Sunday “E.Q.U.I.P.” is an exercise meant to better equip us for corporate worship on Sunday evenings. We want to help you reflect on the sermon passages and familiarize yourself with the songs we’ll sing.
This week’s passage is Luke 8.1-21.
E—EYES to the passage. Read Luke 8.1-21. As you have time, try reading Psalm 1 or Isaiah 55.
Q—QUESTIONS for reflection.
- In Luke 8.1-3, we’re reminded of several things related to Jesus’ teaching ministry, especially. As you read these verses, what comes to mind? For instance, the existence of the disciples reminds us of the power of Christ’s Word. He calls. They follow. How does it relate to infirmities? Exorcism (Luke 4.1ff)? Joanna (probably an upper class citizen)?
- Most of the folks in Luke 8.1-3 are ‘ministers in training’ or supporters of Jesus’ ministry. Beginning in Luke 8.4, Jesus explains the nature of a ministry that’s centered on the proclamation of the Word of God. Is it ‘exciting,’ or sort of a ‘downer’? Would you sign up for what Jesus describes? Would you support it? Does what He teach make you hopeful in a sound ministry of the Word?
- In Luke 8.8, Jesus says ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear,’ yet in the parable, each ‘hears.’ What does Jesus mean?
- Do we ever hear the Word of God neutrally or inconsequentially? See the purpose of Jesus’ parables in Luke 8.9-10. Relatedly, if hearing and being hardened is a just judgment of God against those who have heard but not ‘heard,’ how is it that we do hear? ‘To you it has been _______?’ The light of understanding and spiritual perception is grace!
- As for the parable: what truth is gleaned in Luke 8.11? What truth is gleaned from the fact that Jesus scatters in a way that might seem, oh, wasteful of good seed and time? Mainly, how do these various soils hit you? Just because (in my view) only one soil is ‘truly Christian,’ that doesn’t mean we don’t find ourselves responding to the Word those unprofitable ways described, here, particularly the 2nd and 3rd soils. Hence, what I think is the main word from Jesus in this passage, Luke 8.18, to His disciples: “Take care then how you hear.”
- What marks the good soil—a true and gracious hearing of the Word of God? Jesus says it 3 times in 3 different ways: Luke 8.15, Luke 8.16, and Luke 8.21. What’s the mark?
- How can we prepare ourselves to really hear the Word of God—to hear it and obey it? Think on this as we prepare to hear the Word on Sunday night.
U—UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4.3; also 4.13). How can we take this passage and use it to love one another, so that we’re knit together in love? Reflect on the following: 1) how the Word brings all sorts together around Christ, Luke 8.1-3; 2) how the ministry of the Word of God is worth our time, effort, prayers, and tears. Jesus majored in it, and healthy churches will also: ‘My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me.’ 3) that we must encourage one another to hear the Word of God with ears to really hear—to have a culture of good, healthy listening to the Word preached—to support one another with patience in obeying God’s Word.
I—IGNITE for Christ. What excellencies about Jesus ignite in us a greater love for Him that reaches out to all to make Him known? Consider 1) the power and grace of His Word, Luke 8.1-3, 10; 2) His grace towards us that we have ears to hear, Luke 8.10, 15; 3) that He’s made us to bear His likeness, His light, His family resemblance, Luke 8.15, 16, 21; 4) that He works within us to preserve us even when our hearing is embattled, shallow, and distracted by many things, so that we do over time bear fruit for God.
P—PRAY that we will be a people who truly hear the Word of God, so that we bear the fruit of the gospel of kingdom: enduring obedience to the Word of God in this world!