• Tony Birkhead

RED LETTERS Week-4



We will never see God’s riches if we aren’t willing to be poor now!

INTRODUCTION

A relationship with Jesus changes us from the inside out. We reflect kingdom characteristics in the way we live.

KEY SCRIPTURE

Luke 6:20-26

Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor,for yours is the kingdom of God.21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.Blessed are you who weep now,for you will laugh.22 Blessed are you when people hate you,when they exclude you and insult youand reject your name as evil,because of the Son of Man.23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.25 Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry.Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What messages does our culture send about the power of self and the need to be self-sufficient? Where are these messages the strongest?


How are these messages different from the message of the Christian faith? Are there any similarities?


In what area of your life are you most drawn to self-sufficiency or selfishness—family, work, church, friendships?


esus taught a radically different way of relating to other people—living for others rather than yourself. Just as in biblical times, this approach runs counter to worldly values today. Jesus expects us to put others before ourselves as a consistent lifestyle; it’s not about words but actions motivated by love. This is the lifestyle He modeled for us.


Have a volunteer read Luke 6:20-26.

What four qualities ought to characterize followers of Christ? What do each of those traits have in common? What do the qualities look like?


What is the difference between the first blessing and the next two? Why is this significant?


Verses 24-26 in this section are the exact counterpart to verses 20-23 (blessed vs. woeful; poor vs. rich; hungry vs. full; when people hate you vs. when all people speak well of you). The clear theme in these verses is that God approves of people who know they’re broken, who know they’re nothing without His blessing.


MOVING FORWARD

  • Is the life you live as counter-cultural as the one Jesus described in these teachings? Why or why not? In what area might it need to be more so?

  • Why is it often hard to remember our brokenness and need for God? What can you do this week to be more aware of your dependency on Him?

PRAY TOGETHER

Ask God to help you and your group members to commit to growing in ways that will enable them to live to benefit others.

COMMENTARY

Luke 6:20-26

6:20-26 In Matthew, it is “the poor in spirit” and “those who hunger... for righteousness” who are blessed. The same is true here, because the reward for the blessed ones is in heaven. Jesus noted that rejection was the way those in earlier generations used to treat the prophets, while speaking well was the way they treated the false prophets. The implication is that Jesus’ growing rejection by the religious leaders is proof that He was a true prophet.

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