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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1053. Blessed are those who hear and obey (10/5/24)

This week, we continue in our Luke series by reflecting on Luke 11:14-28. Today, let’s consider the climax and summary of this section that calls us to obey God’s Word. 

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:14-28) 

Lesson: Hearing and obeying Jesus are the priority of the truly blessed. 


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What makes for a really good life? Many people feel that if they had more - more holidays, more clothes, more friends, more garden… then their lives would be happy. There are many good things that will give us joy but, fundamentally, hearing and obeying God’s Word is, according to Jesus, the way to a truly blessed life! No good thing can make up for the lack of fundamental things. We can be on the greatest cruise ship ever built, with all of the entertaining distractions one could invent, but if, fundamentally, the ship is sinking, it’s just a gold-lined coffin! We need God. We need Christ. True blessedness comes from hearing the Word of God and obeying it. 


Let praise be accompanied by hearing and obeying

Jesus response and correction to this woman’s outburst of praise reveals that our praise and worship must be accompanied by obedience to God’s Word. Throughout Luke, we have seen the central theme of obeying Jesus, and here, again, He labours this theme because God knows that we are all tempted to lose devotion to listening to and obeying His Word. 


Hearing and obeying Jesus, not human status, makes one blessed

Another attitude that Jesus corrects in this account, is the idea that Mary, because she is Jesus’ mother, is ‘Blessed’. Of course, in many ways she was blessed by God, however, Jesus wants to make clear that being right with God is not a matter of race and family. Rather, one is blessed because one hears and obeys God and not because, for example, one was a racial Jew. It’s not family relations that give us dignity and status; rather, our status comes from whether we are rightly related to Jesus! And to be clear, Mary, like everyone, had to put her faith in Christ for salvation.


Response

Hearing and obeying Jesus are the priority of the truly blessed. Throughout this gospel, Luke has laboured the importance of listening and obeying Jesus. The way that one hears and obeys Jesus reveals our spiritual condition. Children of God obey God. Let’s recall the account of Mary and Martha from the previous chapter. As you may remember, Martha reprimanded Jesus because He allowed Mary, Martha’s sister, to sit at His feet and listen to Him teach. His response to her rebuke was:  

‘“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,  but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”’ (Luke 10:41-42) 

As we go through this gospel, I pray that the Holy Spirit would give us soft hearts so as to choose to listen to Jesus above all else. In the next chapter, Luke will record Jesus as saying:

‘“Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”’ (Luke 12:1)

We are all prone to hypocrisy - putting on a mask. We put on a show of believing things but, in secret, we don’t live it out. This is a particular danger, I believe, for those who have been Christians for some time. We can learn the dress, language and manners of a Christian whilst failing to hear and obey Jesus. Like the woman in our text, it’s good to show our worship, but, more importantly, are we honouring Christ in the heart by hearing and obeying Him? 

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals, which are accessed in Church News, the Teaching button on the website and are now available on the major podcast platforms. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Our message from our series in Luke on Sunday, based upon Jesus’ teaching  from Luke 11:14-28. Here, we continue to see hostility toward Jesus continue to grow as they accuse Jesus of doing His miracles by the power of the devil.  


Please read Luke 11:1-13, and discuss: 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • Read Luke 11:14-22. How is Jesus’ greater strength and power over demons revealed in His ministry? How are we to continue, in Jesus’ strength, to ‘plunder’ the kingdom of darkness?

  • Read Luke 11:23. Who is this aimed at, and how are we to be ‘with’ and ‘gather’ with Jesus?

  • Read Luke 11:24-26. Here, Jesus is warning against allowing the influence of demons back into our lives. One can be set free from demons or the teaching of demons only to go back and become worse off than before! To protect ourselves, those who are cleansed must be filled; In what ways are we to fill the ‘house’ that is our minds, souls and lives? 

  • Read Luke 11:27-28. Jesus responds to this woman’s praise with a correction about obeying God’s Word. How does this relate to our previous point about filling the ‘house’ of our mind? And how are you doing on this theme (of hearing and obeying Jesus) that has been repeated throughout Luke? 

  • SIV - What does this section teach us about how we may be treated as we seek to share the gospel? 

  • SIV- What promise of success does this section give us regarding the mission of Jesus? 

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that's come out of our time in God’s Word.

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