God will judge them for their wrongdoing. Hence Christian should repent their sins sincerely and seek forgiveness.
Christians should warn non-believers of the coming judgment. They should preach against evils without fear; and avoid corruption, and sexual immorality. Christians should live together in harmony. Baptism was important to Christians.
Read Luke and find out how John the Baptist was killed, why and by whom
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS AND ITS RELEVANCE TODAY
When Jesus was around 30 years of age, He went to be baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus was the last to be baptized. Although he did not need to repent as He did not sin; He nevertheless was baptized even though He was without sin. When he was baptized, the heaven opened and the Holy Ghost descended on Him in the form of a dove.
At the same time, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased”.
- Reasons why Jesus was baptized. He was baptized because:
- Jesus wanted to show his approval of John’s Ministry of baptism
- Jesus accepted the work of redemption of human kind to be completed through suffering and death
- Jesus identified himself with the sinful humankind who needed redemption through baptism
- Jesus carried all the sins of humankind (baptized last)
- He wanted to carry sins of people/humankind upon himself in order to bring about reconciliation between people and God.
- God can confirm to the people that Jesus Christ was the messiah (Ps 2:7)
- It was an act of preparing those who were ready to receive the Messiah.
- Baptism was a way of fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy.
- Relevance or the Importance of the baptism of Jesus to Christians
1) Christians practice baptism. They follow example of Jesus baptism. There are many forms of baptism such as full immersion in water, sprinkling of water on the forehead, partial immersion (head only) and passing under a flag.
2) Christians teach importance of baptism. It qualifies a new convert to become a member of Christian fellowship.
3) Through baptism, Christians receive the power of the Holy Ghost.
4) Through baptism, Christians identify themselves with Jesus Christ and all that he stands for.
5) Baptism unites Christians in the body of Christ.
6) Baptism is a symbol of death and resurrection. In some denominations, the baptized are given new names of other Christians and Jews.
7) Baptism signifies the forgiveness of sins
Through baptism one is considered a child of God.
9) Baptism is a form of preparation for the kingdom of God.
10) Baptism is a sign of Christ’s forgiveness of sins.
Lesson Revision questions
- What is the relevance of john the Baptist teaching to Christians today?
- Give reasons why Jesus accepted to be baptized
- Describe the baptism of Jesus
- What is the significance of the baptism of Jesus to Christians Today?
TEMPTATIONS OF JESUS: RELEVANCE TO CHRISTIANS TODAY
- The temptations of Jesus (Luke 4:1 – 13). Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit returned from Jordan into the desert. Like Elijah, Moses, He ate and drank nothing for 40 days and nights. He was hungry after 40 days.
It is at this time of weakness when the devil tempted Him.
The devil told Jesus to proof that He was the Son of God by turning the stones to become bread. Jesus however replied that it is written man does not live on bread alone to sustain him but on everything that the Lord says (Deut 8:3). Satan was telling Jesus to use his Messianic power and Spirit to obtain material security for himself and his followers for selfish, materialistic purposes.
What can we learn from this temptation? Jesus was not seeking to establish a material paradise on earth.
The devil led Jesus up to a high place (High Mountain) and showed Him in an instant all the Kingdoms of the world. He told Him that he would give Him all their authority and splendor, if He bows and worships Satan. Jesus replied… it is written worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Do not worship other gods (Deut.6: 13-14). Satan wanted Jesus to use Godly power and influence. This was Idolatry i.e. worshipping other gods.
What can we learn from this temptation? Jesus did not come to seek a worldwide political military reign as many Jews expected Him to do.
The Devil led Jesus to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. He told Jesus to throw Himself down if He was the Son of God for it is written that the Lord will command angels to guard him (Psalm 91:11 – 12). Jesus replied and said it is written, do not put the Lord your God to the test. Satan wanted Jesus to presume on God’s good care by jumping from the roof of the temple.
What can we learn from this temptation? Jesus will not force belief in His Messiah ship through a spectacular sign.
Notice that the temptations came after Jesus’ Baptism, where he had solemnly accepted the opening of his public ministry and God confirmed it. Therefore the temptations were a testing of his loyalty to God’s chosen way of life.
- Relevance of Jesus temptations to Christians
Jesus, though without sin was tempted. His followers must expect to be tested in their faith. Christians learn that it is not sinful to be tempted. Since Jesus was tempted, he understands Christian’s difficulties when they are tempted. Jesus is always ready to help Christians to cope with temptations.
Why do you think Christians are tempted?
Through temptations and trials, Christian’s faith in God is strengthened. Christians learn to refer to the Bible for guidance when tempted. Jesus said that it is written… in reference to scripture. Christians should seek the Holy Spirit to give them strength to fight any form of trials and temptations.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit went to the wilderness and was tempted by the devil. In temptation, God does provide a way out. Thus followers of Jesus Christ (Christians) should not be seekers of spectacular signs.
REJECTION OF JESUS AT NAZARETH
After the temptation, Jesus went to Galilee, His home district to begin his ministry. As a faithful Israelite, Jesus attended service in the synagogue every Sabbath day. During that time, it was customary for visiting Rabbis (Teachers of the law) to be given the honor of reading from the law or to address the congregation. When Jesus was given this opportunity, He opened the scroll and read from Isaiah 61: 1 –
3 …’The Sovereign Lord has filled me with his spirit. He has chosen me and sent me.’ Luke writes in 4 v 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor”. On completion of the reading, Jesus told them that today this scripture has been fulfilled in their hearing. From this reading Jesus referred to himself as the Messiah. The people of Nazareth in indignation wanted to kill Jesus by throwing him over a cliff.
- Possible Reasons for Rejection. Jews of Nazareth rejected Jesus because one, they knew him as the son of Mary and Joseph. They did not know Him as the Son of God. Two, Jesus did not fit into the idea of
a political King that the Jews were expecting. They were waiting for a King with an army and horses.
Three, Jesus preaching was seen as being against that of Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees: the religious leaders at that time. Four, Jesus pointed out evils of religious leaders. Five, a leader is never accepted at home especially in a superior or senior position. Six, Jesus did not follow the general rules of the Mosaic Law. These were fasting, healing and working on the Sabbath day. Worse still Jesus associated Himself with Jewish outcasts such as sinners, and the sick.
- What are the possible reasons for rejection of Jesus at Nazareth?
(i) He was known by people as son of Mary and Joseph
(ii) He did not fit in the idea of a political king that Jews were expecting
(iii) Often times one is not accepted at home and at a senior position
(iv) He did not follow the general rules of the law of Moses
(v) He associated with sinners, and outcasts
HEALING AT CAPERNAUM
- Jesus’ healing at Capernaum LK. 4:31 – 44
After his rejection in Nazareth and an attempt to throw him down a hill, Jesus went on to Capernaum. Here he cast out demons (Luke 4: 40 – 41). He was teaching people. He performed many miracles of healing.
- Healing a man possessed by an evil spirit. A man was possessed by an unclean demon/spirit. He was in the synagogue. When he saw Jesus, the evil spirit shouted, “Ah! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy one of God” (Luke 4:34). Jesus replied, “Be silent and come out of him.” The Demon threw the man down and came out without doing any harm. The man was made whole.
- Jesus heals Simon’s mother – in law. After Jesus left the synagogue, he went to the house of Simon Peter’s mother in law. She had a fever, Jesus commanded the fever to leave and she was made whole immediately.
Which lessons do Christians learn from the healings at Capernaum?
There are many lessons. These are that
1) Jesus is the son of God
2) Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of God and destroy the kingdom of Satan.
3) Jesus has power over evil spirits / demons.
4) Jesus came to save human beings from the slavery of sin
5) God cares for his people.
THE CALLING OF THE FIRST DISCIPLES
Luke 5: 1 – 11
A disciple is a learner, a student or a follower. Learners followed a master so as to learn about religious matters. Disciples were followers of Christ.
Rabbis, these were teachers of law. They had special schools where they taught law. In these schools, learning was by memorization and repetition what students heard from the rabbis.
The disciples of Jesus did not memorize. They learnt by observation. They were witnesses – and they spoke what they heard and described or explained what they saw.
Call of the first disciples
Jesus entered into Simon’s ship and started to teach people who were there. Later, He told Simon to “push off a little from the shore”. Jesus sat in the boat and taught the crowd. After speaking, he told Simon, and his partners James and John; “Push the boat out further to the deep water…and let down your nets for a catch of fish”. Simon told Jesus that they had toiled all night, and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will let down the nets. Simon obeyed. They let down the nets and caught a multitude of fish. They called for assistance from other fishermen. When Simon Peter saw this, he told Jesus “Go away from me, Lord! I am a sinful man!” Jesus said to Simon “Don’t be afraid, from now on you will be catching people”. On getting to the shore, Peter and his friends James and John sons of Zebedee forsook all and followed Jesus
Thus the first disciples of Jesus were Simon Peter; James and John.
Lessons from the call of the first disciples
1) God can choose anybody to serve him regardless of his or her social status.
2) God still calls people to serve him in various capacities as evangelists, pastors and others.
3) Those called should repent their sins as Peter did
4) Christians should trust in God – Simon Peter trusted Jesus and cast his nets even though they had caught no fish from the same spot.
5) God can intervene in people’s lives through miracles (miraculous catch of fish)
6) Christians should work together as a team. Fishermen worked together.
7) There is hope for those who follow Jesus. He told them ‘follow me and I will make you fishers of men’
God reveals himself to people in everyday activities as Jesus revealed himself to Simon Peter, and his friends James and John through fishing.
9) Christian’s vocation may require renunciation of family ties and occupations or a change of life.
10) Those called to serve God are expected to be humble
OPPOSITION IN GALILEE
Jesus ministry consisted of teaching, healing and doing many miracles. Because of this work, Jesus faced opposition from the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes. These were Jewish religious leaders.
- Opposition by Pharisees and Sadducees. Luke 5:12- 6:11
Why did Jewish religious leaders; the Pharisees, Scribes and the Sadducees oppose Jesus? There were many reasons for Jewish opposition to Jesus. These were:
1) Jesus was becoming more famous than the religious leaders
2) His claim to forgive sins. This was reserved only for God.
3) His association with tax collectors / publicans and sinners. For example, Jesus ate with Levi.
4) His failure to observe the law of fasting. Jesus disciples did not fast like the disciples of the Pharisees and John the Baptist.
5) Doing what religious leaders regarded as unlawful things on the Sabbath day. For example,
- Eating on Sabbath with unwashed hands (disciples),
- Plucking corn on the Sabbath day
- Working. Jesus healed on the Sabbath day. This was considered as work, which was unlawful. Jesus healed a man with a paralyzed hand on the Sabbath day.
- Touching the unclean. Jesus reached out his hand and touched a leper and healed him. Religious leaders were not allowed to touch the unclean lepers.
- Associating with tax collectors who were regarded as sinners because they were corrupt. They collected more tax than the required amount. Jesus was supposed not to associate with them or support them in any way.
Who were the Pharisees? These were:
Referred to as the ‘separated ones’
Religious leaders who expected people to respect and honor them.
Pious leaders and wanted everybody to recognize them.
Rich Jews and looked at their riches as blessings from God.
Called ones and thought of themselves as the ‘righteous’ ones.
Popular to the poor who respected them
Characteristics of Pharisees
- They believed in the Law of Moses and accepted the first five books of the Bible as God inspired. They insisted on strict observance of the law.
- They upheld and insisted on the observance of the oral traditions of the elders.
- They followed strictly 632 distinct rules and regulations broken down from the Ten Commandments
- They believed in the teachings of the prophets and other writings of the Old Testament.
- They passed religious traditions of the Jews from generation to generation and regarded this as a duty or obligation.
- They believed in the existence of angels and regarded them as intermediaries between God and human beings.
- They believed in the existence of demons and Satan
- They believed in and waited for the Messiah of God to come
- The believed in the resurrection of the dead
- The believed in the judgment of God at the end of time for all human kind
- They were strong nationalists and political leaders who resisted all foreign influences and power.
Who were the Scribes?
The word Scribe means ‘a writer. The work of a scribe was to rewrite by hand – new manuscripts of the Jewish scriptures. The copied the word exactly as it was. The scribes were either Pharisees or Sadducees.
At the time of Jesus, majority of the Scribes were associated with the Pharisees. A scribe was also a ‘Rabbi’ – teacher. Some scribes managed schools called ‘Rabbinical Schools’. In these schools, Jewish male youth learnt the Mosaic Law from the age of 13 years. Scribes were represented in the Jewish religious council called the Sanhedrin. Sanhedrin was the Jewish Court of Justice, which tried those who committed religious sins.
Who were the Sadducees?
Sadducees were the wealthy people. They were an influential group. These were the majority in the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Court of Justice. The poor hated them. They were also members of the Jerusalem priesthood. The chief priests were mainly drawn from the Sadducees. They believed in the divine authority of the Law of Moses and the Pentateuch’s first five Books of the bible. They believed that Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible. They regarded all the other books in the Old Testament as not divinely inspired. Hence they rejected them. They rejected and did not believe in (a) The resurrection of the dead (b) Last judgment (c) Coming of the Messiah (d) Angels and demons and (e) the oral traditions of the Pharisees. They were enemies of the Pharisees particularly because of religious matters. However, they joined with the Pharisees and Scribes to oppose Jesus Christ.
THE SERMON ON THE PLAIN (Luke. 6:12–16, 27– 49)
In the previous section, we learnt that Jesus chose His apostles. He came down the hill and stood on a level place. He gave a sermon to those present. This address is referred to as the sermon on the plain in Luke’s Gospel.
The people had come to hear Jesus’ word to receive healing and for Jesus to exercise unclean spirits from them. In the sermon, Jesus talked of the characteristics of the new community. All those who would listen to His word would be the “New Israel”.
Selection of 12 disciples (Luke. 6:12 – 16)
Jesus went into a mountain to pray. In the morning, he called his disciples. From them, he selected 12 disciples, whom he also called apostles. Apostle means one who is sent, a missionary. The 12 disciples where: (1) Simon Peter (2) Andrew (3) James (4) John (5) Phillip (6) Bartholomew (7) Mathew (Levi) (8) Thomas (9) James son of Alpheus (10) Simon who was called the Patriot (11) Judas son of James and
(12) Judas Iscariot who became the traitor (Luke vs. 14-16)
Jesus teachings’ on true discipleship
Jesus taught that a follower or disciple of Christ should:
(a) Have unshakeable faith
(b) Be obedient to God’s word
(c) Be self-critical/analytical/self-searching
(d) Be kind, loyal, objective, fair, and generous
(e) Accept others without discrimination.
(f) Be a disciple and show concern for others.
The Sermon on the plain (Luke 6: 17 – 49)
The Sermon on the plain is a lecture or lesson that Jesus gave to “ a large number of his disciples and a large crowd of people who had come from Judea, Jerusalem, tyre, and Sidon. They came to listen to the sermon of Jesus and to be healed of diseases, evil spirits. The purpose of the sermon was to teach the crowd the meaning of following Christ. Jesus covered 6 beatitudes or topics in his sermon. These are.
1) Blessings and woes – beatitudes (2) Love for enemies (3) Judging others (4) Giving to the needy (5) A tree and its fruits (6) Wise and foolish builders – hearing and doing the words of Jesus.
We shall now discuss each of these beatitudes in detail.
- Blessings and woes. Jesus taught that:
(i) Blessed are the poor for theirs is the Kingdom of God.
(ii) Blessed are the hungry for they shall be filled
(iii) Blessed are those who weep now for they shall laugh
(iv) Blessed are those who men shall hate, reject, reproach for the sake of Christ’s for their great reward is kept in heaven.
(v) Woe to those who are rich, for they have already received their reward.
(vi) Woe to those who are full for they shall go hungry
(vii) Woe to those who laugh now for they shall mourn and weep
(viii) Woe to those whom people speak well, for ancestors said the same about the false prophets.
Those who accept to be followers of Christ are promised blessings while those who reject Christ are to suffer in future.
- Love your enemies. Luke. 6: 27 – 36.
Love is often defined as a warm feeling / affection towards somebody or something. Jesus taught his followers to love their enemies and do well to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. Do unto men as you expect them to do unto you. Lend also to your enemies. Love your enemies and do well to them. Lend and expect nothing back. Be merciful.
From these teachings, true discipleship of Jesus Christ:
- a) Entails unconditional love even for enemies
- b) Doing good without expecting any returns
- c) Praying for those who mistreat us
- d) Showing love to our enemies by exhibiting God’s love in us.
- e) Is love; because those who love are children of the most high who is kind and merciful to the sinners?
(3) Judging others Luke. 6: 37– 42
Jesus taught his followers not to judge others lest they are also judged. They should not condemn others lest they are also condemned. He asked disciples to forgive others and they shall also be forgiven. True discipleship requires acknowledging one’s shortcomings and avoiding criticism of others.
(4) Giving to the needy.
A true disciple should share what they have with the needy. Those who share shall be rewarded. He also said that the blind couldn’t lead the blind. There is a master and a follower. The disciple is not above his master.
(5) A tree and its fruits.
A healthy tree bears good fruits. A poor tree bears poor fruit. Neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruits. A tree is known by its fruits. Followers of Christ are evident to others by their actions. They are not hypocritical or fault finding.
(6) Wise and foolish builders.
A wise builder digs a deep foundation on a rock. When floods come, the house is able to stand. A foolish builder builds his house upon the sand. Without a foundation, when floods come, the house falls and is ruined. Wise builders are those who hear the word of God and do what is required. Those who do not adhere to the teachings are the unwise builders. True discipleship entails obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Relevance of the lessons of the Sermon on the Plain to Christian Life
Christians are urged to love even those that hate them. The challenges that followers of Christ encountered in the New Testament are not different from those that Christians experience today.
Christians should forgive others, share with the needy, avoid judging others, and follow the teachings of Christ.
Lesson Revision questions
- Give the main teaching of Jesus on the sermon on the plain
- What is the relevance of the (beatitudes) sermon on the plain to Christians today?
JESUS’ WORKS OF COMPASSION
In this lesson, Jesus’ works of compassion is discussed. These include the works of mercy for those in distress and pity for the suffering. Jesus’ mission lays its foundation in these works of compassion, because He came to establish the kingdom of God by conquering all forms of suffering caused by Satan.
Compassion is a feeling of empathy for other people’s sufferings. It’s being merciful, showing concern and affection for others.
- Examples of Jesus work of compassion. There are many examples of compassion
- i) Healing of the centurion’s servant (Luke 7:1 – 10)
Centurion is an officer in charge of 100 men. Jesus healed the servant of a Roman soldier and a Gentile.
The Centurion showed love and concern for his servant. The centurion sent Jewish elders to Jesus with a request to heal his servant. The leaders said ‘this man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue’ (Luke 7:5). Jesus agreed and went with the elders. But before Jesus reached the centurion’s house, the centurion sent his friends to stop him from coming to his house. He said that he was not worthy to have Jesus under his roof. He said that he was a man of authority. Hence Jesus could give an order and the servant would be healed. On hearing this, Jesus declared to the crowd ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel’. When the men returned, they found the servant well.
Lessons Christians can learn from the healing of the centurion servant.
- Faith in God is important for healing to occur
- We should confess our faith in Jesus. The centurion declared his faith in Jesus by saying he believed that Jesus could heal his servant by his word.
- Christians should have compassion like Jesus. He took compassion on the servant and was ready to go and heal him.
- Salvation was not for Jews alone, but for all who believed in Jesus. Centurion was not a Jew but a gentile officer in the Roman army. But he had faith in Jesus healing.
- Christians should love each other regardless of their background or social status – the centurion loved his servant dearly.
- Christians should learn to relate well with all around them – the centurion related well with the Jewish elders and others.
- Jesus has power to heal any form of sickness.
- ii) The raising of the widows son – Luke 7:11 – 17.
A widow is a woman whose husband is dead. The widow was of the city of Nain. When Jesus neared the gates of the city, he saw the funeral procession of the widow’s son, the only son of his mother. Jesus had compassion on the widow and told her ‘weep not’. Jesus then touched the casket and said ‘young man I say unto you, arise’. The dead sat up and began to speak. All the people were filled with fear and glorified God, saying God has visited his people.
Lessons Christians learn from the raising of the widow’s son
1) Jesus has power over death
2) Jesus empathizes with the suffering
3) Acts of love should not be hindered by traditions – Jesus touched the casket even though Jewish traditions forbid it.
4) The Widow of Nain was a gentile. This is a sign that salvation was universal.
5) The crowd acknowledged Jesus’ lordship; Christians should acknowledge the lordship of Jesus.
What are the practices pertaining to the disposal of the dead in your culture and community?
iii) Assurance to John the Baptist (Luke 7:20 – 30).
A question arose whether Jesus Christ was the Messiah. John the Baptist wanted to assure his disciples that Christ; was the expected messiah: and not him (John the Baptist). He sent his disciples to Jesus to ask “if you are the one he said was going to come, or if we should expect someone else?”(Vs. 20). Jesus told the disciples of John to go back and tell John of the miracles works they saw and heard. Jesus then gave a testimony of John the Baptist as a prophet, whose life and missions is beyond that of ordinary prophets. Jesus testified that John the Baptist; was the forerunner or messenger of Jesus Christ: as the prophets in the Old Testament had written. The Pharisees and the publicans (teaches of the law) however rejected the testimony about John the Baptist. They had refused to be baptized by John. Those baptized by John the Baptist, the tax collectors acknowledged the testimony of Jesus. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and teachers of law for their hypocrisy.
In what ways were the Pharisees and teaches of law hypocritical?
- iv) The forgiveness of the sinful woman (Luke 7: 36 – 50)
Jesus was invited by one of the Pharisees called Simon to his house to dine with him. In that city, there was a sinful woman. She went to the house of Simon when she learnt that Jesus was in the Pharisees house. She brought with her an alabaster jar full of perfume. She stood behind Jesus. She was weeping and washing his feet with her fears. She then wiped the tears from the feet of Jesus with her hair, kissed his feet, and anointed them with oil (an alabaster box of ointment). When Simon, the host saw this he said within himself, ‘if this man was a prophet, he would know who this woman is who is touching him” a sinful woman. Jesus told Simon a parable of a man who forgave two people that owed him money – one 500, the other 50. Jesus asked which of the two debtors would love him most. Simon said the one that was forgiven much, Jesus then told Simon that when he came to his house, Simon did not give him water for his feet; neither did he welcome Jesus with a kiss; nor provide him with olive oil. But the woman washed his feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. She also kissed his feet. Jesus told the people that her sins, being many are forgiven for she loved much. Jesus turned to the woman and told her ‘thy sins are forgiven’. ‘Thy faith has saved thee, go in peace’. The people who were eating with
Jesus murmured. Who was Jesus? He forgives sins.
Lessons from the forgiveness of the sinful woman
- The Jews believed that by associating with sinners, one becomes virtually defiled. Jesus however allowed the sinful woman to touch him.
- By her actions, the woman acknowledged that she was a sinner, and repented. This was in contrast to the Pharisees who were self-righteous and therefore did not repent.
- The Woman’s great love for Jesus led to her being forgiven of her sins.
- Christians need to accept their sinful nature and seek forgiveness from God.
- Faith in Jesus is necessary.
Jesus is accepted women to be his followers unlike the Jewish customs which viewed women as lesser than men. Other women that played a key role in the ministry of Jesus include Mary Magdalene, Joann Joanna and Susanna among many others.
Lesson Revision questions
- What role do women play in the church ministry?
- Narrate the story of the forgiveness of the sinful woman (Lk 7: 36, 8:3)
- What lessons do you learn from the above story?
- Describe the story of the raising of the widow’s son at Nain (Lk 7: 11-17)
Women play many roles in the church ministry. Some of these are:
(i) Carrying out duties of pastors, bishops, and deacons
(ii) Management. Some are heads of the women groups
(iii) Leading in church service
(iv) Participating as church ushers, choir singers, and youth leaders
(v) Attending church. Women are part of the congregations
JESUS TEACHING IN PARABLES (LK. 8: 4- 21)
Jesus used parables to teach. A parable is a Greek word. It means comparing or ‘putting side by side’ in order to understand. A parable is defined as a short story or description, which teaches something or answers some questions. It is an allegory – an earthly story with a hidden or heavenly meaning.
- Use of parables. Jesus used parables in his teachings in order to explain unfamiliar messages in a language that his hearers could understand. Other reasons were because Jesus wanted to:
1) Provoke critical thinking
2) Make the audience understand issues from a different point of view
3) Explain the nature of the kingdom of God by giving real life examples.
4) Explain the nature of God. The parables brought out the attributes of an invisible God. For example, the parable of the prodigal son who had been lost
5) Attract the attention of his audiences so that they could listen and understand.
6) Make people understand how they should relate to one another. Read the parable of the good Samaritan
7) Teach God’s love to mankind the parable of the lost sheep, lost coin.
Separate / identify those who were sincere in seeking the kingdom of God from the onlookers.
9) Challenge the imagination of his hearers since entry to God’s kingdom was a personal decision.
10) Make an indirect attack on his opponents like the Pharisees, the scribes and the Sadducees.
11) Teach his disciples that they should be persistent and never be discouraged.
12) Make his teachings interesting and easy to understand.
- The parable of the sower Lk 8:4 – 15
Jesus told this parable to the crowd that followed him. He said that a farmer went out to sow corn. He scattered seeds in the field. As he did so, some of them fell on the path, and they were trampled on and eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on the rock ground. When they germinated, they withered because they lacked moisture. Some seed fell among thorns bushes. They grew with bushes, which choked them as they grew. Some other seeds fell on fertile soil. They grew up in fertile soil and their yield was100 seed for each seed sown.
Meaning or interpretation of the parable
Jesus gave the meaning of the parable to his disciples. He said that the seed is the word of God.
- Seed that fell on the path represents people who hear the word of God, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts so that they do not believe. Such listeners are like the seeds that fell on the path. They hear the word but soon after the devil take away the message to stop them from believing and being saved.
- Seed that fell on the rocky ground are people who receive the word with joy but it does not stay with them. They believe for a while but when faced with trials and temptations they stop believing and fall away.
iii. Seed that fell on the thorny bushes stands for people who receive the word. However, they fail to follow their beliefs because of interference by life’s worries, riches and pressures of the world. They fail to mature as believers.
- Seed that fell on the good soil are those people with a noble and good heart. They hear the word, and retain it in their hearts. Such people persevere and produce good harvest.
- Interpretation. The different types of soil in this parable refer to different kinds of Hearts of people.
The farmer is Jesus, God or Preacher. We learn that:
One should not despair and
It’s important to receive the word of God, practice it and persevere so as to bear fruits.
- The parable of a lamp under a bowl (Lk.8: 16 – 18).
Jesus taught that no one lights a lamp, then covers it with a bowl or hide it under a bed. When one lights a lamp, they put it on the lamp stand so as to illuminate a room and for people to see the light. For whatever is hidden or covered up shall be revealed. In this parable Jesus is the light. The disciples had a duty to pass on to others messages they had learnt from Jesus. They should not keep messages to themselves. Interpretation from this parable of a lamp under a bowl, we learn that:
- A Christian has a duty to share the knowledge of God with others
- One cannot be a Christian if this knowledge is hidden
iii. Those who do not share may lose their beliefs.
- Jesus mother and brothers. Luke 8:19 – 21
The mother of Jesus and brothers came to see him. Someone told Jesus that they were there. He told the crowd. “My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and obey “. Accepters and believers are the members of the family of Jesus.
Lesson Revision Questions
- Give reasons why Jesus used parables
- Identify various methods used by Christians in spreading the gospel today
- Discuss the reasons why Jesus faced opposition from the Jewish leaders.
MIGHTY WORKS OF JESUS
Jesus continued to do miracles; and teach. His work is referred to as the mighty works of Jesus in various books. Miracles can be defined as acts of power whose purpose is to establish the kingdom of God.
Miracles can also mean extraordinary events that go against the laws of nature.
- Categories / types of miracles
Jesus performed four types of miracles. These were:
1) Nature miracles – miracles that dealt with nature e.g. calming of the storm
2) Raising of the dead e.g. Jairus daughter
3) Healing miracles – healing Simon’s mother in law of fever, healing of the woman with the flow of blood.
4) Exorcism miracles – casting out of evil spirits e.g. the Gerasene demonic
- i) The calming of the storm
One day, Jesus entered a boat with his disciples to go across Lake Galilee. As they sailed Jesus was asleep in the ship. Suddenly, there was a strong wind and the boat began to sink. The disciples woke him up saying, “Master, we are about to die”. Jesus woke up and gave an order to the winds and the raging waters. They obeyed and there was calm. He then said to his disciples ‘where is your faith?’ Disciples were afraid and amazed and wondered, “Who is this man?” Winds and waves obey him.
This miracle teaches Christians to have faith and to depend on Jesus when they face raging temptations and persecutions. Jesus has power over nature.
- ii) Jesus Heals a Man with demons (Lk8: 26 – 39)
Jesus and his disciples sailed to Gerasa town across Lake Galilee. On arrival a man who had demons in him for a long time met Jesus. He lived naked in tombs, and wilderness. On seeing Jesus, he cried out, threw himself down at the feet of Jesus and shouted; “Jesus son of the Most High God! What do you want with me?” ” I beseech thee, torment me not’. Jesus had ordered the demons to go out of him.
Jesus asked him “what is your name?” He replied Legion or Mob. This was because the man had been possessed by many demons. The demons begged Jesus not to send them into the deep but to let them go into some pigs (swine) that were feeding by. Jesus allowed them and the devils went out of the man, into the pigs. The herd ran down the cliff into the lake and drowned. The herders run to the city and spread the news. The multitude found the man sitting at the feet of Jesus clothed, and in his right mind.
The multitude asked Jesus to leave their country region. The healed man wanted to follow Jesus but
Jesus declined and told him to go and tell others of the great things that God had done for him. The man went to town and told all “what Jesus had done for him”.
This miracle teaches Christians that:
- The mission of Jesus’ was universal.
- Jesus mission is to teach all the people irrespective of their race, tribe or geographical location. The demon man was healed in a Gentile area.
- Jesus has power over evil
- Powers of evil (demons) are real
- Human life is more valuable than man’s material things
- The demons – evil spirits identified Jesus as the Son of the most high
- Christians need to fight the power of evil SAQ. What were the causes of mental illness and spirit possession in traditional African society and in modern society?
iii) Jairus daughter is raised. Lk.8: 40 – 42, 49 – 56
Jairus was an official in the local synagogue. He begged Jesus to come to his house and heal his only daughter who was 12 was dying.
- iv) Woman with the flow of blood is Healed (Lk. 8:43 – 48)
When Jesus was on route to Jairus house, great crowds followed him and pressed him on either side.
Amongst them was a woman who had suffered from severe bleeding for 12 years. She consulted doctors and spent all her savings on physicians. But she was not cured. The society considered the woman unclean. It blamed her for her illness. She herself was embarrassed by her condition. This woman walked behind Jesus and she touched the hem of the garment of Jesus. Her bleeding stopped at once.
Jesus asked who touched me. Everyone denied it. Peter replied the multitude was around Jesus and it was difficult to know who had touched him. Jesus persisted someone touched him. The woman who had touched Jesus the woman came forward, and fell at his feet and confessed to all her sickness and explained why she touched Jesus and how she was healed at once. Jesus said to her “My daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace”.
Jairus daughter is raised. Lk.8: 40 – 42, 49 – 56
As Jesus was talking to her, Jairus was told that his little girl was dead. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore. Jesus told Jairus not to fear but to believe and she will be well. When he got to the house he went into the room with Peter, John and James and the parents of the girl. People around were weeping and wailing. But Jesus told them not to weep. She is not dead but asleep. They scorned and laughed at him for saying that she is asleep because they knew she was dead. Jesus took the girl by hand and called out “Get up, my child” – ‘little girl arise’. She immediately got up and Jesus ordered the parent to give her food. He commanded them not to tell what had happened.
Teachings from these two miracles
The miracle of raising Jairus daughter teaches Christians that Jesus is compassionate and the author of life. He has power over death, resurrection and life.
In the miracle of healing the Woman with the flow of blood:
- Jesus made her healing public. This was probably because He wanted to acknowledge the woman’s faith in the public. Jesus made it clear that her faith made her whole.
- Jesus wanted to challenge the cultural practices that kept women in bandage and could not participate in public life.
- Jesus made her healing public so that the community can receive her back and shall not isolate her again.
From this miracle of healing this woman, Christians learn that one; Jesus is the healer. He has power over all sicknesses even those without cure. Two, Christians should have faith in Jesus Christ.
Lesson Revision Questions
- Narrate the healing of the Gerasene demoniac Lk 8: 26-39
- What lessons can Christians learn from the healing of the demoniac man above?
- What do the miracles of Jesus teach us about him?
- Compare the raising of Jairus daughter and the healing of the woman with the flow of blood
A comparison of the raising of Jairus daughter and the healing of the woman with flow of blood
(i) Jairus daughter was 12 years old and the woman sick with the flow of blood had suffered for 12 years.
(ii) Jesus referred to both of them as daughter
(iii) Their situation – death and flow of blood did not have a cure
(iv) The public witnessed the miracle of the woman with the flow of blood.
(v) Jesus commanded Jairus to keep secret raising of his daughter
COMMISSIONING OF THE TWELVE DISCIPLES Lk 9:1 – 10
Commission means to officially ask someone to do something.
Learning Outcomes: By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:
- Describe the commissioning of the twelve disciples.
- Explain the story of the feeding of the 5000
- Describe the transfiguration of Jesus
- Explain the teachings of Jesus on faith and humility.
- The commissioning of the twelve disciples
The twelve disciples or followers accompanied Jesus wherever he went. They were regarded as apostles.
An apostle comes from a Greek word ‘Apostols’ which means ‘send out’ one who is sent or a ‘missionary’. The commissioning of the 12 disciples meant that they were given four main duties, power and authority to:
a) Exorcise or cast out demons
b) Cure diseases
c) Heal the sick
d) Preach the Kingdom of God and proclaim the arrival of God’s Instructions.
They were told to:
i) Take nothing for the journey
ii) Initiate attack on the forces of evil
iii) Depend entirely on God to take care of them
iv) Take no stick, no beggars’ bag, no food, no money and not even an extra shirt for their journey
v) Whatever house they entered they were to stay there until they leave the town.
vi) If they were not welcomed, they were to leave that town and shake the dust off their feet as a warning to that city or town.
With these instructions, the disciples left and travelled to all villages preaching the Good News and healing people everywhere. King Herod was perplexed by the work of the disciples and he desired to see Jesus.
Feeding of the five thousand.
Please open your Bible and read Luke chapter 9. Verses 11-17)
After reading these verses, about feeding of the five thousand (5000) people we learn that
- Jesus is concerned about people’s physical needs
- Jesus demonstrated that he is the bread of life
- Jesus has divine power
- The Church has the duty of continuing to feed its followers both spiritually and physically.
- The feeding of the 5000 people points to the Messianic banquet
- Christians must learn to share whatever they have with one another
- From this miracle, Jesus expected his disciples to appreciate their responsibility. Their work was not only to preach and heal but also feed the hungry. Feeding was both physical and spiritual.
The personality of Jesus and his identity Lk. 9:18 – 27
When Jesus was alone with his disciples, he asked them who people say he is. The disciples told him that some say he is John the Baptist, others say he is Elijah and others say his one of the old prophets who have risen again. Jesus asked them who they, disciples say he is. Peter replied that he is Christ of God.
Jesus then told them not to tell people who he is for the Son of man has first to suffer many things be rejected by the elders chief, priests and scribes, be killed and be raised the third day. Jesus announced to the disciples of his passion (great sufferings) Jesus is the Christ (anointed) of God – Messiah as well as the son of man. A divine nature and a human nature. Jesus went on ahead to tell his disciples that they should deny themselves (self – denial) take up their cross daily and be ready to lose their lives for Jesus. However, great is the reward for the faithful.
THE TRANSFIGURATION (LK.9: 28 – 36)
A brief summary from the Bible
Transfiguration is change or transformation of form or appearance. Jesus was transformed in appearance when he took Peter, John and James to the mountain to pray. During the transfiguration,
Moses and Elijah came down from heaven to talk with Jesus about his coming death in Jerusalem.
Moses, Elijah and Jesus were in heavenly glory and glorious splendor. Peter, John and James were asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory. They also saw Elijah and Moses with Jesus. Peter suggested to Jesus that they build three tents for Jesus, Elijah and Moses. As he spoke a cloud overshadowed them. A voice from the cloud said ‘this is my son, whom I have chosen——– listen to him”. The cloud left and the disciples found themselves with Jesus. They kept what they saw and heard to themselves.
Significance and importance of transfiguration
- The voice from heaven confirmed that Jesus is the Christ of God, or the Messiah
- Moses represented the Old Testament law. Jesus came to fulfill the Law of Moses. It showed that
Jesus was not against the Law of Moses.
- Elijah represented the Old Testament Prophets. This meant that Jesus had fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. He is above the prophets.
- Jesus is above or greater than the law and the prophets.
- Transfiguration was a way of preparing the disciples for the death and resurrection of Jesus. Death is not the end of life (Moses and Elijah appeared to confirm this)
- The transfiguration prepared and gave strength to Jesus for what lay ahead of him
- Dazzling appearance showed the glory of Jesus
- The transfiguration also shows the importance of encouraging each other.
5.0 Revision questions
- Explain the teachings of John the Baptist
- Describe the baptism and temptation of Jesus and its relevance to Christians today.
- Give reasons as to why Jesus was rejected at Nazareth
- Describe the first miracles of Jesus at Capernaum
- Narrate and dramatize the temptations of Jesus from the gospel according to St Luke,
- Identify five occasions when Jesus was tempted
- Explain ways in which Christians can be tempted today
- Outline ways in which Christians can overcome temptations in the contemporary world
- Identify lessons that Christians can learn from the temptations of Jesus?
- What is the role of the clergy in Kenya?
- How does the church participate in the upkeep of the clergy?
- Define and describe the transfiguration of Jesus
THE JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM – LUKE ch. 9-18
As Jesus travelled to Jerusalem, He prepared His disciples for the life they were to lead after He leaves them.
DUTIES, PRIVILEGES AND COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
Jesus’ teaching on faith and humility a brief summary from the Bible read (Luke 9: 37 – 50) for details. After the transfiguration, Jesus used two incidents to teach his disciples about faith and humility. One incident was the healing of a boy possessed by an evil spirit (Luke 9: 37 –43). Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit out of the boy and the boy was healed. Jesus told His disciples that their lack of faith was the reason why they did not cure the boy.
Jesus informed his disciples that faith in him was important when carrying out his work.
Jesus’ teaching on His Work
The next question was …. Who is to work for Jesus? All Christians can work for Jesus even believers who are gentiles. Read (Luke 9 vs. 49 – 50). Jesus told his disciples not to forbid others from carrying out his work for whoever is not against Him is for Him. This means that whoever had faith; even the Gentiles could carry out Jesus work.
Jesus’ teaching on His followers
Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem. As He travelled, men volunte-ered to follow him wherever he was going. Jesus replied that foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. Jesus had no earthly home. His mission on earth was only for a time. A man requested to follow Jesus but asked permission to bury his father. Jesus told him to let the dead bury their dead. Disciples of Jesus have to leave their families in order to do His Work. Mission of the 72 men. Read Luke 10:1 – 24
On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus sent out 72 disciples on a mission to promote the Gospel of the Kingdom of God through preaching and service. The 72 disciples were sent in 2s in order to encourage or help each other. The 72 were given instructions. Jesus told them that He has given them power over demons, serpents, scorpion. They have power over all the powers of Satan. When disciples returned, they reported that demons obeyed them. In Luke 10 verse 20, Jesus asked the 72 to rejoice not because demons flee but because their names are written in heaven. Out of the many followers, Jesus chose 12 apostles who learnt from Jesus and became His witnesses.
Jesus’ teaching on the greatest disciple
Read (Luke 9: 46- 48). The disciples asked themselves– who is the greatest amongst disciples amongst the 12 disciples? In response Jesus took a child by His side and said to the disciples. Whoever welcomes this child in my name, welcomes me, as well as the one who sent me. For the one who is least amongst you shall be the greatest in Heaven.
Lessons from this example
Jesus explained that His disciples needed values of humility and simplicity. These virtues were needed to carry out the work of discipleship.
Teaching about Discipleship
- True followers of Jesus Christ must
- Be ready to detach themselves from families and material possessions.
- Be ready to face rejections because not all people will accept them or their message.
- Be ready to serve.
- Be ready to cater for people’s physical needs.
- Be selfless.
- Not be hypocrites and should accept hospitality whenever it is given.
- Be able to exercise self-evaluation.
- Duties of a disciple were:
- a) To preach the good news of salvation to other people and be ready to suffer for the sake of Christ.
- b) Obey God’s commandments and follow teachings of Jesus.
- c) To help the needy spiritually and with material needs.
- d) To teach others about the Kingdom of God.
- e) To heal the sick.
- f) To cast out demons.
- g) Be prepared to suffer for the sake of the gospel.
- h) Being loyal to Jesus and faithful to the gospel.
- i) Commitment and loyalty
- Privileges of a disciple
- a) One becomes a member of the Kingdom of God.
- b) They get an assurance of eternal life.
- c) They receive joy of winning other people to follow Jesus.
- d) They receive peace, and blessings of God.
How are these teachings relevant to modern church leaders and members?
Modern church leaders have a duty to continue preaching God’s word to all people. They should serve God in several ministries such as visiting the sick, caring for orphans, the destitute, widows, widowers, and the aged. They should also be ready to suffer and even face rejection for the sake of the Christ.
- What are the characteristics of a true follower of Christ?
- State the privileges of being a disciple of Jesus Christ
- Why did Jesus choose the 12 disciples?
A COMMITTED FOLLOWER OF CHRIST
Read Luke 10: 25-37, and Luke 11: 1-13
The parable of the Good Samaritan
A teacher of law asked Jesus questions in order to tempt him. One was “what must I do to receive eternal life? (Read Luke 10: 25 to 28). Jesus replied with a question. What do the scriptures say? He replied and Jesus told him to do as the scripture say. . He asked another question. Who is my neighbor? (Luke 10 v 29). Jesus answered with the parable of the Good Samaritan. In this parable, the righteous people among the Jews, Levites and priests, did not help the injured man. A Samaritan whom Jews considered unclean and sinners helped him. After narrating this parable Jesus asked the lawyer, who of the 3 travelers was a good neighbor? The lawyer said the Samaritan.
Lessons learnt from the parable of the Good Samaritan
In the above parable, Jesus stressed that a follower of Jesus should be:
(2) Show love of God by loving people in need and their neighbors. A neighbor is anybody who requires assistance or help regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, color or gender. Jesus wants his followers to show love and concern to all people regardless of their background. A neighbor uses
-His/her resources selflessly to help the needy. A neighbor is also compassionate, kind, and generous to the needy.
Jesus Visit to Martha and Mary (Read Luke 10: 38 – 42)
Martha welcomed Jesus in her home where she lived with her sister Mary. While Martha prepared food,
Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to his teaching. Martha complained. She was doing all the work while
Mary sat listening to Jesus teaching. Jesus told Martha that Mary had made the right choice to listen to His teaching.
Lessons we can learn from Jesus Visit to Martha and Mary
- A committed follower of Jesus is one who creates time to study and listen to God’s word.
- A follower of Christ should ensure that their commitment to God is not overshadowed by daily duties, worries and responsibilities.
- Jesus visit to Mary and Martha was also to teach disciples on the characteristics of a true disciple.
- From the teachings of Jesus, on the parable of the Good Samaritan; who do you think is a committed follower of Jesus?
JESUS’ TEACHING ON PRAYER (Read Luke 11:1 – 13)
Prayer is communication with God. It is talking with God. People pray to God all the time. For example, people pray to God when:
- They are in problems and in happiness;
- Seeking healing and wealth,
- Giving thanks to God,
- Identifying the needs to be met, and asking for favors from God
- Repenting and confessing their sins
- Thanking God
There are many forms or types of prayers. These are:
- Intercessory prayer – Praying for the needs of others.
- Prayer for repentance – for forgiveness of sins.
- Thanksgiving prayer – giving thanks to God for what he has done.
- Worship prayer – prayers to worship God.
- Praise prayers – to praise God, Honor God.
- Supplication and petition prayer – whereby an individual makes their needs known to God and asks for divine intervention.
Jesus prayed often during his life’s Ministry. The disciples asked him to show them how to pray. Jesus responded by teaching them the Lord’s Prayer.
“Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done on earth as
It is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil”
- a) Our Father who art in heaven – The disciples were told to address God as ‘Our father’. God is to be Seen and addressed as a Father.
- b) Hallowed be thy name – The name of God should be respected and revered.
- c) Thy Kingdom come – In Prayer, Christians/disciples are to pray that the ruler ship of God reign amongst them.
- d) Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven – Christians to obey the will of God.
- e) Give us this day our daily bread – Christians to pray for their needs.
- Forgive us our trespasses – we ask for forgiveness of our sins and those of others.
- Jesus taught that one should be persistent in prayer. If a man goes to his friend at midnight and asks for bread to give to his visitor, the friend will open the door and give his friend all that he needs. This is because his friend was persistent in knocking on the door.
In conclusion, if prayers are to be effective, one must have faith and be persistent. Believe that God shall answer prayers. A committed follower of Jesus should pray at all times. In prayer, one should acknowledge that God is the Father and that all prayers should be addressed to him. Two, one should have faith that God answers prayers. Therefore we should be persistent in prayer.
Reasons why Christians should pray
To honor God
To request for favors
To offer thanksgiving
To confess their sins and seek for forgiveness of sins
To seek God’s protection
To intercede on behalf of others
To strengthen their relationship with God
- What did Jesus teach about prayer?
- What is the importance of prayer?
USE OF GOD’S POWER TO OVERCOME EVIL. Read Luke 11:14 – 28
- Jesus and Beelzebub. (Read Luke 11: 14 to 28)
Jesus drove out a mute demon. The possessed man began to talk. The crowd said that Jesus was casting out demons using the power of Beelzebub (the price of demons). Beelzebul was an evil spirit. However
Jesus replied “Any country that divides itself into groups which fight each other will not last very long, and a family divided against itself will fall. Jesus said it is by the power of God that drives out demons. Lessons learnt
- Satan cannot fight against himself therefore Jesus cannot be an agent of Beelzebub / Satan.
- Gods Kingdom and that of Satan were two separate Kingdoms and could not co-exist.
- The destruction of Satan’s power meant that the Kingdom of God was in Israel and it was powerful.
- God’s power destroyed Satan’s kingdom. It is impossible to be neutral in the battle between Christ and Satan. One has to belong to either Christ or Satan.
- Jesus has power to drive out demons.
- Demons occupy people. They bring disabilities and diseases.
What makes people to be insane? Mentally sick
- The sign of Jonah. (Read Luke 11: 29 – 32)
After Jesus drove out the dumb spirit, Jews demanded performance of greater miracles. They wanted Jesus to prove that he was their expected messiah. Jesus said that Jonah was a great miracle. But Jesus was greater miracle than that of Jonah, and King Solomon. King Solomon was full of wisdom. He was so great that Queen of Sheba came to listen to his wisdom. Jesus like Jonah had brought a message of judgment. Jesus is greater than Jonah or Solomon. If Jews refuse to receive and listen to Jesus, the Gentiles like Queen of Sheba, will bear testimony against the Jews and receive God’s salvation.
- The light of the body. Read Luke: 11: 33 – 36
Jesus taught that no one lights a lamp and hides it under a bowl. A lamp is placed where all can see its light. He said that the human eye is the lamp or the light of the body. Jesus asked the listeners to make sure that “the light in you is not darkness” (vs. 35).
What is the main message in this story?
JESUS TEACHING ON HYPOCRISY, WEALTH, WATCHFUL-NESS AND READINESS
Hypocrisy is being dishonest and insincere or pretending to someone else or people. What did Jesus teach about hypocrisy?
- Hypocrisy. Read Luke 12: 1- 12
A Pharisee invited Jesus to his house for a meal. When Jesus did not wash before eating the meal, the Pharisee was surprised. Jesus told him, “You Pharisees clean the outside of your cup and plate, but inside you are full violence and evil, greed and wickedness” (vs. 39). Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. They were concerned with outward appearances and traditions such as ceremonial washing of cups, hands, and dishes but not the souls of people. They loved the outward show and public recognition. Pharisees tithed, “but neglected justice and love of God” (vs. 42). They imposed rules and regulations for people to follow, yet they themselves did not practice what they preached. They refused to confess their sins but pointed out sins in others. They hinder others from entering the kingdom of God. They had failed to make people understand the true interpretation of the law. They were like unmarked graves – dead to people yet the people trusted them. After this teaching, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose Jesus fiercely.
What do we learn from Jesus teachings? Followers of Jesus should be
- Sincere and upright (honest); (2) obey God’s commands; (3), live to please God but not other people;
(4) Confess publicly their loyalty to God and (5) love God without fear and (6) be dependent on the Holy Spirit
- The Parable of the Rich Fool. (Read Luke 12:13 to 21).
Someone wanted justice. His brother had refused to share with him his father’s wealth. He wanted Jesus to order his brother to divide their father’s inheritance between him. In response, Jesus answered him with the parable of the rich fool.
A rich man expected a good harvest of his crops. He thought he did not have storage for the crop he expected to harvest. The man said to himself. i will demolish my granaries and stores, then build bigger ones to store all my corn, and other goods. He expected to have enough food to last him a lifetime. Then he can enjoy his wealth; eating, drinking and making merry. But God told him that his life would be demanded from him that same night. What will happen to his wealth, as he was not rich in God’s sight?
Lessons to learn
- Followers of Jesus should not put their trust in material wealth but in God
- Life consists of food, other material wealth and trust in God
iii. Whoever seeks God’s kingdom, will receive material blessings from God
- Jesus did not condemn material possessions but rather the attitude towards material possessions.
- Jesus condemned attachment to material wealth instead of trust in God who controls our lives.
- Watchfulness, Readiness, and Instructions. (Read Luke 12: 35 – 59)
Jesus told his disciples to be:
- Watchful and ready for the return of the Son of Man i.e. Jesus.
- Faithful servants so that when Jesus returns, he will find them ready and acting responsibly
iii. Watchful of possible divisions in families
- Royal to Christ
- Ready for the coming of the Son of Man. He will come at unexpected time; like a thief who comes when the owner of the house is not aware.
- Observing things of the kingdom of God, which were present in the person of Jesus.
vii. Like good servants, and watch over the affairs of the master.
viii. Be decision makers and follow the teachings of Jesus without being watched.
- In what ways were the Pharisees hypocritical?
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
- The unfaithful fig tree
- The mustard seed
- Parable of the feast
- Parable of the great feast
- Parable of the lost sheep and the lost son
The Kingdom of God
Kingdom of God refers to rule of God, or God’s authority on people’s lives and the world He created. The kingdom of God was present in Jesus. It is now and in the future reality. The teachings and miracles of
Jesus was a manifestation of the Kingdom of God. For anyone to enter God’s kingdom, one has to repent and ask for forgiveness. The Kingdom of God continues to grow and spread through the work of the Church. Those who accept the teachings of Jesus Christ about God’s Kingdom are members of the Kingdom of God. Now to enter the Kingdom of God, one has to repent and not judge others.
Read Luke 13:1-5. Luke has explained the kingdom of God and outlined who will enter it.
The Kingdom of God has unfruitful fig tree (Read Luke, 13: 6 – 9). A farmer had a fig tree that was unproductive for 3 years. He ordered the gardener to cut it down. The gardener requested for the fig tree to be given another chance. He promised to dig around the fig tree and add fertilizer. If it bears fruits well, it can survive, if it doesn’t bear fruit, then it should be cut down.
Lessons learnt from the parable
The unproductive fig tree represents followers of Jesus who are unproductive because they do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. God gives people chances to repent just like the fig tree was given a second chance to bear fruit. Jesus is the gardener who pleads for people before God. The followers of
Jesus is expected to be fruitful.
What are the figs used for?
Parable of the mustard seed. Read Luke, 13:18 – 19
Jesus likened the kingdom of God to a mustard seed, which is very small. When a mustard seed is planted, it grows fast to become a big tree. It is difficult to control its growth. When mature, the fig tree attracts many birds, which feed on its seeds.
Lesson learnt from the parable.
The Kingdom of God
Begins as a small seed and grows quietly and humbly
Then it grows and spreads to all corners of the earth
And It attracts many people
Parable of the Yeast. Read Luke, 13: 20 – 21
The Kingdom of God is like yeast. Yeast makes dough rise and the bread big. The Kingdom of God grows secretly and slowly just like the dough rises without being noticed. It is only God who knows how a kingdom grows. The Kingdom of God grows as a small unit that eventually grows, spreads and reaches out to many people in many nations.
The narrow door. Read Luke, 13: 22 – 30
As Jesus was teaching in towns and villages, a person asked him whether a few people would be saved.
Jesus replied that his followers should make every effort to go through the narrow door as it leads to the Kingdom of God. The narrow door will not remain open forever.
Lesson learnt from the parable
Those who wish to follow Jesus must repent immediately
Entrance to God’s Kingdom is through repentance
Everybody is invited to enter into the Kingdom of God.
Jesus heals a crippled woman on the Sabbath. Luke, 13:10 – 12
Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on Sabbath. Jesus healed a woman who had an evil spirit, which had bent her back (Hunch back) for 18 years. Jesus saw her and told her “woman, you are free from your illness!” She was made straight and immediately glorified God. The official of the synagogue was annoyed that Jesus was healing on a Sabbath. He and others were hostile to Jesus for healing/working on the Sabbath. Jesus told him, you hypocrite. You feed and look after your animals on the Sabbath day.
Jesus emphasized that human life is more important than animal life or even observing the Sabbath.
Lessons learnt from the parable
Jesus came to set people free from the bondage of sickness and Satan. Jesus work of liberation is continuous. It has to be performed even on a Sabbath day because human life is more important than animal life or even observing the Sabbath.
Jesus’ Love for Jerusalem. (Read Luke13: 31 – 35)
As Jesus continued with his teachings, he reached Jerusalem. Pharisees informed him that Herod wanted to kill him. His response was ‘go and tell that fox” I will continue healing the sick and casting out demons. Jesus however, lamented over Jerusalem for rejecting God’s messengers. God would abandon Jerusalem for rejecting Jesus. Jerusalem was the site of Jesus death. It would eventually acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah who brings salvation to Israel and to the rest of the world.
Man with dropsy healed (Read Luke 14:1 – 6).
Jesus was invited to the house of the leading Pharisees for a meal on a Sabbath. A man with dropsy (swollen legs and arms) came to Jesus for healing. The Pharisees watched Jesus closely to see what he would do. Jesus asked the Pharisees “does our Law allow healing on the Sabbath or not?” They kept quiet. Jesus healed the man who then left. Jesus asked the Pharisees, would they save their son or an ox if it fell in a well on a Sabbath. They kept quiet.
Humility and Hospitality. (Read Luke 14: 7 – 14)
Jesus was in the house of a leading Pharisees and observed that some of the invited guests were choosing the best places to sit at the table. He taught the disciples how to be humble. He said, when invited for a meal, let the owner give you a seat of honor that is reserved for important and honorable guests. Read verse 11.
Jesus advised his host to invite the poor, cripples, and the blind who cannot invite you, as they have nothing to give back for generosity.
Lessons learnt from the parable
Jesus is teaching about humility and hospitality. Those who are humble shall be elevated. Those who elevate themselves shall be humbled. Followers of Jesus should extend invitations to the poor and the underprivileged in the society. The Kingdom of God belongs to the humble people.
The parable of the Great Feast. Read Luke, 14: 15 – 24.
A man said to Jesus, “How happy are those who will sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God” (verse
15). in response Jesus told him that a man made a great feast and invited many friends and colleagues to the feast. The invited guests failed to come and a servant was sent to inform them that the feast was ready. All the invited guests gave personal excuses explaining why they could not come.
The master was angry and asked the servant to invite the poor, crippled, lame, the blind and anyone willing to come to the feast.
Lessons learnt from the parable
God has invited all people to the great feast of the Kingdom of God. Those who honor his invitation will be blessed. Those who reject the invitation will be excluded from the feast. Jesus explained that the
Kingdom of God is like a great feast open to all Jews and Gentiles.
To enter the Kingdom of God, one has to make a personal decision because following Jesus means sacrificing activities that we consider important to us.
The Cost of Being a Disciple
Read Luke 14: 25 – 33
True discipleship means loving Jesus more than ones family. This is a great sacrifice to detach oneself from the family. A disciple must be ready to suffer for the sake of following Jesus. Following Jesus requires skills of careful thinking, planning and detailed preparations. Jesus compared true discipleship to the planning required when building a tower or engaging in a military operation.
Lessons / teachings learnt from the parable
True discipleship means making great sacrifices, “None of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have” (verse 33). Jesus disciples are expected to do careful planning before deciding to follow him because they are required to love God more than anyone else even their relatives and friends.
The parable of the Lost Sheep
Read Luke, 15:1 – 7
Pharisees and teachers of law complained to Jesus because Jesus was teaching ordinary people such as tax collectors, and outcasts considered sinners by them.
Jesus told the Pharisees and teachers of law the parable of the lost sheep. He told them that if a shepherd with 100 sheep lost one of them, what action would he take? Wouldn’t he leave the 99 sheep and go out to look for the lost sheep? And on finding it, wouldn’t the shepherd celebrate with friends and neighbors? Jesus said that God celebrates if “over one sinner who repents than over 99 respectable people who do not need to repent.”
Lessons / teachings learnt from the parable
iii. God is a shepherd and takes care of all his people.
- He does not want any of his people to be lost.
- God searches for those lost in sin until he finds them.
- When one sinner repents, God is overjoyed and rejoices.
vii. God is the good shepherd who has come to seek and save the lost.
Parable of the Lost Coin.
Read Luke, 15: 8 – 10
If a woman losses one of her ten silver coins, she searches until she finds it. And if it is found, she invites her friends and neighbors to celebrate.
Lessons learnt from the parable
God and the angels in heaven search make every effort to seek the lost sinner until they find them. Jesus lights the world, looking for sinners who are lost because they are precious in God’s sight.
- Parable of the Lost Son (prodigal son)
Read Luke 15:11 – 32
Jesus then told the story of a father who had two sons. The younger was given his share of inheritance he had requested. He went to foreign lands and wasted his inheritance. He became poor and decided to return home and ask his father to forgive him and employ him as a servant.
His father kissed him and celebrated his return. The father announced to his guests that the son who was lost is now found. – – The one who was dead is now live.
The elder son was angry and unhappy because his father had never held a celebration for him, in spite of his hard work and obedience.
His father told him “my son you are always here with me and everything I have is yours”. We are just celebrating the return of the lost son.
Lessons learnt from the parable
- A person dies spiritually if they sin
- God loves all people including sinners
- God is ready to forgive every sinner who repents
- There is no sin that God cannot forgive
- Jesus taught that both the righteous and unrighteous require God’s forgiveness
- There is joy and happiness in heaven when one sinner repents.
- Christians should confess their sins and acknowledge that Jesus saves repentant sinners
- God accepts unconditionally any sinner who comes back to him in repentance
- Confession of sins is a condition for entering the Kingdom of God.
A GREAT FEAST FOR ALL WHO ARE PREPARED Luke 14: 1 – 35
Q: What are the qualities of those who belong to the kingdom of God?
Answer. Qualities of people who belong to the Kingdom of God
Those who belong to the Kingdom of God:
- Obey God’s commandments
- Accept God’s rule in their lives
Iii Show God’s love to others
IV Are ready to make sacrifices so as to be followers of Jesus
V Read God’s word and preach to others
VI Confess their sins and seek forgiveness of their sins through repentance.
- Give an explanation of the term Kingdom of God
- What did Jesus teach about the kingdom of God?
- What lessons do Christians learn from the parables of the lost son?
- The term Kingdom of God means the role of God or God’s authority in people’s lives and the world.
TEACHINGS ON WEALTH AND POVERTY. LK 16:1 – 32
While wealth is possession of material things such as money or occupation of a high social economic status, poverty is the opposite. It is lack of basic needs such as water, education, food, shelter, clothing, and health.
When teaching about wealth, Jesus taught using two parables. These were: (1) parable of the shrewd manager (2) parable of the rich man and Lazarus
Parable of the shrewd manager
Read Luke, 16: 1 – 18
When the shrewd manager realized that his master was going to sack him due to his dishonesty, he asked the debtors to change the amounts they owed their master to smaller amounts. He did this to make friends with a few people who would give him a place to stay after he was sacked. The master praised the shrewd manager and did not sack him. The shrewd manager is praised not because of his dishonesty but because he acted promptly and with great presence of mind in a moment of crisis.
Jesus is encouraging his disciples and followers to make prompt (quick, appropriate, timely) decisions.
They should use wealth to serve God. It should not be allowed to take the place of God. Followers of
Jesus should be honest in small and big things.
The Rich Man and Lazarus Read Luke, 16: 19 – 31.
A rich man lived in luxury. At his gates was a poor man, called Lazarus whose body was covered by sores.
The rich man did not feed Lazarus. He ate food remains together with the rich man’s dogs.
When rich man died, he went to hell. When Lazarus died, he went to heaven and sat at Abraham/s bosom. When in hell, the rich man was tormented while Lazarus was at peace.
Lessons to learn from this parable
The rich isn’t condemned for being rich but because of his altitude towards Lazarus. He used his wealth for self-gratification and not for service to the needy. The wealthy should realize that it is God who gives wealth and he should be given honor. Riches can hinder the wealthy from inheriting eternal life, especially if they put their trust in riches instead of God who is the source of all wealth and blessings.
- From the parable of the rich fool what can Christians learn about the use of wealth?
- Narrate the parable of the shrewd manager
JESUS TEACHING ON FORGIVENESS
Read Luke 17: 1 – 4
Jesus taught his disciples to forgive offenders who repent. Those who sin should seek forgiveness. If they offend 7 times in a day, forgive them 7 times. Followers of Jesus need faith to forgive others.
The power of faith. Read Luke, 17: 5 – 11.
Faith is defined as complete trust or confidence in God. It is absolute truthfulness and trust in everything that comes from God. The apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith. Followers of Jesus should have faith. Faith has no measure. Faith as big as a mustard seed can empower Christians to perform miracles that serve God. Faith is necessary. With faith, Christians can forgive others and be servants of God.
Disciples should have faith. Christians understand that they owe everything to God.
Jesus heals ten lepers. Read Luke, 17:11- 19
Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem when he met ten lepers. They requested Jesus to heal them. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests. On the way, they were healed. One of them, a Samaritan, returned to thank Jesus for healing him. The Samaritans and the Jews did not associate. Jesus told the Samaritan that his faith has made him whole. Faith is necessary for healing any disease.
Leprosy is a disease that leads to loss of fingers, toes and other parts of the body. It was a dreadful skin disease, which Jews feared. Lepers were isolated from other people. They lived dejected lives the coming of the kingdom. Read Luke 17: 20 – 37
The Pharisee demanded to know when the kingdom of God would come. Jesus replied that the kingdom of God was within those who had accepted Jesus and his teachings. Those who wanted had received the kingdom. Faith is necessary to discover the power of God’s kingdom. The coming of the son of man, i.e. Jesus will bring the kingdom to reality.
The coming of the son of man is also referred to as the day of the Lord, Day of Judgment. Read Luke, 21:
27- 28. Those who obey Jesus will be saved but those who reject him will be punished.
Lessons to learn
God expects Christians to have faith in him. Christians should have faith in Jesus so that they can inherit eternal life. Faith is needed to strengthen Christians. Faith is important in the life of a
Christian until Jesus returns, i.e. the second coming.
- What did Jesus teach on forgiveness?
PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER, Read Luke, 18:1 – 14
To teach about persistence in prayer, Jesus used two parables. These were the parables of: the widow and a corrupt judge and examples of prayer by a Pharisee and a tax collector.
The widow and the unjust judge. Read Luke, 18: 1 – 9
Jesus had already taught the disciples how to pray. He now tells them that they ought to pray and not faint. He gives a parable to explain his point.
A widow went to a corrupt judge to have her adversaries judged. The judge was corrupt and ignored her. He however gave in to her demands since she was persistent and wearing him down. The judge helped her because of her persistence and courage.
Lessons learnt from the parable
Followers of Jesus should pray with courage and be persistent in prayer. God hears and answers prayers.
Christians should pray without ceasing and with faith and trust that their prayers will be answered.
- Parable of the Pharisee, and tax collector, Read Luke, 18:9 – 14
A Pharisee and tax collector went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee offered a long prayer focusing on his achievements. The tax collector (publican) did not have much to say except asking for mercy, as he was a sinner. Followers of Jesus should acknowledge they are sinners and seek forgiveness. They should approach God in humility and avoid spiritual pride, and self-righteousness.
- State the parable of the widow and the unjust judge
THE WAY TO SALVATION, Read Luke, 18: 15 – 19: 1 – 27.
The word ‘salvation’ refers to the act of saving or being saved from sin. Those who have received salvation area assured of eternal life. To receive salvation a person must acknowledge that he is a sinner and repent their sins. In this way, they receive forgiveness and are reconciled to God.
Salvation means being saved from a life-threatening situation. In Christianity, salvation refers to the process of being delivered from sin and its consequences. Those who are saved are assured of eternal life.
Jesus taught about salvation using children to illustrate his message. This is what happened. Some people brought their children to Jesus so that he could bless them. The disciples scolded them. Jesus asked the children to come to him and he blessed them.
Jesus taught his disciples that they must be humble like children in order to enter the kingdom of God.
The road to salvation is by being simple, humble, and trusting like little children. The kingdom of God belongs to those who humble themselves like the little children.
The rich man. Read Luke, 18:18 – 30
The entry into the kingdom of God was further explained through the story of the rich man. The rich man came to Jesus wanting to know how he could inherit eternal life and be saved. Jesus reminded him of the importance of keeping the commandments. The young man responded that he had observed the commandments since he was young. Jesus told him there is one thing remaining to do; sell everything he has, and give it to the poor, and then follow Jesus.
The rich man was very sorrowful for he was very wealthy. Wealth can hinder the rich from receiving salvation. Jesus acknowledged the sacrifice made by his disciples. He emphasized that disciples shall receive salvation in the present and in life to come. Salvation is a gift from God. Salvation is received; by those who accept to follow Jesus. Trusting in wealth can be a hindrance to salvation. The rich may find it difficult to inherit eternal life.
Jesus predicts his death, a 3rd time. Read Luke, 18: 31 – 34.
Jesus predicted his death a three times. First was after asking his disciples who they say he was. The second time was after transfiguration when his face was set towards Jerusalem. The third prediction shall be in Jerusalem (Luke 18:31-34). Jesus told the disciples that previous prophecies would be fulfilled in Jerusalem. His death was going to take place in Jerusalem according to the writings of the prophets. It was going to be a painful death. He shall be beaten, mocked, spit upon and put to death. But on the third day, he shall rise again.
The disciples did not understand what Jesus was telling them. Jesus had to die so that those who believed in him may receive eternal life. The death and resurrection of Jesus gives Christians hope of eternal life.
Jesus heals a blood beggar. Read Luke, 18: 35 – 43 As Jesus neared Jericho, a blind man sat by the roadside begging. When he heard the multitude pass by, he inquired what was going on and he was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. He then cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
The crowds rebuked him but he cried out louder to Jesus to have mercy on him. Jesus asked him what he wanted. He said he wanted to see. Jesus told him to receive his sight for his faith had made him whole. The beggar was joyful and he followed Jesus rejoicing.
Christians should have faith in Jesus. They should also be persistent and make specific requests.
JESUS AND ZACCHAEUS LK 19:1 – 9
Zacchaeus was short. His profession was a tax collector. He was rich. He wanted to be saved. When Jesus was passing by Jericho, he wanted to see Jesus. He couldn’t because he was short. He ran and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus. When Jesus came to the place where Zacchaeus was, he looked up and said “Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay in your house today” (verse 5). Jesus then went with Zacchaeus to his house. When people saw this they grumbled, and murmured. They said that Jesus was going to a house of a sinner.
Jesus told them that salvation has come to the house of Zacchaeus, a son of Abraham … the Son of man came to seek and save the lost. There is no sin that God cannot forgive, even that of a tax collector.
Zacchaeus told Jesus that he was going to give to the poor half of his wealth and whatever he took from any man and woman wrongfully, he will restore four times. From this salvation, we learn that the rich should share their wealth with the needy.
The Parable of the Gold Coins: Luke, 19: 11 – 27.
A certain nobleman went to a far country. Before he left he called his ten servants and gave each a gold coin (ten pounds in total). He told them to trade with the coins until he returns.
When he returned, he called the servants to report profits they had made. The first servant said that one-pound coin had made profit of 10 pounds (gold coins). He made the manager of ten cities. The second servant had traded and gained 5 pounds. He was made the manager of 5 cities. The third one had hidden the pound. He did not trade. He accused the master of being mean, and cruel. He returned the pound, which was given to the servant with 10 pounds.
Lessons to learn
This parable was about the kingdom of God. God expects us to use opportunities he has given to us for his work. Each one of us shall account for the use of the abilities and skills that God gave to us – students, workers, and other professionals. To receive eternal life, Christians should repent and be obedient to God’s instructions.
- What did Jesus teach by using the example of little children?
- Give an account of how Jesus healed the blind beggar
- Explain the relevance of Jesus’ teachings on salvation to Christians
THE JERUSALEM MINISTRY Luke, 19: 28 – 21: 38
THE TRIUMPHANT ENTRY OF JESUS TO JERUSALEM LK.19:28 – 40
The triumphant approach to Jerusalem. Luke 19: 28- 40.
Jesus death had to happen in Jerusalem. Hence Jesus went to Jerusalem. He sent two disciples to a place where there was a colt (young donkey) that no person had ever ridden. They took it to Jesus. They threw their garments on the colt, and Jesus sat on it. As Jesus rode, people spread their clothes on the road. As Jesus neared Jerusalem, a “large crowd of his disciples began to” praise God (vs37). The crowd said ‘blessed be the king who comes in the name of the lord’.
The Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke the disciples. Jesus told them if the disciples kept quiet the stones would start shouting.
Jesus made his entry into Jerusalem in a royal (kingly) procession. He was Israel’s humble king who came with peace and not a political leader. He rode on a donkey – a symbol of peace. This was unlike the political kings who rode on the horses during that time.
Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. Read, Luke 41- 44
When Jesus was near Jerusalem he wept. He then foretold the coming destruction of Jerusalem due to its rejection of the messiah.
The rejoicing of his triumphant entry to Jerusalem turned to mourning as he foretold the destruction of Jerusalem by Romans in 70 A.D.
Jesus goes to the temple. Read Luke 19:45 – 48
Jesus went to Jerusalem temple and evicted traders. He told them that the house of God is a house of prayer not a den of thieves. Jeremiah spoke these same words during his temple sermon. The chief priests and scribes began planning how to kill Jesus.
PHARISEES, SCRIBES QUESTION JESUS. LUKE 20 1-47
The question about Jesus’ authority. Read Luke, 20:1 – 8.
The Jewish leaders wanted to know from Jesus by whose authority he was doing all the things he was doing. In response Jesus asked them “did John’s right to baptize come from God or from human beings?” (Vs4).
They discussed among themselves and decided not answer. Jesus told them “neither will I tell you”. In response to his authority being questioned he told a parable.
The parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard.
Read the parable in Luke, 20: 9 – 18. The tenants refused to pay the owner of the vineyard his share of the harvest. They threw out the servants he sent to collect his share of the harvest. When he sent his son, they killed him so that they can own the vineyard. Jesus asked the people… “What will the owner of the vineyard do to the tenants?”
The Question about paying taxes. Read Luke 20:19-28
Pharisees, and scribes (teachers of the law) and chief priests planned to arrest Jesus but they were afraid of the people. They sent spies to trick Jesus by asking this question -” …is it against our law for us to pay taxes to the Roman Empire, or not?
Jesus used the currency and told them “pay the Emperor Caesar what belongs to him and pay God what belongs to God.” (Verse 25)
This was a tricky question. Jesus here teachers people to obey the rules of the land and to obey God’s rules
- The Question about Resurrection
The Sadducees who did not believe in resurrection tempted Jesus with another question. They wanted to know this. When resurrection comes, who shall be the husband to a woman who was married to the first brother and inherited as a widow by the other six brothers?
Jesus told them the men and women who shall be worthy of resurrection shall not marry. They shall be like angels and cannot die (verse 34 to 38)
- Jesus warns against the Teachers of the law
Jesus warned his disciples. Be careful and guard yourselves against teachers of the law, the scribes. They were hypocritical. They wore long robes, said long prayers, looked for positions of honor and exploited the widows.
- The Widow’s offering. Luke, 21: 1- 4
When people were giving offerings in the temple, a widow gave “two little copper coins”. Jesus said the poor widow had given all she had. Likewise Christians should give to God not to be seen but from their hearts. It is not the quantity of the gift that matters but the attitude of the giver.
THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS ABOUT ESCHATOLOGY LK. 21: 5 – 38
Eschatology is from two Greek words, ‘eschatus’ and ‘logos’. Eschatus means end, Logos means study.
Eschatology means the study of the end times or in CRE the last days of Jesus. For biblical information, read Luke 21:5-38 and Mathew 24: 1 – 36 and Mark 13:1-31.
- Signs of the end times
Jesus gave many signs that will inform Christians that end of the time has come. These were to happen at different times. The signs were:
- a) Destruction of the temple of Jerusalem by invading armies which shall surrounded it
- b) Hatred of disciples and Christians because they were followers of Christ
- c) Rejection of disciples by families because they were followers of Christ
- d) Betrayal of the followers of Christ
- e) Prosecution and imprisonment of Christians.
- f) Many false messiahs. People would come claiming to be the Messiah, the Son God
- g) Wars as nation rise against nations
- h) Eruption of natural calamities such as plagues, earthquakes, famines, great fear among people. Disruption in the sky and seas. Fall of strange heavenly beings from the sky and rise of seas.
- j) Natural calamities such as earthquakes, plagues, famines bringing despair and distress in all nations
- k) The times shall be announced by signs in the stars, moon, sun and sea
- l) Appear of the ‘Son of man ‘in power and glory at the end of times.
- Uses of the temple during the time of Jesus
During the time of Jesus, the temple was used for (a) Child dedication (b) Circumcision (c) Purification (d) Trading and business centre (e) Wor-shipping and prayer (f) a place for celebrating festivals such as the Passover and other major feasts (g) a learning centre or school for religious purposes. For example, disciples of the scribes learnt law in the temple.
The destruction of the temple symbolized the birth of Christianity. From that time Christians became the new temple of God.
- The parable of the fig tree Lk.21: 29 – 33
Jesus used the parable of the fig tree to explain more about the end times. Appearance of leaves in the fig tree and other trees inform us that summer will soon come. When Christians see signs of the end times, they should know that the kingdom of God is about to come. Jesus told disciples to be watchful, alert, and praying for strength to endure the coming tribulations. See the previous teachings on watchfulness and readiness. Christians are to watch out and be ready for the end times.
- Relevance of Jesus’ teachings on eschatology
These teachings assure and continue to tell Christians these messages from Jesus:
- a) There is life after death
- b) Christ will return to receive the faithful
- c) Christians are to be watchful, prayerful, and hopeful despite trials and tribulations
- d) Christians are assured of God’s protection from evil.
- e) Christians should prepare for the coming of Christ by leading a righteous life
- f) Do not lose hope
- g) Do not be pre occupied with the cares of this would for they never end
- h) Preach and spread the word of God Obey God’s commandment
- j) Help the needy
- Describe Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem according to Luke chapter 19:29- 30
- What does the manner of Jesus entry into Jerusalem reveal about the nature of his kingdom?
- What lessons can Christians learn from Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem?
- State and explain why Jesus wept over Jerusalem
- Explain the cleansing of the temple
- Give reasons why Jesus cleansed the temple of Jerusalem
- What lessons can Christians learn from the cleansing of the temple?
- Explain Jesus’ conflict with the Jewish leaders
- Describe the parable of the tenants in the vineyard
- Explain the relevance of the parable of the of tenants in the vineyard
- Explain the question about paying taxes
- Explain the question about the resurrection
- What is eschatology?
- What will happen at the end of the world (eschatology) according to Jesus’ teaching in Luke’s gospel?
- How do Christians prepare for the second coming of Christ?
THE PASSION, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS LK. 22 – 24
Passion is a strong feeling of love, hate or anger. Passion of Jesus is the great sufferings of Jesus, which was a deep emotional anguish.
The plot against Jesus
The Jewish religious leaders were determined to ensure that Jesus was either arrested or killed (Lk.22: 1 – 6)
They were helped by Satan who entered into Judas Iscariot one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Judas decided to betray Jesus. He communed with the Jewish leaders who agreed to pay him money to betray
Jesus. He searched for a way to betray Jesus without knowledge of Jesus. He forgot who Jesus was. Judas agreed to betray Jesus probably because:
- He belonged to the party of Zealots who wanted political changes
- He was probably frustrated by Jesus’ approach to the Kingdom of God which was establishing a peaceful spiritual kingdom
- He expected Jesus to establish a political kingdom
- He was greedy for money
- Satan entered him
THE LORDS SUPPERS/ THE LAST SUPPER. LK 22: 7 – 13
The last supper was the lost Passover meal that Jesus took before his arrest. Passover is celebrated in obedience to God’s command to Moses. It is a remembrance of Israel’s deliverance by God from slavery in Egypt.
Passover The meal
Preparations for the Passover, Read Luke 22: 7 – 23.
Peter and John were sent by Jesus to go and prepare the Passover meal. They were to do so in a house in the city. They were taken to the house by, a man who was carrying a vessel of water. They were given a big furnished upper room upstairs. They prepared the Passover meal as instructed by Jesus.
During the meal with the 12 disciples / apostles Jesus told them that this was going to be his last meal with them before his death. He took a cup of wine gave thanks to God and said “Take this and share it among yourselves. I tell you that from now on I will not drink this wine until the Kingdom of God comes.” The cup of wine was his blood that he was going to shed for them. Wine therefore symbolized the blood of Jesus, shed for the purification of humankind and forgiveness of sins. This blood is the New Testament and covenant with Christians.
After drinking of wine, He “took a piece of bread, gave thanks to God “and shared it and told them that the piece of bread represented his body which is “given for them”.
He presented his death as a sacrifice whose blood sealed the new covenant. His death replaced the sacrifices of the Old law, those of animals, which sealed the Sinai covenant. The new covenant will be for all people including Gentiles. This is to fulfill God’s promise of salvation for all people.
Jesus and disciples ate Passover together so that henceforth Christians would eat the meal together in remembrance of Jesus. Passover was initially taken to remind them of the deliverance from Egypt. But during the last supper, Jesus gave the Passover a new meaning.
As they ate, Jesus foretold of his betrayal by one of his disciple.
- Which items were used to celebrate the Passover in the Old Testament?
- What items do modern Christians use to celebrate the Lord’s Supper?
Comparisons of the Lord’s Supper and the Passover
(a) The Passover commemorates the divine act of redemption of the Jews from their bondage in Egypt while the Last Supper commemorates the deliverance of human kind from sin.
(b) The Passover feast reminded the Israelites that they were free, redeemed people while the Lords Suppers is to remind Christians of their forgiveness of sins. The death of Jesus set Christians free from sins.
(c) Passover was followed by the Old covenant of Mount Sinai. The Lords suppers is a new covenant based on the death of Jesus for sins of humankind?
(d) Passover (Old Testament) was sealed by the blood of Lambs while New Covenant (Lords suppers) is sealed by the blood of Jesus on the cross.
(e) Items for celebrating in Passover (Old Testament) are different from the cup of wine and pieces of bread used by Jesus to celebrate his last supper with the disciples.
Relevance of the Lord’s Supper today
Christians celebrate the Lords supper. This celebration is called the Eucharist, the Lords suppers, or Lords meal. Christians celebrate it as an act of repentance; through which they receive assurance of forgiveness of their sins. The presence of Jesus becomes a reality when Christians share bread and wine.
Bread and wine are symbols of heavenly feast, which Christians will partake in God’s kingdom.
The Lords supper is also a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God. It is a time for rededication to Christ and self-renewal. Through the celebration of the Lords supper, Christians anticipate the second coming of Jesus and the establishment of Gods Kingdom. It is also a time to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus and reflect on God’s love for humankind.
The Argument about Greatness. Read Luke, 22: 24 – 30
A question arose among the disciples. They wanted to know who among them was the greatest. Jesus told them that they do not belong to the world system of authority given on the basis of wealth and fame.
The authority among the disciples will be determined on the basis of their service to others. The greatest is the servant. Jesus likened himself to a servant hence disciples are called to serve. By sharing in trials and sufferings of Jesus, the disciples will share in his ruling power over the new Israel.
Leadership in church should be understood in terms of service – being a servant of people. In the community of Christians, all people who are followers of Jesus are all equal.
Q: In your opinion, which are the signs of greatness in the world?
Jesus Predicts Peters’ Denial. Read Luke, 22: 31 – 38
Jesus told peter that Satan had received permission to test or tempt all the disciples but Jesus had prayed for Peter’s faith not to fail. Jesus told Peter that he shall deny Jesus three times before the cock crows.
Jesus was telling his disciples that they will encounter hostility in their evangelism hence they should be prepared for suffering and opposition because of Him as Isaiah 53:12 says ‘he shared the fate of evil men.’
Jesus death was imminent inevitable. The disciples were expected to be strong
PRAYER, ARREST OF JESUS AND DENIAL BY PETER
Prayer on the Mount of Olives. Read Luke. 22: 39 – 46
After celebrating the last supper, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with his disciples to pray to resist temptation. Jesus went ahead of his disciples, knelt down and prayed.
Jesus left them to pray by himself. He said” Father if you will, take this cup of suffering away from me.
Not my will, however, but your will to be done” (42). An angel came to strengthen him. He prayed earnestly, in agony and turmoil great than the physical pain. He sweated great drops of blood.
After praying, Jesus found his disciples asleep “worn out by their grief” vs. 45). Jesus asked them to wake up and pray to avoid temptation.
The disciples fell asleep. This was a sign of moral and physical exhaustion. Jesus expressed inner struggle about the fulfillment of his messianic mission. He prayed for God’s help. Christians should always pray to avoid temptation and seek God’s help.
Betrayal and arrest of Jesus. Read Luke, 22: 47 – 53
Jesus was arrested by: the chief priest, elders, officers of the temple guard, and a crowd of people as he talked to his disciples. He was taken to the house of the high priest. Judas had identified Jesus with a kiss. Jesus asked Judas” him “Judas, is it with a kiss that you betray the Son of man?”
Jewish religious leaders had come to arrest Jesus as they arrested other criminals. Jesus told his disciples not to resist his arrest. He rejected armed resistance refusing the role of a political messiah. Peter followed him from a distance.
Peters Denies Jesus. Read Luke, 22: 54 – 65
After Jesus was arrested he was taken to the house of the High Priest. As Peter sat warming himself with others, a maid identified Peter. She said, “This man too was with Jesus. Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. After the third denial, the cock crowed just as Jesus predicted.
Jesus turned and looked at Peter who remembered the words of Jesus. “Peter went out and wept bitterly” (Vs. 62). Weeping was a sign of repentance
THE TRIALS AND CRUCIFIXION OF
Trials of Jesus by the various authorities
Trial by the Sanhedrin Lk.22: 66 – 71
After being taken to the house of the High Priest, the next morning Jesus was taken to the Jewish religious council or court; called the Sanhedrin. They all asked him if he was the messiah. Jesus told they wouldn’t believe whatever he says. But “the Son of Man will be seated on the right hand of Almighty God.” (Vs. 69). Jesus told them he was the Son of God. The Sanhedrin accused Jesus of blasphemy, a sin punishable by death.
Trial before Pilate. Read Luke 23: 1 – 5
The second court was the Roman court. The judge was Pilate, the Roman Governor. In this court the Sanhedrin accused Jesus of:
Inciting people to revolt, and rebelling against Roman authority
Forbidding people to pay taxes to the Emperor
Claiming to be the king, a Messiah, they could not accuse him of blasphemy before Pilate since this offence was not acceptable under the Roman law. Pilate asked Jesus if he was the king, Jesus replied, “So you say”. (vs.3). Pilate found no fault with Jesus so he sent him to Herod.
Trial by Herod. Read Luke, 23: 6 – 12
Herod was in Jerusalem. When Jesus was brought before him, he expected Jesus to perform miracles to impress him. He asked Jesus many questions and Jesus kept quiet. Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus, and ridiculed him. They put on him royal clothes; then sent Jesus back to Pilate.
Jesus is sentenced to Death. Read Luke 23: 13 – 25
Jesus was brought back to Pilate a second time. Pilate repeated that Jesus was not guilty (innocent) of any crime. Pilate offered to have Jesus beaten and then released.
The crowds, leaders and chief priests gave their judgment. “Kill him!” and release Barabbas, who was a rioter and a murderer. Pilate did not find Jesus guilty. But he did what they wanted. He released Barabbas and “handed Jesus over for them to do as they wished” (vs. 25).
The crucifixion of Jesus. Read Luke 22: 26-43
Jesus was led away to be crucified. Solders forced Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross for Jesus. Women followed Jesus and weeping. Jesus told them not to weep for Him but for themselves and their children. Jesus was then crucified at a place called Golgotha (place of skull) or Calvary together with two male criminal; one on His right and the other on His Left. Jesus asked God to forgive those (persecutors) for they did not know what they were doing.
The Jewish leaders, said “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah whom God has chosen” (vs. 35); Solders mocked Jesus and said “Save yourself if you are the king of Jews” and one criminal hanged with Jesus mocked Jesus and told Him “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and me”.
The other thief rebuked him saying they deserved the punishment for their deeds but Jesus had done nothing. This thief repented and told Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King”. Jesus told him that he would be in paradise with Jesus on that day (vs. 42 – 43).
On top of the cross, Jews wrote, “This is the King of the Jews” (vs. 38).
DEATH OF JESUS Read Luke. 23: 44 – 50
The death of Jesus.
There was darkness from 12 o’clock until three o’clock. The veil/curtain of the temple tore into two. Jesus cried out with a loud voice “Father, into the hands I commit my spirit”. At this shout Jesus died.
The Roman centurion saw and praised God. He declared, “Certainly this was an innocent man”. The multitude that watched the crucifixion and death went home beating their breasts, a sign of repentance.
The women, who knew Jesus from Galilee, stood at a distance watching all these things.
The burial of Jesus. Read Luke 23: 50 – 56.
Joseph from Arimathea, a town in Judea sought permission from Pilate to bury the body of Jesus. He was waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of God, a likely secret disciple of Jesus. He was a good and honorable man.
The body of Jesus was laid in a sepulchre (Tomb) where nobody had ever been laid. Jesus’ burial in Joseph’s tomb fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy that the suffering servant of Yahweh was buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9)
The Galilean women and Joseph saw where the body of Jesus was laid. They went home, and prepared spices to use to wash Jesus’ body. They rested on the Sabbath.
Relevance of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ to Christian life today
Christians today should practice or do the following activities.
i. Pray in times of sorrow, pain, trials and temptations.
ii they should not give up when rejected.
IV They should be aware of hypocrites and traitors amongst them.
V They should be willing to suffer for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
VI They should be ready to fight for a just cause
Vii They should never condemn the innocent.
Viii They should go through their suffering bravely.
Ix They should know and accept suffering as a part of the Christian calling
X They should not be afraid of rejection by people l
Xi they should be encouraged that Jesus suffered for them.
In which ways can Christians prepare for their death?
Death is inevitable. Hence, Christians should at all times: live a holy life, repent sins, and forgive those who have wronged them, make a will, accept death as inevitable, and read the word of God
THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS. Read Luke 24: 1 – 53
The Resurrection. Resurrection refers to the event of Jesus rising from the dead
After the Sabbath day, on Sunday morning; Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome (Joanna) and other women went to the tomb with the spices they has prepared. They found the entrance open. The stone covering the tomb was rolled away. The tomb was empty. The body of Jesus was not in the tomb.
Suddenly, two men, who were angels, appeared dresses in dazzling and shining clothes. They said “Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? He is not here; he has been raised.”
The women went and told the 11 disciples, who did not believe them. Peter ran to the tomb and found it empty.
Women were the first to witness the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is significant as they (women) were empowered to become witnesses of Christ as evangelists beyond the Jewish culture.
Witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus
The disciple’s en route to Emmaus
Two disciples were traveling to Emmaus, which was 11 km from Jerusalem discussing Jesus suffering, death and the empty tomb. Jesus met them but their eyes were blinded and they did not recognize him.
The disciples explained to Jesus the events that had taken place and how they had hoped that Jesus would liberate Israel from the Roman rule.
Jesus explained to them the scriptures concerning the messiah. When they got to Emmaus, they invited him to dine with them for it was evening. When Jesus, “took the bread and said the blessings; then he broke the bread and gave it to them”, the disciples recognized Jesus but he vanished out of their sight (Vs. 30-31). They returned to Jerusalem and told the 11 disciples that Jesus has risen.
Jesus appears to his Disciples. Read Luke 24: 36 – 49.
As the two disciples explained the event that happened on the journey to Emmaus, Jesus came and said to them ‘Peace be with you’ (vs. 36). Disciples were terrified and frightened. He asked them to look and touch his hands, and feet. He was not a ghost.
He has flesh and bones unlike ghosts, which do not have.
He explained to the apostles his mission, which was prophesied by prophets, and written in the Law of Moses, and Psalms (v.44).
He commissioned the disciples to preach repentance and remission of sins and be his witnesses. He also promised to send them the promise of the father (Holy Spirit)
Q: what was the nature of the resurrected body of Jesus?
The ascension of Jesus, Luke, 24: 50 – 53
From Jerusalem, Jesus took his disciples to Bethany, a town outside Jerusalem. He lifted his hands and blessed them. As he blessed them, he was lifted up and carried to heaven.
The disciples worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. They continued to go to the temple to praise and give thanks to God.
The disciples were now confident about their mission and who Jesus was
- The importance of the resurrection of Jesus to Christian
Resurrection is the foundation of Christian faith. Christianity is based on the fact that Jesus resurrected and was taken up to heaven.
Further to this:
- Resurrection proved that Jesus is the Son of God.
- Through resurrection, Christians have hope of eternal life
- Through resurrections, Christians are assured of a new life in Christ
- Sin and death were conquered by resurrection, giving hope of victory to Christians over death and sin.
- Resurrection is a fulfillment of the writings of the prophets. It fulfilled Old Testament prophesies by Moses, Elijah, Elisha and others.
- It is a proof that there is life after death.
- Through resurrection, man was reconciled to God.
- Jesus has power over death, over Satan and his Kingdom of darkness
- It led to the coming of the Holy Spirit.
- Give the different names used in reference to the Lord’s Supper by Christians in different churches
- Describe the institution of the Lord’s Supper
c, State the Christian teaching about the lord’s supper
- What is the meaning of the Lord’s Supper to Christians?
- Compare the Passover feast with the practice of the Lord’s Supper
- Describe the prayer on mount olives
- Describe the betrayal and arrest of Jesus
- State the reasons that made Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus
- Describe the trial of Jesus under the following headings: – the council of Sanhedrin, the trial before Pilate, the trial before Herod and Pilate’s judgment.
- Why do you think Pilate agreed to have Jesus crucified?
- Identify and explain the lessons that Christians learn from the actions of Pilate during the trial of Jesus
- Actions taken by the Jewish leaders to ensure that Jesus was put to death
- Explain the crucifixion of Jesus
- Describe the death of Jesus
- The burial of Jesus
- Define the term resurrection
- Describe the four witnesses of the risen Christ
- Describe Jesus’ appearance to the disciples
- Describe the ascension of Jesus
- Give five evidences from the bible to show that Jesus rose from the dead
- Explain the significance of passion, death and the resurrection of Christ
- What is the significance of Jesus resurrection to Christians Today?
- Explain five importance of eulogy of death of the society.