In this passage Jesus teaches his disciples principles that are entwined in the Lord’s Prayer. He discloses to them the plain truth and power of every soul which is surrendered to him, as well as the dangers and duty of our position in Christ.
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Section 117c | Four Lessons on Discipleship
1 He said to the disciples,1 “It is impossible2 that no occasions of stumbling3 should come, but woe to him through whom they come!4¯5 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be careful. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him.6 4 If he sins against you seven times in the day, and seven times returns, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”7 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”8 6 The Lord said,“If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you would tell this sycamore tree,9 ‘Be uprooted, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 But who is there among you, having a servant plowing or keeping sheep, that will say when he comes in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down at the table,’ 8 and will not rather tell him, ‘Prepare my supper, clothe yourself properly, and serve me, while I eat and drink. Afterward you shall eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded? I think not. 10 Even so you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants. We have done our duty.’ ”10
- How well have you headed the four lessons for disciples: faithfulness, forgiveness, authority, and duty?
- What temptations have weakened and undone your own life and the ministries, churches, friends you’ve known? What potential do you see in them? What then can or should be done?
- How are you measuring up as His disciple? What changes do you need to make? Do you need certain freedom from any bondage, authority over any temptation, or reconciliation with Christ or a neighbor? What areas of your life need to be surrendered to the Lordship of Christ?
- How has God particularly equipped you to carry out the duty of every disciple?
Learning Objectives: Love, forgiveness, Lordship, surrender, spiritual authority, faithfulness, Christian duty.