Introduction: Have you read a car bumper sticker saying “Resist
Authority?” How about “Question Authority?” I never read a sticker
saying “Act with Authority.” Is authority bad? What do you think is
behind these sayings which attack authority? People attack authority
because they think they are smarter, or in some way better, than
those in authority. Is this a reasonable assumption? If you claim
authority, aren’t you claiming to be better? Our lesson this week is
about Jesus as teacher, but it also has a great deal to teach us
about authority. Let’s dig into our study of the Bible and learn

  1. Authority and Teaching

    1. Read Luke 4:31-32. What do you think it means to have a
      message “with authority” or to teach with “authority?”

      1. Have you ever been in a Bible study or Bible class
        where all present gave their opinion and no one
        relied on any authority outside their own thinking?

        1. If so, how helpful was that?

      2. What is the best thing about discussion? (People are
        forced to think about the issues.)

        1. What is the worst thing about this kind of
          discussion – based on personal opinion? (No
          authority! While it is good to promote careful
          thinking, the Bible is our authority. My
          philosophy is that a Bible teacher should teach
          the Bible, and that means having a conclusion
          to which you lead the class.)

    2. Read Luke 4:33-36. What authority of Jesus is mentioned
      here? (Authority over demons. Jesus taught with authority
      and had authority over sin.)

      1. Can you have authority over sin? Demons?

    3. When you think about Jesus, do you think He was a rebel
      against existing authority? (I often hear that, and in
      some ways that seems true.)

    4. Read Proverbs 24:21-22. What does this teach us about
      being a rebel? (It is a bad idea.)

      1. Who punishes rebels? (Both God and the king!)

      2. What if God and the king are not on the same side?

      3. We seem to have three sources of authority. God, the
        king and you (me). Which source or sources of
        authority are suspect?

  2. Authority and the Elements

    1. Read Luke 8:22-25. Let’s look carefully at the question
      that begins Luke 8:25: “Where is your faith?” Why did
      Jesus ask that? They awakened Jesus, so that showed their
      faith in Him! (Jesus wanted to know why they needed to
      wake Him, why didn’t they rebuke the storm?)

      1. Why didn’t they? (They lacked faith.)

    2. Re-read Luke 8:25. What is the focus of the disciples?
      (Jesus has authority over the winds and the water!)

      1. Where should their attention have been focused? (They
        are looking too low! They had a wonderful conclusion
        that Jesus is God. But, Jesus’ question about their
        faith makes me think that they could have rebuked the
        elements – and the elements would have obeyed them!

    3. Recall my earlier question about sources of authority?
      Presumably you answered that you were the suspect source
      of authority. If the disciples had rebuked the storm,
      would they have been using their authority to direct
      divine authority?

      1. Consider whether Jesus’ question, “Where is your
        faith,” might have been a rebuke against their fear
        rather than a rebuke that they did not take care of
        the storm themselves. What do you think? Perhaps I
        was mistaken in saying they were looking “too low?”

  3. Authority and Sin

    1. Read Luke 5:20. The background story is this: the friends
      of a paralyzed guy dig through the roof and drop him in
      front of Jesus while Jesus is teaching. Do you think
      Jesus’ response is what the paralyzed guy and his friends
      wanted to hear?

    2. Read Luke 5:21-23. How would you answer Jesus’ question?

    3. Read Luke 5:24-26. What authority does Jesus demonstrate?
      (He has authority to forgive sins!)

      1. If that is the case, why did Jesus have to die? (Read
        Colossians 2:13-15. Jesus’ triumph over sin came at
        the cross. We came alive with Jesus when He rose from
        the grave.)

    4. Consider this story of the paralyzed guy. What would you
      say is the key to Jesus’ teaching? (His authority over sin
      and disease.)

      1. In Jesus’ teaching in the storm, what was key? (His
        authority over the storm.)

      2. In Jesus’ teaching in connection with the demon (Luke
        4) what was key? (His authority over the demon.)

      3. What about your teaching, can you teach with
        authority? Or, do you lack the tools that Jesus used
        to teach with authority?

    5. Re-read Luke 8:24-25 and read Luke 9:1-2. Could the
      disciples have calmed the storm? (We know that Jesus gave
      them authority over demons and sickness. Why not authority
      over storms?)

      1. Can you have that same authority? Or, has that time
        passed? (Do you recall our discussion two weeks ago,
        in connection with Luke 11:5-13, about asking boldly
        in prayer? I think we should ask! Imagine how that
        would increase the authority of your teaching!)

    6. Read Luke 22:42-43. Recall that Jesus’ victory at the
      cross gave Him final authority over sin. What lines of
      authority do we see in Luke 22? (This seems essential to
      our discussion of authority and teaching. Our goal is to
      be in line with divine authority. We cannot be rebels
      against God. We cannot seek our own authority. But, God
      partners with us in His authority. That is why He invites
      us to “ask boldly.”)

  4. Testing Jesus’ Teaching

    1. Read Luke 10:25. What is the motive for this question from
      the law expert? (To test Jesus.)

    2. Read Luke 10:26-29. Who ends up being tested? (The law
      expert! He wants “to justify himself.”)

    3. Read Luke 10:30-32. What is the race of the man who has
      been robbed and beaten? (Given the journey, the odds are
      that he is Jewish.)

      1. What is the race of the priest and Levite? (Clearly

    4. Read Luke 10:33. Why is this man’s race (perhaps national
      origin is more accurate) mentioned? (Because Samaritans
      and Jews detested each other. The priest and the Levite
      would be natural “neighbors” to the Jewish victim as
      compared to a Samaritan.)

      1. Why did the Samaritan stop? (“He took pity on him.”)

    5. Read Luke 10:34-36. Let’s get back to the original
      question ( Luke 10:27-29), who is the neighbor who we
      should love as we love our self? (It includes people who
      we don’t like for racial/national origin reasons. This, of
      course, is not what the law expert had in mind for

    6. Read Luke 10:37. What is Jesus telling the law expert to
      do? (The law says “love” and the story says the Samaritan
      “took pity.” We need to take pity on those who are not our
      natural friends.)

    7. Is there more to this story than “be kind to others, even
      those you don’t like?”

      1. Jesus put the Samaritan in the role of a “teacher” to
        the Jewish law expert. What gave the Samaritan
        sufficient authority so that the law expert had to
        admit the correct answer? (His unselfish love. His

        1. When I suggested that you should boldly ask in
          prayer for these extraordinary powers that
          Jesus used to teach, what extraordinary power
          do you have for teaching right now? (The
          ability to be kind to those who are not your
          natural friends!)

        2. Will such kindness bring divine authority to
          your teaching?

    8. Friend, God may give you great authority, but the teaching
      authority that He gives all of us right now is to act with
      love and kindness to those who are not our natural
      neighbors. Will teach with authority?

  5. Next week: Following Jesus in Everyday Life.