Teaching Series Introduction:
In a world in which wearing masks can save lives, what other masks do we wear that we can take off? Masks that hide the reality of who we are, and what we are carrying? We all do it, but it gets so tiring. In Luke 12, Jesus offers a better alternative than the mask-wearing of the religious leaders. A life in which we don’t have to pretend. A life in which we reveal who we really are, and discover the freedom that Jesus offers.
Title: The Stories We Tell
By: Judy Moore
Date: 22 November 2020
Bible Passage: Luke (Chapter 12, verses 4-5)
We all tell stories about our lives. But are they the real story? Often we write a script about how we should, and shouldn’t, be living, and let our fear of others dictate what we know to be true. It’s only as we have the right view of God do we find lasting freedom from needing to fear others.
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- Do you worry about what people think of you? Why/why not?
- Read Luke 12:4-5. These initially seem to be some daunting words from Jesus. How would you summarise what he is saying?
- Jesus is talking about the Pharisees, a particularly devoted group of religious leaders who were often telling others how to live their lives. In verse 4 Jesus seems to be saying ‘they’re not that big a deal’! What reasons does he give? In what ways is this comforting?
- In verse 5, Jesus reminds us that people have no control or authority over our eternal destiny. Only God does. And so the right response is to fear God more than people. What do you think it means to ‘fear’ God? Is there a difference between ‘fear’ and ‘being afraid of’? (You may like to read the following: Proverbs 7:13; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 28:14; 2 Corinthians 5:11)
- One author, Douglas Stuart, describes the fearing God in this way, ‘…always in awe of him, appreciate his supremacy and greatness, fear the consequences of disobeying his will, and not treat lightly any aspect of their covenant relationship with him.’ Read Proverbs 29:25 – compared to fearing God, why is fearing what people think always going to be a ‘snare’?
- Compare Luke 12:5 and 1 John 4:17-18. How does the passage in 1 John give an insight into what Jesus might be saying in Luke 12:5?
- Take some time to pray, asking that God would give you a healthy perspective about him and what other people think about you. Thank him that because of Jesus, we don’t need to be afraid of eternity. And ask him to give you a right ‘fear of the Lord’.