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 4.14-44.
E—EYES to the passage. Read Luke 4.14-44. As you have time, try reading Isaiah 61. Jesus reads from this passage in Luke 4.18-19.
Q—QUESTIONS for reflection.
- Look at Luke 4.18 and Luke 4.43. What do they have in common? How does that commonality help us to discover and understand the main theme of this passage?
- This passage shows Jesus speaking in some way (preaching, teaching, rebuking) in two different synagogues in two different towns with two different responses (see Luke 4.28-29, then Luke 4.42). How would you describe them? Why are they what they are?
- What point(s) do you think Jesus is trying to make to those in Nazareth by reminding them of the ministries of Elijah (1 Kings 17-18) and Elisha (2 Kings 5) in Luke 4.24-27?
- What characteristics would you attribute to the words of Jesus in this passage (see Luke 4.22; Luke 4.25a; Luke 4.32; Luke 4.36; Luke 4.39)? What is the relationship between His word and some of His works in Luke 4.31-41? Bonus: How might this relationship compare with the relationship between word and work we see in, say, Genesis 1.3?
- Is there a difference between marveling at His gracious words (4.22), and being astonished at the authority of His words (4.32)? Grace is no less evident at Capernaum than Nazareth. Indeed, more so. On the other hand, the apprehension of His authority is totally lacking in Nazareth. Is that significant? If so, why?
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) we are each heirs of the grace and power of Christ, His Word and His work; 2) the emphasis in Jesus’ ministry was preaching, but never without serving others and tending to their needs (4.35-40). And these very things served the ministry of the Word (4.36). We’re to imitate Him in this; 3) Jesus really is our Great Physician, and His Word the instrument of our life and health. Like Mary (Luke 10.38-42), let’s focus on the ‘one thing necessary;’ 4) God sent His Son into the world to preach the gospel (Luke 4.43). Let’s encourage one another to do the same, as Christ has commissioned us to do (Luke 24.44-49).
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 that He is the Christ Who is the gospel (vv. 18-21); that He is gracious to sinners (v.22); that He is the Physician of our souls, saying precisely what we need to hear to help us at all times (that is the intent in vv. 23-27); that no man took His life from Him (v.30), but He laid it down of His own accord for us; that His Word is the Word of God (vv. 32-34); that He is the One Who makes all things new (vv. 35-41; compare with Revelation 21.3-5); that He is the One Who can preach certain grace at the beginning of His ministry because He will certainly die and rise in our place at the ‘end’ of it. There was no swerving in Jesus! Praise God!
P—PRAY that we will adore Him like those in Capernaum. Pray that we will bow before His gracious words. Pray that many in our area will do the same, as we preach the good news of the kingdom of God in Christ.