Luke Chapter 17

Posted by Dion Todd August 24th, 2015 3,891 Views 0 Comments

Bible Study on Luke 

Luke Chapter 17

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Luke 17 Outline:

17:01-04 The importance of forgiving others.
17:05-06 The apostles as for more faith.
17:07-10 Unprofitable servants.
17:11-19 The ten lepers.
17:20-37 The coming of the kingdom.

Fun Facts:
— A skandalon is the bait meat used in a pit trap. Jesus used that word in “Temptations are sure to come.”
— This chapter occurred during Jesus’ last journey to Jerusalem.

Study Notes:
Luke 17:1-4 Jesus said to His disciples that “temptations to sin” are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! The Greek word used here for temptation is “Skandalon” which refers to the bait in a trap.

An ancient method of building a trap involved digging a pit, placing sharp sticks in the bottom of it, covering it with leaves, then laying a big piece of juicy meat right in the center of it. When an animal went after the meat, they fell into the pit onto the sharp sticks. The meat in the center of the trap is called a “skandalon.”

When you think of how perfect every word that Jesus spoke was, it is amazing. The word of God fascinates me and is so deep and layered. This sentence basically reads “Tantalizing traps will be set before you, but woe to the one who sets the trap”.

Temptation is like that piece of meat. It looks so good, it would be so pleasing, no one would have to know, just a little and I will stop, but bam! The moment that you go for it, you fall into the pit and are trapped. Like a fish biting the hook, you become snared. That is the entire purpose of the skandalon.

Also we are never to cause another to sin. You do not offer a glass of wine to an alcoholic. What is fine for you may be snare to them and cause a great fall. A millstone refers to a heavy stone used for grinding grain. It would be better to suffer a horrible death than to cause other believers to stumble.

Two examples of greater or stricter judgment also involved Pharisees (Mark 12:40) and teachers (James 3:1). We are responsible when we lead others astray. I try to teach what I receive from the Lord and sometimes it burns people or makes them uncomfortable. I have to write what I feel that He gives me because one day, I will stand accountable for it. Others may tell you to go and sin all that your heart desires, you are fine. I will continue to tell you that is living dangerously and there will be consequences. Whatever a man sows, that will he also reap (Gal. 6:7).

When someone sins against us, we are to rebuke / admonish them. This keeps it from festering inside of you, and may correct them. If they repent, we have to forgive them. We are to be compassionate, but not weak against sin. Telling someone nicely that they hurt you can be difficult. Often we like to sweep it under the rug and act like it did not happen, but like a splinter under the skin, it will swell and may become infected. Get it out early.

Luke 17:5-6 Apparently the apostles thought they needed more faith to deal with forgiveness and Jesus explained that it is more the quality of the faith that matters. The mustard seed was the tiniest of seeds. While Rabbis taught that the sycamore / black mulberry tree’s roots would grow for 600 years, meaning that it would be very firmly rooted in the ground. Even a very small faith could move something impossible. Genuine faith can accomplish the impossible when used within God’s will.

Luke 17:7-10 When people have strong faith, they may become lifted up in spiritual pride. Jesus makes it clear that when we have done our days work just as we should have, we have nothing to brag about. We have only done our duty using the tools, gifts and life that He has already blessed us with.

We have a wonderful Father in heaven that loves us, but He has repeatedly let me know that my own pride stinks to Him and blinds me from everything that He has. I am not a self-made man, I am a God-made man. He provides the greatest opportunities when I humble myself, usually through fasting, other times by scrubbing toilets. When I skip fasting long enough, He will faithfully provide a fresh toilet for me.

Luke 17:11-19 This is an interesting parable to me. Ten lepers called out to Jesus at a distance and yelled “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” to which Jesus yelled back “Go and show yourself to the priests.” That was the whole exchange.

The priests then were like health inspectors and would certify that they had been cured. So these men, who were covered with leprous sores, went to show themselves to the priests just like that. As they went, they were cleansed. Jesus put their faith to the test and asked them to act as if they had been cured. When they obeyed Him, they were.

Only one of the ten lepers returned to thank Jesus and he was a Samaritan. Jews and Samaritans had little to do with each other, but this one was thankful to a Jewish healer. If people do not give thanks quickly, they usually do not do so at all. There is also a difference in the nine that were “cleansed” and the tenth who gave thanks, was made “well.” To cleanse means to purge or purify. Made well means to be made whole, saved, preserve, deliver, protect. In essence, Jesus may have told the Samaritan “Your faith has saved you” when he returned and gave thanks.

Luke 17:20-37 The Pharisees, and the disciples of Jesus, assumed that God’s kingdom would be set up and push the Romans out. They asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come. Jesus explained that it is not like an earthly kingdom that you can see with your eyes. He basically told them “the kingdom is even now among you.”

The return of Jesus will be apparent to everyone just as lightning lights up the entire sky. When He returns, life will be carrying on as normal. People will be getting married, eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. There is nothing wrong with any of these things, they are all normal human activities. The point is that the people that lived in Noah’s time, and Lot’s time, were so caught up in every day life that they did not even see the storm clouds surrounding them, and disaster came on them suddenly. They ignored the man that God had sent in their midst due to a busy self-centered lifestyle.

The return of Jesus will not be some secret thing that you will have to look for, or wonder if that was Him. When He does show up, do not return back to your home for stuff, you will no longer need it. Lot’s wife came out of the city with her family, but then turned back and lingered, apparently having second thoughts about leaving all their goodies behind. She was destroyed along with the city of Sodom and everything in it.

One will be taken, and the other left. When all is said and done, one will be with Jesus, the other will not be. Whenever that is, or wherever that is, we should live our life accordingly.

Study Questions: (if your answers are very long, you may want to type them first in something like Notepad, which doesn't require an Internet connection, then copy and paste (Ctrl-A to select, Ctrl-C to copy, Ctrl-V to paste), to prevent mishaps. Also, there is a 3K character limit, so if they are super long, feel free to post more than once, and just answer a couple of questions at a time. You are welcome to post any questions you may have, as well. We look forward to your thoughts!)

1. Jesus taught His disciples in Luke 17:1-4 about the importance of not being the source of tempting a person into sin. He said we should rebuke the brother who sins and forgive the one who repents. What are some ways follow this and still include “love your neighbor as yourself”?

2. Many, if not most, of us have at least one person in our life who will test the instruction to forgive even if you are sinned against “seven times in a day”, meaning a lot :). In what ways can we better live with a heart to forgive such transgressions?

3. In the parable of the Unworthy Servants, Jesus discusses the problem of spiritual pride, of thinking that we are worthy of additional rewards simply for doing our duty. How can we avoid this trap?

4. When Jesus healed the ten lepers, all were cleansed, but the one who turned back to express faith and gratitude was “made well”. When times are good, it’s often easy to forget to lean close to God, certainly easier than when times are tough. How can we better cultivate an attitude of gratitude each day, whatever is happening in our life?

5. Jesus said that “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” What does this statement mean to you?

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