The Walk of PURPOSE
Luke 4:14-20

Community Group Discussion Guide

Sermon Summary
This sermon is a part of “The Walk” series which looks at the life of Christ and how He dealt with the issues of life He faced. In this message we will look at the purpose for which Jesus walked upon this earth and how it should parallel our walk. Just as Jesus came to preach the good news of the gospel to the spiritually poor, we are to do likewise. This has far reaching implications for our daily agenda’s and our future goals. The text for this message comes from Luke’s story of Jesus at the synagogue in Nazareth where Jesus read from the Prophet Isaiah.

Community Group Questions

1. Do you have a difficult time sharing your faith others? Truth is, even preachers sometimes find it difficult to find the right way to share the good news with others. What are some innovative ways you’ve used to share the message of Christ?

2. Jesus was led by The Holy Spirit to preach the good news. Discuss your thoughts on how The Holy Spirit helps us know when to share, what to share and how to share.
Luke 12:11  "When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,
Luke 12:12  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."
Acts 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

3. How should a walk of purpose patterned after the walk of Christ effect our daily agendas and our future goals?
Mat 4:18  As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
Mat 4:19  "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
Mat 4:20  At once they left their nets and followed him.

4. Share an example of how Christ set you free, opened your eyes, and released you from oppression.
Rom 6:21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
Rom 6:22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


SERMON NOTES

If we're going to call ourselves followers of Christ, we must learn what it means to follow Christ, and to do that we must understand what the walk of Jesus was all about.

We've already learned the walk of Christ was a walk of obedience! We've also learned, as Satan tempted Jesus, he will tempt us to walk a different path.

Satan despises Christ followers because he knows, like Christ, we are on a mission from God! Jesus had a divine purpose in everything He did and we have been called to live our lives with divine purpose.

You might ask the question…
"Is God's purpose for me anything like His purpose was for Jesus?" Andrew Murray put it this way in his book Like Christ...

"Nothing will help us to know and fulfill our mission more than to realize how perfectly it correspond to the mission of Christ, how they are, in fact, identical."
Pg 73

He goes on to say...

"Christ's mission is the only reason for our being on earth. Were it not for that, He would take us away."
pg 75

Some folks are really uncomfortable with a statement like this. However, I'm convinced there's no reason for God to leave us on this planet after we've accepted His grace and forgiveness if it weren't for some divine purpose.

Let me put it this way…God loves us so much He desires to be with us face to face. In fact Jesus told His disciples...

3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 14:3 (NIV)

As followers of Christ in this world, we aren't exempt from disappointment, discouragement, pain, suffering, sickness, and even death. There's nothing a loving parent hates more than to see their child suffering.

God is our loving Heavenly Father and He also hates to see His children suffer. However, He knows there's something so important for us to accomplish, He's willing to allow us to continue living on this planet until our mission is finished!!

 To be sure, He will supply our needs, and give us the strength and health we will need to accomplish our divine purpose and mission, but that doesn't mean it will be easy street!

 Having said these things, I hope you're at least a little bit curious as to what this divine purpose and mission is all about! If our purpose is like  Christ's purpose, then we need to discover what that is.


 Let's pray and ask God to reveal to us The Walk of Purpose He wants us to walk.

PRAY

 Our text for today is Luke 4:14-21, if you have your Bibles, please turn there.

After Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, He immediately set out on a mission to fulfill His divine purpose. Let's read our text...



14Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
Luke 4:14 (NIV)

15He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
Luke 4:15 (NIV)

16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.
Luke 4:16 (NIV)

17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
Luke 4:17 (NIV)

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
Luke 4:18 (NIV)

19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4:19 (NIV)

20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him,
Luke 4:20 (NIV)

21and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Luke 4:21 (NIV)

This is a very powerful and compelling story concerning the very beginning of Christ's ministry.

My daughter is taking New Testament in College. We were talking the other day how many parts of the Bible have application and meaning for the time they're written, but also have application for our lives today and meaning for a time in the future.

The passage we just read is one such Scripture. It had very definite meaning for the people alive when Isaiah originally wrote it, but it also looked forward to its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus as the Messiah.

However, this passage also has powerful meaning for us today, and still has a future component. I will explain as we go along and I hope it is as meaningful for you as it has been for me!

Our text tells us Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of The Holy Spirit! His hometown Nazareth was in the region of Galilee so He went there on the Sabbath day and went into the synagogue.

 Jesus evidently had preplanned to speak, because it says He stood up to read! This was not unusual since in the Jewish tradition, the Rabbi's would have someone read a portion of Scripture. First from the law, then from the prophets.

Jesus found this particular  section of Scripture for a reason. In this passage we find the underlying reason Jesus had left heaven and come to earth. Let's look at it...

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
Luke 4:18 (NIV)

19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4:19 (NIV)

Jesus came to preach and to proclaim! His message and proclamation would guide Him as He walked on this earth.

By the end of the message today, I pray you will see clearly the walk of purpose includes preaching the message Jesus preached and proclaiming the truths Jesus proclaimed.

Jesus Preached Good News!

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor...
Luke 4:18 (NIV)

Religion had become very legalistic for most and seemed to have little good news. Most felt judged by the law and didn't think they could ever live up to the requirements of the law, so the lived separated from a Holy God by their sinfulness.

Only the High Priest had the privilege of entering into the presence of God and that only once a year!

I guess you could say the people of Israel had become impoverished spiritually. God had intended for them to be a spiritual beacon to the world, but instead they had become so spiritually poor, they weren't able to help anyone.

Jesus had come to change all of that!! He had good news for them. He was going to do what the law couldn't do! The writer of Hebrews explains it really well...

1The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
Hebrews 10:1 (NIV)

2If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.
Hebrews 10:2 (NIV)

3But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins,
Hebrews 10:3 (NIV)

4because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Hebrews 10:4 (NIV)

5Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;
Hebrews 10:5 (NIV)

6with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.
Hebrews 10:6 (NIV)

7Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll —I have come to do your will, O God.’ ”
Hebrews 10:7 (NIV)

Did you know this passage is a quote of Psalm 40:6-8?
Here's the way Jesus stated this in the gospel of John 4:34

34“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
John 4:34 (NIV)

Jesus knew what He was to do...

10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
Luke 19:10 (NIV)

Now you might be thinking, "Okay, that's really cool how Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in Psalms and Isaiah and made the sacrifice for our sins. I'm grateful. I'm glad He preached the good news, and saved me, but what does this have to do with my walk?"

 Man, if you've accepted the good news and allowed Jesus to forgive you and save your soul and change your life, then God has called you to preach that good news to others.

 Wait, did you say something? Did I hear someone say, "Hey preacher, you just lost me! I'm a lot of things, but a preacher I'm not!"

 Before you totally close the door, let me say something. If you think preaching is something that is only done on Sunday mornings by a minister speaking to a congregation, then you've been misled, and I want to apologize if preachers have given you that idea! It's false.

We all preach with our lives, with our attitudes, with our actions, with our willingness to help others find the salvation and peace we've found. I'm  going to step out on a limb and say something...

If you don't really care that others find Christ, I would encourage you to check your spiritual pulse, you may be spiritually dead.

Now I realize not everyone is as outgoing and vocal as most preachers, but God has gifted each of us with a way to contribute to the mission of sharing the good news!

God wants your walk to include sharing the good news of Jesus in whatever way He has gifted you! Maybe it's encouraging someone. Maybe it's inviting someone to a Bible study. Maybe it's by the example of the way you do business, or play a sport, or teach your students.

And sometimes, He may even ask you to step out of your comfort zone and actually share the gospel with someone using words. If He does, He will guide you every step of the way!

Jesus made it clear that His mission was to be our mission...

21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
John 20:21 (NIV)

So Jesus preached good news and a good portion of His message was proclamation. He announced officially and publicly, the truth of God to His people.

Jesus Proclaimed

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
Luke 4:18 (NIV)

19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4:19 (NIV)

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because… He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners...
Luke 4:18 (NIV)

Jesus had come to proclaim freedom for prisoners of all types whether they were prisoners because of evil they had done, or because of the evil of injustice!

Or maybe their prison was not the walls of a literal prison, but a prison of wickedness, or oppressive religion, or depression…you name it! Jesus proclaimed freedom!

16For the LORD will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory.
Psalm 102:16 (NIV)

17He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.
Psalm 102:17 (NIV)

18Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD:
Psalm 102:18 (NIV)

19“The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth,
Psalm 102:19 (NIV)

20to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”
Psalm 102:20 (NIV)

And we know God went a step further…He not only looked down, but He came down!! When He looked upon the condition of humankind, He was moved to do something about it! So Jesus left heaven and came to earth to free the captives!

Jesus saw first hand on earth what The Father had seen from heaven. Matthew tells the story...

35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
Matthew 9:35 (NIV)

36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:36 (NIV)

Ok, but what does this have to do with my walk? Listen to what Jesus said to His disciples in the verse that follows the description of Jesus' concern for the harassed and helpless ones…

37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
Matthew 9:37 (NIV)

38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Matthew 9:38 (NIV)

Do people need freedom in Christ today? Are there not those who are hopelessly imprisoned by the things of this world? Are there not those who are spiritually blind and that blindness is destroying their personal lives, their families, and even taking away their desire to live.

The question is, are we willing to walk the walk of purpose Jesus walked? Are we willing to walk into the harvest fields to harvest souls for the gospel, to bring them the good news and to proclaim freedom from their prisons, sight for their eyes, and release from their oppression?

As I have already mentioned, Scripture can have multiple applications. Jesus literally gave some people their physical eyesight. However, it was the spiritual blindness that was most devastating to people and which Jesus sought to heal.

In fact, one of the most intriguing stories of literal healing for a blind man is accompanied by a powerful example of the spiritual blindness that existed in Jesus' day.

In this story you can see the religious oppression that existed and why it bothered Jesus so much.

Jesus healed a man who was blind from birth. He did it on the Sabbath. When the religious leaders heard about it, they were angry. Listen...

16Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?” So they were divided.
John 9:16 (NIV)

The angry leaders questioned the blind man and then questioned his parents. They didn't like what they heard so they questioned the blind man a second time. Listen...

26Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
John 9:26 (NIV)

27He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
John 9:27 (NIV)

28Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses!
John 9:28 (NIV)

29We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
John 9:29 (NIV)

30The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.
John 9:30 (NIV)

31We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will.
John 9:31 (NIV)

32Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.
John 9:32 (NIV)

33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
John 9:33 (NIV)

34To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
John 9:34 (NIV)

Talk about spiritual blindness and oppression! Listen to how Jesus handled this...

35Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
John 9:35 (NIV)

36“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
John 9:36 (NIV)

37Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
John 9:37 (NIV)

38Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
John 9:38 (NIV)

39Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
John 9:39 (NIV)

40Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
John 9:40 (NIV)

41Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
John 9:41 (NIV)

Here's a little secret. If you think you've got it all together and don't need God, then you will remain blind because your pride will prevent you from asking God for healing and Jesus will not force His spiritual healing upon anyone.

 Now there was that one last proclamation...

19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4:19 (NIV)

 Jesus had come to announce the salvation and mercy God was going to make through His sacrifice and that anyone who would be willing to receive could receive. Once again, you might ask, "What does this have to do with my walk in this life?" Everything...

20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)

21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)

1As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.
2 Corinthians 6:1 (NIV)

2For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)

 Let's Pray!