Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

John Sends Two Disciples to Jesus

Luke 7:18-35

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Calls Matthew (Matthew 9:9-13)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Luke 4:18-19

Opening Prayer

Elijah II (Matthew 17:1-13) = Note: Jews leave an empty chair for Elijah at Passover
    What kind of warning did the Jews expect to let them know the Messiah was coming?
      Malachi 4:5-6 = Elijah would return and warn people of judgment and they'd repent
    How long would it take for the Messiah to come after this messenger prepared the way?
      Malachi 3:1 = Suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple

    Did Jesus agree with the Jewish understanding that Elijah would return first?
      Matthew 17:10-11 = Yes
    What had happened right before Jesus said this?
      Matthew 17:1-3 = Moses & Elijah had met with Jesus on a mountain (Transfiguration)
    Was this brief visit the expected second coming of Elijah?
      Matthew 17:12 = No, he had come to the people but they didn't recognize him
    Who was Jesus talking about?
      Matthew 17:13 = John the Baptist

John as Elijah (Luke 1)
    Was Jesus the first to learn that John was the Elijah who was to turn the hearts of the people?
      Luke 1:13, 16-17 = Zechariah was told John would go in the spirit and power of Elijah
    Did Zechariah understand what he was told?
      Luke 1:67, 76-77 = Yes, he explained John's mission when he regained his speech

    How did God's selection of John's parents help prepare him for his ministry?
      Luke 1:5-7 = They were educated & faithful priests who would have taught John
    How did being born to elderly parents prepare John for his ministry?
      Luke 1:80 = He lived in desert after his parents died - no earthly ties (family, business)

    How could he live in the desert?
      Matthew 3:3-4 = He lived on locusts and wild honey
    Wasn't it unclean for a man of God to eat something like locusts?
      Leviticus 11:20-23 = Locusts were considered clean and acceptable
    Rough camel hair clothes were worn by the poor. Who else wore clothes like these?
      2 Kings 1:7-8 = Elijah - Not only in the spirit & power of Elijah, but also in his clothes

John's Views on Himself (John 1:15-34)
    Did John recognize himself as being Elijah?
      John 1:19-21 = No, he said he was not Elijah
    Who did he say he was?
      John 1:22-23 = Quoted Isaiah 40:3 to show he was calling the people to repentance
    Why was he doing this?
      John 1:24-27 = Because the Messiah was already among them
    Did John know who he was talking about?
      John 1:15, 29-31 = Yes, he pointed out Jesus as the one
    How did he know Jesus was the Messiah?
      John 1:32-34 = The Spirit told him when he baptized Jesus

John's Baptism (Mark 1:4-5)
    What did John do in the desert besides eat locusts?
      Mark 1:4 = He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins
    How effectively could he reach out to people in the desert?
      Mark 1:5 = People from all over Judea & Jerusalem came to confess & be baptized
    Why did John baptize the people who repented? = Leviticus 11-15 describes clean & unclean
      Numbers 19:17-19 = It was a cleansing ceremony making the person clean before God

John's Ministry (Luke 3:1-16)
    How did John convince people to repent (turn from their evil ways)? = Judaism is not immunity
      Luke 3:7-9 = He warned of God's wrath in punishing an evil people
    Did John tell them to follow the Written and Oral Laws completely to escape judgment?
      Luke 3:10-14 = No, he preached a repentance to God's love as Jesus did
    With unique teachings like this, did the people think John was more than a regular rabbi?
      Luke 3:15 = They thought he might be the Messiah
    How did John respond to such lofty thoughts?
      Luke 3:16 = He said the Messiah was coming to baptize with fire

Baptism of Fire (Luke 3:17)
    How did John understand that the Messiah would baptize with fire?
      Luke 3:17 = He thought the fire was God's wrath and vengeance against the evil
    What was this baptism of fire that John spoke of?
      Acts 2:1-4 = The Holy Spirit came as fire at Pentecost
    Was the fire of Pentecost only active on that day?
      1 Thessalonians 5:19 = No, the fire is the Spirit's activity among us - let it burn!

John vs. Jesus? (John 3:22-4:3)
    Was John the only one who baptized or did others do it also?
      John 3:22; 4:2 = Jesus' disciples baptized also
    What did John's disciples think about what Jesus' disciples were doing?
      John 3:26 = They thought they were in competition and losing business
    What did John think about this? = He must become greater; I must become less.
      John 3:27-30 = His ministry of preparation was complete now that the Messiah has come
    What did Jesus do when the Pharisees tried to pit Him against John?
      John 4:1-3 = He went to minister in Galilee

John Calls It As He Sees It (Mark 6:17-20)
    How did John's warnings of God's wrath against evil get him in trouble?
      Luke 3:18-20 = He rebuked Herod Antipas and was put in prison
    Herod Antipas had visited his brother Philip in Rome and seduced his wife Herodias while there
      When he came home, he dismissed his wife, lured Herodias away and married her
    How did John rebuke Herod Antipas?
      Mark 6:17-18 = He said it was wrong to have taken his brother's wife
    Did Herod imprison John because he was upset or just to silence a trouble-maker?
      Mark 6:19 = Herodias was upset
    They had the power to have John killed. Why didn't they just do it?
      Mark 6:20 = John was too popular and obviously a man of God, liked to hear him

John's End (Mark 6:21-29)
    What happened while John was in prison?
      Mark 6:21-25 = Herodias had her daughter ask for John's head
    How did Herod respond to this request?
      Mark 6:26-29 = He had John beheaded
    Did it bother Herod later in life that he had killed a man of God?
      Mark 6:14-16 = He thought Jesus was John returned from the dead
    How curious was he about his theory?
      Luke 23:5-9 = He was excited when he had the opportunity to meet Jesus
    How did he react when he realized that Jesus wasn't the eloquent John come back?
      Luke 23:11 = He mocked Him

John's Impact (Luke 7:18-19)
    How strong of an impact did John have on people's lives?
      Acts 18:24-26 = His disciples were active even 20 years later
    What did John try to do when Jesus began His ministry?
      John 1:35-37 = Send people to follow Jesus, not him
    How did John try to push this point stronger as he neared death?
      Luke 7:18-19 = He sent his disciples find Jesus for themselves

What You See Is What You Get (Luke 7:20-23)
    Were the disciples bold enough to actually ask this of Jesus?
      Luke 7:20 = Yes
    Still early in His ministry, how did Jesus reply to this question?
      Luke 7:21-22 = He told them to decide for themselves based on the evidence
    How would these disciples understand from this who Jesus was?
      Isaiah 35:5-6 = Messianic prophesy: blind see, deaf hear, lame leap, mute shout
      Isaiah 26:19 = Your dead will live, their bodies will rise (Is 56:8 - gather outcasts)
      Isaiah 61:1 = The Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor
    How did Jesus warn them against doubts from misunderstanding what the Messiah would be?
      Luke 7:23 = Don't fall away because I'm not the political king you expect

What You Saw is Proof (Luke 7:24-35)
    How did Jesus say that John pointed to Him and didn't just say what people wanted him to say?
      Luke 7:24 = Uncommon message didn't bend with popular winds like a common reed
    How did He show John wasn't trying to become rich and famous?
      Luke 7:25 = Didn't dress fancy - clothes fit with his call to repentance
    Why did John do what he did?
      Luke 7:26-27 = He was on a mission from God to prepare the way for the Messiah
    How important was John's ministry?
      Luke 7:28a = Greatest ministry in all creation
    How important did that make John in God's kingdom? = We have seen what John longed for
      Luke 7:28b = John never got to see God's great love in Jesus' death and resurrection

    Had everyone accepted and understood John's great work?
      Luke 7:29-30 = Regular people accepted, church leaders rejected
    Did the leaders reject John because he was too strange?
      Luke 7:31-34 = No, they were like kids who reject anything that isn't their way
    What is proof that John and Jesus were right and the leaders were wrong?
      Luke 7:35 = The proof is in the results - the many believers

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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