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Connections Uniform 5-8-16

Smyth and Helwys Connections Uniform Series Lesson Outline for May 8, 2016

Grateful Faith                      Luke 17: 11-19

Focal Outline:           Luke 17: 11-14                      On the way

                                    Luke 17: 15-16                      One of them

                                    Luke 17: 17-19                      Your faith

 

Summary Statements: (To help you get a handle on the lesson truths.)

  1. God’s healing can occur gradually as well as suddenly.
  2. Opportunities for ministry often occur when we are trying to accomplish something else.
  3. With stories like this, we should try to place ourselves in their time and wonder what we should learn now.
  4. Our actions reveal our faith or lack of faith.

 

Questions for Thought: (To help you think of some questions to challenge with a “So What?”)  

  1. God’s creative ways extend to our healing and renewal. God’s timeline varies.
  2. How has God worked powerfully in my life through great surprise, or even what looked like inconvenience?
  3. How much do I need to understand about this story’s context in order to gain its richest lessons for now?
  4. What does my living reveal about how much I trust God?

 

Points to Ponder

[NOTE: These suggestions are to help your class be more interactive and discussion oriented. Using 3-5 different ideas will enhance your preferred teaching style and involve class participants. Build excitement and intimacy in your learners!]

How is your faith connected with your gratitude? That is a question our lesson writer will ask this week in the Teacher’s Guide. (p10) Really, that is close to the heart of the matter with this text. Don’t you think? Obviously, there might be other lessons one could ponder from this text. But, sooner or later we have to wonder: why did only one Leper bother to turn toward Jesus in thanks? What did Jesus teach in this? And, what intended place does this text hold within Luke’s gospel?

Author Martin Bell mused on this text in his book, The Way of the Wolf. He speculated a variety of reasons for why the others did not say “thank you!” to Jesus after their healing. Maybe one of them was in too big of a hurry to get home, weary from the isolation of being considered unclean. Perhaps another thought their healing had been too easy. Another failed to return, perhaps, because they wanted to tell what Jesus had done.

Gratitude is an important spiritual transaction when we are in touch with God’s grace. We should give thanks. We downright need to! But, if there is a larger issue to this text then it might be the question of how our actions betray our beliefs. In other words, important as gratitude is—gratitude is really just one small symptom of how our actions reveal beliefs. If you believe God has healed you, you should react by giving thanks. If you hold back from God your deepest life secrets, then you might not trust God to handle them. If you risk to forgive, or to give generously, then you do trust God to provide adequately for you. And, you believe that you should do likewise as God has done. How should our actions and our beliefs connect?

Introductory Thoughts (5-15 minutes – These are for discussion to introduce this week’s Lesson Ideas.)

  1. Have you ever been approached by someone in need while you were on your way to do something else? How did you respond? Our lesson writer asks these questions (p15). Need just won’t schedule with us!

 

  1. Think of a time when someone in need asked for your help. Close your eyes and picture their face. Try to imagine what led them to make that request. What can we learn from others’ legitimate need?

 

  1. We say that our actions reveal our beliefs. Do you agree that this is always true? Why? Why not? From a spiritual viewpoint, why is this an important notion to reckon with? Today, ask yourself how that fits the story.

 

  1. Take a look at “Beginning the Lesson” on p10 of your Connections Uniform Teaching Guide. How is your faith connected with your gratitude?

Studying & Discussing the Passage (20-25 minutes – See Brian Harbour’s Commentary for added insights and explanations.)

  1. Share an overview of the Lesson from “Scripture Context” (Teaching Guide ) and then examine the focal passage using a variety of teaching methods…

 

           Luke 17: 11-14                      On the way

Where was Jesus headed as this text happened? (toward crucifixion) How can we understand biblical “leprosy”? In v13, what did they ask Him for? In v14, what did His instructions to them mean?

 

Luke 17: 15-16                      One of them

What are the important details you learn in v15-16? What lesson is intended with the fact that this person was a Samaritan? What are we to learn from this?

 

Luke 17: 17-19                      Your faith

Why might Jesus ask such questions as the ones in v17-18? If a question isn’t always a question—what is He saying here? What is the theological affirmation found in v19? What should we do with the lessons here?

 

  1. On p16 (lrge. print) our lesson author says, “It’s never convenient to give time and attention to someone in need. But Jesus’ example calls us to rise above our reluctance and get involved.” Discuss the truth of this assessment. Someone has said, “Ministry happens in the interruptions.” What is our take-away here?

 

  1. How does Jonah 2: 2-9 relate to our text? How about Ps 9: 1-4, 7-10?

 

  1. On p19 our lesson writer says “Our actions reveal our beliefs. We might profess that God can heal us, but if we fail to acknowledge God when healing occurs, our actions contradict our words.” How is this true? So?

 

  1. In the Connections Uniform Commentary, Brian Harbour dives right in with a discussion of lepers from an ancient legal and social viewpoint. There on p11, what is another way “made you well” might be understood? Also on p11, how does “On the way to Jerusalem…” fit with action way back in ch9? On p12, what was biblical leprosy? On p12, what were the lepers asking Jesus for? On p14, what are at least 3 ways this story is important to us?

 

Applying the Lesson (10-20 minutes – Choose one or two questions to encourage action plans for the coming week!)

Discuss any of the following questions…

  1. Think of a time when someone asked you for help. Now consider your response.
  2. If appropriate, offer a prayer of thanksgiving for how God used you. Or, a prayer of confession?
  3. Are you more likely to respond to God’s blessings in your life like the one leper did, or like the nine? Do you praise God for what God has done for you? If so, how? If not, why not?

 

  1. See “Applying the Lesson” on p14 of the Uniform Teaching Guide. How have you thanked God? By prayer? Action? Testimony?

 

People go where they know they’ve been prepared for and are cared for!


Connections Uniform 05-15-16

Smyth & Helwys Connections Uniform Lesson Plan for May 15, 2016

Humble Faith      Luke 18:9-14

Focal Outline:     Luke 18:9                      A Parable with a PurposeSmyth & Helwys Connections Uniform Lesson Plan for May 15, 2016

Humble Faith      Luke 18:9-14

 

Focal Outline:          Luke 18:9                   A Parable with a Purpose

                                    Luke 18:10-13           The Two Pray-ers and their Prayers

                                    Luke 18:14                 The Punch Line

 

Summary Statements: (To help you get a handle on the lesson truths.)

  1. Too many Christians today think that we are better, more righteous, than the rest of the world.
  2. Many Christians today don’t think of the Gospel as being available to the whole world.
  3. God hears prayers both loud and quiet, both selfish and unselfish. And, God acts appropriate to each!
  4. God calls us to prayer filled with introspection and recognition, with repentance and sincerity.

 

Questions for Thought: (To help you think of some questions to challenge with a “So What?”)

  1. How honest are you in your prayers? What attitudes needs to shift as you mature in your prayer life?
  2. What does genuine prayer look like, sound like, feel life? How honest are you in your prayers?
  3. How open are you to God’s grace? To God’s forgiveness? How honest are you in your prayers?
  4. How grateful are you to God? What does this motivate you to do? How honest are you in your prayers?

 

Points to Ponder

NOTE: The following outline is designed for about 40 minutes of teaching. Use 3 to 5 different teaching techniques, making sure that you choose at least one idea from each of the three sections below. This will help your class become more discussion oriented and interactive. These approaches will help you build excitement, intimacy, and discipleship as you study.

Bill and Ruby Werts are two of my mentors. They taught me how to receive grace, to be honest with my self and to share in my creativity. Ruby modeled for me honest hospitality. Bill modeled for me honest spirituality. They both taught me how to pray in honest conversation with God. I’m blessed by the richness of their honesty in my life. I’m blessed by their unselfish sharing and unconditional love.

There have been times, in spite of my mentors, that I haven’t been honest with myself and with God. There have been times when I’ve felt myself “better” than those around me. There have been times when I’ve congratulated myself in my prayers and thanked God for creating me a “superior human being.” I’m sure God has sometimes “gagged” on my arrogant prayers! The best I can now pray is, “Lord, have mercy!”

Jesus tells a story today on two praying men that are easily recognizable. One tells God all the good things he has done for the Kingdom; one asks simply and humbly for God’s help. Do you recognize yourself? The picture Jesus paints here shows that He has seen me at my arrogant worst! How about you?

Awareness of being a sinner is not easy! Acceptance of being a sinner is even harder! Admission of being a sinner is perhaps the most difficult of all! The best I can do now pray is “Lord, have mercy!” What about you?

 

Motivation: (5-15 minutes -These are designed to spark the learner’s interest in the lesson.)

  1. We try to keep a “gift notebook” at our house. Each time you think of something you would like to have at “gift receiving” times, you write that down on your page. This way, we don’t have to keep asking “What do you want?” for special occasions. Rarely can I ever come up with suggestions when asked. The notebook helps us build a good “portfolio” without pressure. What’s in your “gift notebook? (Or, what three things would you like to add to your gift notebook? Have fun with this, don’t be a Pharisee on this one!)

 

  1. Who is the best role model for praying in your life? What has this person taught you about prayer? Who is the best role model for praying in your church today? Why? What about them draws you to prayer?

 

  1. In High School were you part of the “popular” crowd? What “crowd” were you part of? How did you feel about the “other” crowds? How did one get to be in your crowd? How could you fall out of favor?

 

  1. If Jesus told this story today, who would be the “Pharisee” and who would be the “tax collector”?

Examination: (10-20 minutes – These give learners opportunities to interact with the text, to see, feel, and hear God’s message. Also, consult the Learner’s Study Guide and Harbour’s Commentary for further insights.)

  1.             Luke 18:9                   A Parable with a Purpose

What is happening in the beginning of Chapter 18? Why does Jesus tell this story? If Jesus was in your Sunday

School class today, what might He say to you about this story? He began telling stories to His disciples, but the

audience changed as this parable began…or did it? How would you feel if you had been an Apostle? Do you

think some of them might have been a little arrogant? Perhaps Jesus is speaking to the religious leaders of His

day…why? What do YOU need to hear in this story?

 

                                    Luke 18:10-13           The Two Pray-ers and their Prayers

Who are the two men praying? What do you know about them? What is the Pharisee’s prayer? What is the tax

collector’s prayer? Why are these prayers confusing? What’s wrong with what the Pharisee was praying?

Weren’t his actions acceptable to God? Shouldn’t the Pharisee have been praying the prayer the tax collector

was praying? What was the tax collector’s prayer? What is the point of this story?                                            

 

                                    Luke 18:14                 The Punch Line

Jesus takes a twist in His story. What does this mean? How would you feel if you were a Pharisee? How would you feel if you were a tax collector? How does this story make YOU feel? Why ?

 

  1. What is “sin”? The Bible is filled with illustrations…but what is the bottom line? (For more, see the discussion in “A way to Begin” on p32 of the Teaching Guide.)

 

  1. What is “mercy”? The Bible is filled with illustrations…but what is the bottom line? (For more, see the discussion in “A way to Begin” on p32 of the Teaching Guide.)

 

  1. Do sentence prayers among the class. Ask each person to pray a sentence of intercession for someone else in the class, in the church, or in their family. As each person prays a sentence, have the group respond with “Lord, have mercy.”

 

Application: (5-15 minutes – This section is to give learners an opportunity to apply lesson truths to their lives!)

  1. How do you feel about the Pharisee in this story? What about his prayer?

How do you feel about the Tax Collector in this story? What about his prayer?

How do you feel about Jesus in this story? What about His conclusion?

 

  1. If the Pharisee came to your Sunday School class, how would he be accepted?

If the Tax Collector came to your Sunday School class, how would he be accepted?

If Jesus came to your Sunday School class, how would He be accepted?

 

  1. Who does the Pharisee represent in our world today?

Who does the Tax Collector represent in our world today?

How do YOU represent both of these? What is Jesus saying to you?

 

People go where they know they have been prepared for and are cared for!