NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: Luke 19:11-27
Discussion Questions: The delay between Jesus’ departure and return reveals our true commitment to Christ. What do your actions before Jesus comes in His kingdom say about your commitment? When the fear of failure paralyzes us, what kinds of things do we miss out on? As God delays the coming of the kingdom, are you becoming a servant to whom more will be entrusted, or one who will be called on to forfeit what you have?
Food for Thought from Phil Ryken:
What do you do when God doesn’t come through? You have prayed and prayed but your parent’s cancer has slowly but steadily spread even as strength and vitality have ebbed away. Now it looks like the dreaded disease is about to secure its objective and claim the very life of your loved one. Now what do you do?
What do you do when, despite your best efforts — the teaching, the warning, the pleading — you still get the late-night phone call or knock on the door from the authorities? Where is God when the moment you hoped would never come has come and your life is devastated?
What do you do when you and every Christian you know have prayed for God’s deliverance from evil, but you can’t tell that anything is happening? In fact, things seem to be getting worse: Paris. San Bernardino. Brussels. Orlando. Turkey. Munich. Normandy. You’ve prayed for God to make things right in the world. You’ve prayed for “those people” … for someone … for anyone to see the light. But … crickets. What do you do when the kingdom of God doesn’t come?
Phil Ryken uses Jesus’ “Parable of the Minas (Talents)” in Luke 19:11-27 to help us answer such questions. In Jesus’ story, a well-to-do man was going to travel to a far country to receive a kingship. Before he left, he entrusted 10 of his servants each with about of a third of a year’s wages to manage while he was gone with the instruction, “Engage in business until I come back” (Luke 19:13). Though he laid out no timetable for his return, return he did. And when he returned, he asked from each of his servants an accounting of their stewardship.
Jesus not only has not told us a date for His return — for the coming of His kingdom — but He has told us no one but the Father knows when that return will be. But, we are to “engage in business until [He does] come back.” And we are to remain engaged in His business even when our pleas don’t bring the answer we seek and even when we find no evidence that evil is being defeated. He will return. And when He does, He will ask for an accounting.
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.lifeway.com/masterwork.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.