I enjoyed teaching in Encounter, the high school ministry of my church, yesterday morning. I’ve taught a few times and this was really the first time I felt comfortable to teach fully in my style. That’s hard to explain… but I only mean I was comfortable to just be me.
There’s no scripted version of this talk but I thought I’d pass along my notes as well as offer my materials for anyone who’d like them.’
To download my slides, images, and associated PDFs click the link below.Luke 18 Teaching Notes (237)
Luke 18:1-8 Teaching Notes
Opener – read The Myth That God Opens and Closes Doors
Persistence is counter-cultural.
Justice for the powerless is counter-cultural.
Introduction to the Gospel of Luke (Why did Luke write this Gospel narrative? Why was Jesus teaching using parables?)
Activity – Invite students to dissect Luke 18:1-8 in table groups. On a piece of paper, have each student divide the page into quadrants and label them as such: People, Places, Wants, and verbs. (I jokingly call “verbial phrases.”) Give them 3-4 minutes to work on that together, then have them share what they’ve learned.
Sidenote: Students LOVED this activity, which is really a stripped down version of an inductive Bible study. Several came up to me afterwards saying they were going to try this on their own.
Examples of what they might report back
People – Judge, Widow, Son of Man, God, the elect, Justice, those seeking justice.
Places – A certain town, the courts, earth
Wants – Justice (a student pointed out an additional want, the judge wanted the widow to go away.)
Verbial phrases – give me justice, he refused, speedily, feared God, respected men, bothering me, give her justice, beat me down, cry to him day and night, delay, find faith.
Activity wrap-up: Ask the group… “What are you hearing?” Talk a little about the Bible being a living thing, that the Holy Spirit illumines things to us, collectively.
Define Persistence – Examples being younger siblings, sports. Persistence is the noble side of being annoying!
Define widows in first century Palestine – The are powerless, they have no value in society
Discussion Questions (in table groups first, then as a group)
- Why did the judge change his mind? (Suggest that it wasn’t just practical… that the judge actually did something supernatural.)
- Who are you in the story? What role in the story do you most closely identify with?
- Where are you the judge?
- Where are you the widow?
- When are you in a position to grant justice?
- Where in your life do you need justice?
Challenge question: What’s worth being persistent about?
Application: Some hard-earned secrets of walking with Jesus (Based on this blog post)
- It’s not easy.
- It’s not quick.
- It’s not cheap.
[Insert personal story about coming to faith in high school.]
- Lessons worth learning take time.
- Justice can happen in a moment. But the impact of justice may take generations to correct wrongs. (Example of Somaly Mam)
Closing and Challenge from Luke 18
How much of that kind of persistent faith will be on the earth when Jesus returns?
Why does Luke’s question matter?
- You can’t become you without some persistence.
- You’ll never know God’s promises for you until you learn this.
- If your faith is living from quick fix to quick fix, it’s immature.
- Jesus is inviting you into a more mature form of faith, one that isn’t easy, isn’t quick, and will cost you everything.
What are you asking God to change his mind about you?
(Note on the images: While I did PhotoShop them all, I don’t own them. It’s just stuff I found online for use in my talk.)