Luke 11:53-12:11: Authentic and Hypocritical Witnesses

Witnesses to Jesus, part 2

In this passage, Jesus is on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem and has just taught about true discipleship and the kingdom of God. Some of those who heard him and want to follow him are about to be sent out on a mission. In this study we'll explore what it is like to be a witness sent on a mission.

Picture yourself ready to go on a mission trip with your church or fellowship. Why would you go? How would you prepare? What would you say to those whom you'd meet?

1. Read Luke 10:1-24. In verses 1-12, what do we learn about the seventy followers and the purpose of their mission? How are they to prepare? What is their message? How will their needs be met? (Note: Some ancient authorities read "seventy-two." Whatever the number, the point is that they were sent ahead of Jesus.)

2. What do you think Jesus means in verse 3 when he says that he sends them out "like lambs in the midst of wolves?" How can you relate to this metaphor? What are your feelings as you seek to be a witness on campus?

3. In verses 3-7, what is Jesus trying to teach about being witnesses?

4. What does "the kingdom of God" mean in verses 9 and 11? How is it that the kingdom of God comes near? (Note: The kingdom is the reign or rule of God in the lives of people.)

5. In verses 10-12 and 13-16, Jesus speaks of rejection. How are these seventy to deal with the rejection they will receive? What or whom are these inhospitable people ultimately rejecting?

6. Verses 17-20 recount the return of those who were sent out. How do they describe their mission experience? What are they excited about? How does Jesus respond to their report?

7. What is to be the source of the disciples' joy? Why? What is the source of Jesus' joy (verses 21-22)? How do we come to know the Father?

8. In a private word to the disciples (verses 23-24), Jesus talks about what they have seen and heard. They were witnesses. What did they see and hear?

In closing

In what situations is Jesus calling you to bear witness to the nearness of the kingdom of God? What will it mean for you to respond to his call? In what can you rejoice?


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Passage:

Luke 11 - 12

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