Motivation and Preparation for Mission

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(Luke 24, Acts 1 & 2)
Lesson Number: 



Lesson 6

Motivation and Preparation for Mission

(Luke 24, Acts 1 & 2)

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: What motivates you to share the gospel? I used to cross-examine myself about my motives for teaching and preaching. Did I like to be the one standing in front? Did I like people telling me I did a great job? Yes, that motivated me. At the same time, I loved it when someone would tell me that they came closer to God because of something I taught. If we honestly look at the message of the Bible, we see that God appeals to our self-interest. Paying tithe results in more money (Malachi 3:10-12). Heaven is filled with gold and precious gems (Revelation 21:18). Until the moment Jesus left the disciples to return to heaven, they thought they would be earthly rulers (Acts 1:6). God understands our love of self, but wants us to mature into a motivation of love for others (Mark 12:31). Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and consider our motivation and preparation for our gospel work!

  1. Our Experience
    1. Read Luke 24:1-3. What motivated those who wanted to embalm Jesus’ body with spices? (Love for Jesus. They cannot have thought this was a perfectly safe thing to do. They were not motivated by self-love.)
    2. Read Luke 24:4-5. Why did the angels ask this question rather than simply announcing, “Jesus is alive!) (The angels were teaching the women. The woman had already discovered that Jesus was missing. This created confusion (“they were perplexed”). The angels wanted the women to logically work out this problem.)
    3. Read Luke 24:6-8. What is the foundation here for the angels’ teaching? (Jesus’ words predicting the future.)
    4. Read Luke 24:9. This is pure mission - sharing the good news of Jesus’ resurrection. What were the building blocks for this statement? (First, the women were motivated because of love for Jesus. Next, the woman had questions they could not answer. Third, the angels taught the women the answers though logic and prophecy. They wanted the women to conclude that it was true that Jesus was alive. Last, the women were excited to share their experience because it was something that others would want to know.)
    5. Read Luke 24:10-11. What does this teach us about our engagement in mission? (Even good people might reject our mission message.)
      1. Are the disciples being insulting? (Yes, if they explained their conclusion. This is the opposite of an “idle tale.” The men should have been at the tomb. They were the ones who were idle.)
    6. Read Luke 24:12. What does this say about Peter? (He was not idle! He wanted to confirm this good news.)
      1. What is the point being made about the “linen cloths?” (It suggests order, rather than a robbery. Someone had put the cloths together.)
      2. The text says that Peter “went home marveling at what had happened.” What should Peter have done instead? (Believed the women. This shows that when we share the gospel, some will reject us and some will want to think about it some more.)
    7. Consider an overarching question. How complicated was it for the women to share? (They took the first step based on love. Then heaven directed them for the rest of their steps to witness. These steps were based on their personal experience.)
    8. Does love for self play a role in the mission of the women? (In part. They had lost Jesus. They wanted to feel better about this loss. Perhaps they told the men their story because the angels approached them first.)
  2. God Gives Proof
    1. Let’s skip down and read Luke 24:36. How would you compare the disciples to the women? (Most of the men are still talking!)
    2. Read Luke 24:37. Why would they think they were seeing a “spirit,” a ghost? (They were determined to disbelieve the women. The verses we skipped over recount Jesus revealing Himself to men. Those in the room also disbelieved accounts by men.)
    3. Read Luke 24:38. Jesus asks a great question. How would you answer it?
    4. Read Luke 24:39-43. How far does Jesus go to prove He is not a spirit? (Jesus gives them absolute evidence He is alive and not a spirit.)
      1. What lesson does that teach us about mission? (Jesus will leave no basis for doubt if you are willing to accept Him.)
    5. Read Luke 24:44-46. What other method does Jesus use to convince the disciples? (He shows them how the prophecies of the Bible support His crucifixion and resurrection. He reminds them of what He previously told them about the future.)
      1. How would you use these tools to share the gospel?
    6. Read Luke 24:47-48. After these proofs, what does Jesus ask the disciples to do? (Jesus asks them to be witnesses.)
      1. What, exactly, do you think Jesus is asking them to do when He says they should witness? (The easy part is simply to relate what they have seen and heard from Jesus. I think Jesus is also asking them to fit what they have seen and heard into the prophecies about Him.)
      2. How important is sharing forgiveness of sin in Jesus’ name?
    7. One of our topics is motivation for mission. What does Jesus’ interaction with the disciples teach us about motivation? (Jesus goes to great lengths to motivate the disciples by proving He is alive. Jesus will not leave us uncertain.)
    8. Read Luke 24:49. Is having first-hand knowledge of Jesus enough to be an effective witness? (Apparently not. They need “power from on high.”)
  3. Preparation
    1. Read Acts 1:12-14. The text says that they were praying “with one accord.” What has changed? (They were far from being in accord when they heard that Jesus was revealing Himself to some of them. Jesus has now fixed that. They are agreed that He rose from the dead, is in heaven, and they have a mission to tell others.)
      1. What do you think is the subject of their prayers? (Go back to Luke 24:49 and read Acts 1:8. I think they are praying for “power from on high.” They are praying for the Holy Spirit.)
      2. Consider your church. How often do you get together and seriously pray for the power of the Holy Spirit?
      3. How important was the Holy Spirit to their mission? (Jesus told them in Luke 24:49 not to start without it.)
    2. Read Acts 2:1-2 and Acts 2:6. Do you think the disciples had noise making as part of their plan?
    3. Read Acts 2:3-5. Do you think the disciples considered that Pentecost was a unique opportunity to share the gospel?
      1. Do you think the disciples thought they should try to learn other languages? (I doubt any of this reflected plans of the disciples. God carried the entire burden.)
      2. I’m a fellow who plans. I’ve never seen a gospel outreach of my local church that was not planned. Should we dispense with plans? Should we just pray? (I planned to become a lawyer. I planned to work for God. God has blessed those plans. But I suspect my greatest success is writing these Bible studies and placing them on the Internet - which I never planned. God arranged it.)
  4. Holy Spirit
    1. Read Acts 2:16-18. When did the “last days” begin? (At Pentecost.)
      1. Are we living in the last days? (Yes.)
      2. Should we expect the Holy Spirit will do with us what it did with the disciples? (The Holy Spirit, as we discussed, organized this event and not the disciples. But the Holy Spirit is promised to be with us today because we are living in the last days.)
    2. Friend, will you ask God to give you the motivation and conviction for your mission work and send the Holy Spirit to make your work a success? Why not do that right now?
  5. Next week: Mission to My Neighbor.