READING: LUKE 6:39-49
39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit,44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
1. Read the whole passage through twice. How are the four parts of what Jesus says here connected? What do they all have to do with?
2. Jesus has been teaching on the requirement to love even for your enemies if you are going to follow Jesus. Why? Because this is the essence of discipleship (following) to become like the person you are copying! We become like the people we follow. If you say you follow Jesus, how are you certain that it is Jesus you are following?
3. Jesus implies strongly that for the student there is considerable danger in forgetting the lesson that he or she is not the teacher. How are we tempted to forget that we are students and not teachers when it comes to sin, and seeing the faults in others? What does Jesus say is necessary and how do you practically apply His teaching?
4. Think hard about this next question. Who in your life knows you well enough to know what you are really like? Do they have your permission to tell you your weaknesses and sins as well as your strengths and acts of faith? When you see an actions in your life or hear words from your mouth which seem inconsistent with the idea that you belong to God, what do you do with those things? If you know you are from THE good tree, how does that help you in resolving to produce better fruit?
5. The fourth picture of discipleship that Jesus gives is of someone who chooses to build their house on the rock rather than a sandy foundation. How does someone do this? How does someone not do it? And what is the test, according to Jesus' illustration, that it has been done?
6. Ask yourself, or the group, what is the fundamental theme which underlies these four pictures of discipleship?
7. What will you do differently that you will ask others to pray for you in after reading these four pictures of discipleship here?