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Luke Chapter 17

  • Bible Study on Luke 

    Luke Chapter 17


    >> Click Here For Audio Version << 
     

    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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27 comments
  • 2
Margaret Ponchel
Margaret Ponchel 1. Jesus said to rebuke the man who sins and forgive the one who repents. One member of our small church is a notorious gossip that no one will openly confront about his gossiping. It has brought discord into the fellowship and produced many hurt feelings in the congregation. I talked to this man about the problem that he had created by his gossiping about other church members. He looked me in the eye and vehemently denied gossiping. He pointed his finger right at my nose and said that I was wrong to think that he would do so. (There is no doubt of his sinning because many had been muttering about what he'd done.) I did my part and am praying that God will soften his heart to receive the admonition and repent of his sin. Looking forward to the time that I may freely speak with this man and not hold a distance between us.
August 24, 2015
  • 2
Carolyn  Douglas
Carolyn Douglas Luke 17 Question 1...One of the struggles that I have had consistently are others reminding me that as a Christian I need to forgive...usually from those who aren't Christian after they have betrayed and abused an aspect of our relationship...We forgive always but if a person doesn't change ...we don't have to continue to remain in it. That is why one should be in guard in deciding marriage. That is a covenant that is not open to leave except in scriptural specified conditions. Be very careful and guard your heart in all relationships because unfortunately the spirit of Judas is very much alive looking to steal,kill, and destroy...especially a true believer. Once you have been hurt we forgive but there should be candid discussion and communication to avoid it in the future. If it persists...forgive and distance yourself. Pray for them but don't make yourself a martyr to heartless anguish.
August 25, 2015
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Gretchen Simms
Gretchen Simms I had a pastor that called it passing the spoon.   We do every thing we can to forgive and repair the relationship.    That is what we called "stirring".  Then we pass the spoon to them.   I did that one time with my best friend who had hurt and betrayed me.    I forgave and did everything possible to repair the relationship.   nothing worked so I passed the spoon and moved on.   I continued to pray for her but I quit setting myself up for hurt.    15 years later out of the blue she called and begged for my forgiveness.    God is timeless and the healer of all wounds if we let Him. 
August 26, 2015
  • 2
Carol Pady
Carol Pady 1. We should always rebuke with love, never being judgemental. We always should make sure we are not guilty of th e same sin. 2. I know a few seven times a day people. I choose to forgive in my heart so God will forgive me my trespasses. Whether God convicts them to apologize and they do, doesn't matter.  3. We have to realize that without God we can accomplish nothing! Therefor all praise for our works should go to God. 4. We need to make praise and gratitude a part of our daily prayer. I thank Him for the day's blessings and then add requests. 5. To me it means to turn over full control of my life to Him. Give everything , my all, to Him. Hold nothing back.
August 25, 2015
  • 2
Carolyn  Douglas
Carolyn Douglas Luke 17...Question 2 Forgiveness is something used by the enemy to block us from relationship with the Lord so it is one that must be looked at daily and maintained by prayer and reflection. With that said forgiving someone over and over tries our love walk and our patience. Forgiveness is for us more than anyone. It is the release of toxic emotions and thoughts that opens doors to bitterness and a host of bad feelings. I grew up in an abusive home with every form of it and my earliest memory at three...saved at 8 but never rescued. God didn't take me out of it ...He brought me through it. God kept my heart sweet through His Word and prayer and 25 years after much prayer I led my parents to the Lord who now are waiting in me in heaven. God used me ...the one they hurt to show them the reality of His love.The Lord healed the damage from those years and set my whole family free because I allowed Him to show me how to forgive.
August 26, 2015
  • 2
Gretchen Simms
Gretchen Simms 1).  In"rebuking" I find it best to remember the plank in my own eye.   And when telling someone else they have hurt me I try to be sure to cover it in love.   Years ago I was teaching junior high.  When teaching this lesson we passed out sandwiches.   We took the offense. And covered it on both sides with love,   Just like 2 pieces of bread around a piece  of lunchmeat. No one hears a rebuke that is full of condemnation and self righteousness.    But the same rebuke is loud and clear when it comes from a heart ready to forgive and move on.
August 26, 2015
  • 2
Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb 1. Because I’m also warned not to judge and I’m not aware of where a person is in their spiritual journey, this task of rebuking is difficult. When I’ve felt prompted to point out a sinful practice, it’s seemed to be something that I struggled with in my own journey. I’ve been able to share my experience and God’s grace for forgiveness and strength to change, as well as the joy and peace that came with changing the practice. Having friends (brothers) who welcome accountability also makes it easier to grow each other because I’m confident they’ll point out sinful areas in my life with love. Forgiving one who repents is much easier!
August 26, 2015
  • 2
Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb 2. Struggling with this right now. Is this command premised on the person repenting first? Or are we to forgive over and over even when the person doesn't repent and continues in their hurtful practice?
August 26, 2015
  • 2
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Cathy, what we try to practice (certainly not perfectly :)) is to forgive them anyway, just for our own good. It's not helpful to have unforgiveness festering within us. That said, we do not let people invade our lives who continually try to bring us harm. We are, in fact, dealing with a specific family issue just on that subject and are having to draw hard lines to be able to have a life.
August 26, 2015
  • 1
Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb Thanks, Sylvia!  This is the conclusion the Spirit has led me to as well -- forgive so resentment and discouragement don't invade my heart. This isn't easy and I'm really struggling with drawing those hard lines. Continually praying that God will show me His will for managing this relationship.
August 27, 2015
  • 2
Pamela Holliman
Pamela Holliman 1. We are not to judge others unless we want to jugded. If you see your neighbor doing wrong you should correct them in a loving way. I admit that I am not where I suppose to be with this one.  
August 26, 2015
  • 2
Pamela Holliman
Pamela Holliman 2. I have a hard time forgiving when I am wronged and it takes me some time to reach a level of forgivness, because I am in my feelings.
August 26, 2015
  • 2
Pamela Holliman
Pamela Holliman 3. To avoid this trap we should always focus on God and His word daily so we don't forget it was him and not us.
August 26, 2015
  • 1
Carolyn  Douglas
Carolyn Douglas Luke 17 Question 3...I think this is very important in reference to those who work in the ministry ...We as individuals are not to be elevated or puffed up about anything that we do as we go about the duties of our faith -whether in testimony all the way to speaking to stadium filled arenas. Servanthood is seeing that others are to be esteemed and honored. Jesus modeled it like no other because the Creator washed the feet of His servants and disciples. GOD bowed in love and service to wash the dirt from their feet. How many times in life have we EVER seen such humility when possessing earthly authority?  The President? The Queen of England? The Lord has all authority in all that we know or can see yet the Creator did leaving an example of the best leadership model ever presented. The servant truly is not greater than the Master.That is why I can clean floors or dust furniture or nurse those who are ill. I can feed the homeless - clothe those without - visit the sick. It will never be anything close to dying for those who rejected and ridiculed our Lord. I willingly submit to any service to the One who died for me! May humility and service be found in me until the end of my journey.
August 26, 2015
  • 1
Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb 3. I try to keep foremost in my mind that Jesus provided the work, as well as prepared me to accomplish it. Sometimes I have this running through my head during the day as I go about my tasks just to keep me in line. I also make an effort to verbally thank those around me who contribute to the tasks at hand so the focus is taken away from what I’m doing.   4. This one takes conscious effort and consistent prayer through the day, as I’m walking through a difficult time with our adult daughter right now. Every morning the first thing I do in my meditation journal is thank the Lord for His blessings and His chastening. It helps me remember that both are part of becoming more like Jesus.   5. Jesus is encouraging me to live for Him rather than for the goals that are accepted as success in this earthly life—career, money, retirement funds, car/house, material possessions. If I consistently focus my life on God’s will and keep my eyes on Jesus, I have the promise of eternal life -- what better gift!
August 27, 2015
  • 1
Carolyn  Douglas
Carolyn Douglas Luke 17 Question 4...Attitude of gratitude ...It can make us or break us as this parable clearly shows that God notices and blesses thankfulness. I purposely make a conscious choice to open prayer by stating things I am thankful for ...I set aside first day of the week as attitude of gratitude day to just tell the Lord how great He is and continues to be ...I love the group page of Counting Your Blessings to list and read the reports of others ...It is "sacrifice of praise" when we praise in the midst of tears yet it is the most convincing testimony to those who watch us and need to experience real faith. I choose my attitude daily and joy with gratitude is a much brighter place to be than negatives and complaints. I want to learn from the lepers who were healed that I need to show gratitude to the Lord, His Shepherds, His Children. Just a better way to live!! The one that did come back was blessed with more - God definitely rewards those with right attitudes! 
August 27, 2015
  • 1
Carolyn  Douglas
Carolyn Douglas Luke 17 Question 5 ...We should be heavenly minded while fulfilling the mission and purpose that the Lord wants us to accomplish on earth. I feel that many cling to this world too much but in the scheme of things our time on earth is transitional. Eternity is where we are permanently. Choices we make here determine the place we abide forever. If we are consumed by earthly pleasures we are not mindful of God and heaven. But if we choose to abandon the temporary for the permanent we will have chosen wisely and shown our spiritual maturity. 
August 28, 2015
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  • 1
Lorna Smetak
Lorna Smetak I would exlain to the person in a loving matter that it is/was wrong to do what they had done. But i also need to be careful not to do it my self. We are to be example to others. There are times that after i have said something i feel just horrible, knowing that this wrong. Forgiving part of this is hard at times but i always remember how many times the Lord has forgiven me for my sins. It is harder if the person does the same thing to you up to 7 times and beyond. Follow by example. Reading the word of god or listen to music. I my self walk away of a situation if it continues on after speaking to the person about what they are doing. Be thankful for what we have and not complain for what we have done. God is the one that gave it to you, he can easily take it away. I am happy if i was told that dinner was good. I don't expect them to clean up after dinner after working all day. I am thankful that we have food in the house.  
August 28, 2015
  • 1
Kathy Banfield
Kathy Banfield Yesterday, I didn't complete my answer to Question #5 because I had to take a bathroom beak, but I wanted to add a few things. One, in Matthew, chapter 5, (The Beautitudes) Jesus said that those who mourn, those who are humble, are the ones who will inherit God's kingdom.And He also said that it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to inherit God's kingdom.So, we MUST surrender to God! In humbling ourselves, losing our lives so to speak, we are actually allowing our true identity in God to shine through.We lose nothing and gain everything in the kingdom that lasts forever!
August 28, 2015
  • 1
Lorna Smetak
Lorna Smetak Being thankful for what i do have than don't have. The thing that i also keep in the back of my mind is how manu people have it worse than I. There are times that are very hard to handle when u have an illness. I listen to my favorite music which brings me up or i am asking the Lord for help. The worries of everyday life. Someone has more money than another (example). In a storm someone forgot something in the house valuable ( idol) than their own life and go back to get it and die in the process
August 28, 2015
  • 1
Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Thank you dear Pastor!
August 30, 2015
  • 1
Darlene Blackmon
Darlene Blackmon #1....In knowing our fellow sinned we should try to help him in repenting and if he still does not don't we bring other fellowship members to help before rebuking him? And by doing so, isn't that someway in loving him as "our neighbor" rather that rebuking him off the bat? #2.....I am still learning this and by keeping in mind of how Jesus forgave me for things I have sinned myself in my past I am coming to terms with this issue on a daily basis. #3......It's hard to think in terms of entitlement when it comes to spiritual pride because for me because first I have to have it. #4......In my prayers every morning "gratitude" is always included. 
August 31, 2015
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Darlene Blackmon
Darlene Blackmon Oops my fingers slipped. Sorry. #4.....Gratitude toward God is unavoidable.  #5....That's almost like saying to have a life without God is no life at all....I believe He gave me life and everything and everyone in it is His.
August 31, 2015
  • 1
Deborah Alexander
Deborah Alexander Q#2 When we grasp the fact that we daily sin against God and yet in still He forgives us our trepassesthen we ought to forgive others as we were forgiven. Q#3 I believe we can avoid this trap bby keeping in mind what Jesus said, that He came to serve not to be served. Q#4 Should we take a look around at those in Hospitals, Nursing homes, rehabs, etc. and see how you are not there that alone should make a person thankful for what they have.  I have worked in a Nursing home for over 25 years and have seen  alot and met people who were so thankful and grateful in spite of their situation and that truly touched my heart. Q#5 I always thought this meant when we give our lives over to Jesus we loose them yet still we live. Thank you Pastor Todd for our weekly Bible Studies I am thankful and grateful as well as learninng much with much more to learn.
September 3, 2015
  • 1
Laurie Coury
Laurie Coury I believe the Rapture and the Second coming of Christ are two very distinct and different occurrences. One private, the other one seen by all and unmistakeable. In understanding the Rapture, it is important to know the customs of a Jewish marriage in ancient times.  I just feel this study of Luke 17 can be somewhat confusing to young Christians, perhaps some clarification between the two events may help.  I would appreciate hearing your thoughts...sincerely yours in Christ, Laurie Coury
October 13, 2015
  • 1
Laurie Coury
Laurie Coury Question 1: express the truth in love. As Paul confronted Peter about confusing people by reverting back to the law/rituals as the way of salvation.  I believe there are 3 tests of the "gray areas" (Christian liberties) that may cause a younger Christian to stumble: (taken from Cor. 6 & 8 ) test of utility...all things are lawful for me, yet all are not helpful to reach Gods goal of helping me to become like His Son.i.e. Will it expedite my and Gods goal or hinder me, will my behavior hinder others around me? 2. Test of authority / control.  Does it enslave me, control me? Will this "thing" become my master? Or am I Spirit led? If there is something I feel I "must do", then I am a slave to it and I must stop! 3. Test of brotherly love. Will my choice of behavior cause those around me to stumble. How will it affect them? Paul tells us that those who are stronger in The Faith MUST be mindful and considerate of those who are weaker in The Faith. These gray area examples: Is it ok for Christians to smoke?Drink?swear?have a glass of wine? The Word says we are to "avoid even the appearance of evil."
October 13, 2015