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Lesson 4


A Servant Is Not Greater Than His Lord


I. Study Texts:  Matt 10:24-33; John 15:18-20


II. Theme: A servant is not greater than his master. If the master does things that are difficult, and suffers abuse, his disciples

        can expect to do likewise. Sometimes servants are given assignments that are difficult, and they do them because they want

        to please their master.

            1. Service is what makes a servant useful.

            2. Service is often difficult.

            3. Desire for preeminence is not useful for a servant, Matt 23:1-12.


Matthew 10:24-33

        Context: Jesus summoned the twelve and gave them the power to cast out demons and to heal every kind of disease and

        sickness.  How important must a person feel to have Jesus personally grant him power over demons, disease, and sickness?


        Shortly after that, Jesus sent the twelve on what is commonly called "the limited commission." They were to go to Jewish

        people only. They were to take no extra provisions or money. They were to go with this understanding: their powers would

        not shield them from the contempt, the hatred, and the abuse of enemies.

            1. A disciple is not more important than whom? A slave is not more important than whom (verse 24)?

            2. What is the highest expectation a disciple or a slave should have (verse 25)?

            3. If people call the head of the family the prince of demons, what can the rest of the family expect?

            4. Why did Jesus say that such people should not be feared (verse 26)?

            5. What should they do with the messages that Jesus shared with them privately (verse 27)?

            6. Whom should they not fear (verse 28)? Whom should they fear?

            7. How did Jesus use a sparrow to declare the complete awareness of God (verse 29)?

            8. How did a person's hair declare the complete awareness of God (verse 30)?

            9. Why should their knowledge of God's awareness destroy their fear (verse 31)?

            10.   Whom will Jesus confess before God (verse 32)?

            11. Whom will Jesus deny before God (verse 33)?

            12. Does this statement refer only to the baptismal confession commonly given by the person to be baptized?

                  Discuss your answer.


John 15:18-20

        Context: Jesus, who had been proclaimed king of Israel, is facing betrayal and death. His disciples must understand that if

        Israel hated him, Israel would surely hate them.

            1. Whom did the world hate before it hated the disciples (verse 18)?

            2. What situation would be necessary for the world to love the disciples (verse 19)?

            3. What two reasons did Jesus give for the world hating them (verse 19)?

            4. What saying from Jesus were they to remember (verse 20)?

            5. From whom could they expect persecution (verse 20)?

            6. From whom could they expect serious listeners (verse 20)?


IV. Conclusion: At times in the first century, Christians were respected, appreciated, and treated well. For a while, most opposition

        to Christians was local opposition. However, Christians became the common enemy of Judaism, paganism (worshippers of

        idols), and the government. As opposition grew, all three cooperated as they opposed this "common enemy." In the closing

        years of the first century, it was not unusual for Christians to suffer simply because they believed in Jesus. 


        Christians must understand that as servants we are neither more important nor of greater significance than our Master, Jesus.

        If we are his disciples, we are not greater than he.


        God placed His hard responsibilities upon His son. Jesus forgave the repentant prostitute, taught the Samaritans, gave hope to

        the outcasts, was patient with the self-centered twelve, and endured rejection and execution. Jesus did the difficult work no

        one wanted--for us. We must be willing to do the hard things for Him. And we can do the things expected of us because we

        know that God loves us, and that He will provide the help needed.  


        What hard work have you done for the Lord this week?


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