students learning from their teacher October 7 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Luke 6:17-49; Luke 7:1-10; Matthew 8:5-13; John 4:46b-54; Luke 7:11-17

Protégés. Be Careful Who You Follow!

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? Was he funny? Challenging? Well-informed? An excellent communicator? Persistent? Did the teacher make some personal investment in your life? Why did you want to be like him? Why did you want to be his star pupil, his follower, one of his protégés?

Sometimes it is not good when people want to be like their mentors. The Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees were the teachers in Jesus' day, but they taught one thing and lived another. Jesus informs his disciples, “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40, NIV). This is a sobering thought for conscientious leaders, parents, and teachers—do we want our followers to be like us?

In today's Bible reading (Luke 6:17-49) we see the great communicator, Jesus Christ, teaching masses of people who come to hear him. Bible scholars and students debate whether Luke's record of the account is the same event as the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, which we read in our last Bible study. Luke's account omits Jesus' teaching about the Jewish Law mentioned in Matthew's account. This is probably because he writes to a non-Jewish (Gentile) audience.

In Luke's account, Jesus wants the crowds to question whom they are following. The religious leaders follow the legality of Moses' Law but fail to interpret it with justice and mercy. A genuine relationship with God is necessary for a right interpretation of the Scriptures. Because the religious leaders reject Christ, they are blind to the truth. They are blind leaders leading the blind. How can spiritually blind leaders lead their disciples into solid convictions? They can't; they will lead their followers to build their spiritual houses on uncertain, sinking and shifting sand, instead of a firm foundation of the truth found in Jesus Christ.

To whom will we give our allegiance? How do we know who is speaking the truth and who is living a lie? Jesus tells us to watch their deeds and listen to what they say (Luke 6:43-45). Do they do good or evil? Do they speak what is right?

Another example of whom we should follow is found in the account of the Centurion. It is written in three of the four gospels. From the multiple texts we might conclude that this is one person whom God wants others to follow as an example. This Commander is a man of faith. He sends for Jesus to come and heal his servant because he believes in him (the religious leaders don't). The Centurion takes Jesus at his word and is rewarded for his faith. Whom will we copy? Will we follow a bad example of religion without a relationship with God, or will we be Jesus' protégés and copy the faith he praises?

Lessons to Live By

  • We need to be careful whom we follow. It is important to watch a spiritual leaders' words and deeds to see if they express truth and faith from a real relationship with Jesus Christ (more...).
  • Let's follow Jesus Christ and his ways. Let's be his protégés.
  • We should be someone impressive to imitate—not with our personality but with our godly words and actions.

Focus Verses

Titus 2:7-8 (NIV)

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

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A Look Ahead: Why should we believe Jesus? Is he worthy of our trust? Join us for our Next Lesson, called Faith or Skepticism.

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