TEACH US TO…

Have you ever asked someone to teach you?

What was the skill you wanted this person to teach you?

Why did you want to learn this skill?

How were you taught the skill?

Did you know Jesus’ disciples specifically asked him to teach them something?

Before we answer the last question from the above list, we need to define a few things.

The definition of teach we will focus on for this post is: to instruct by precept, example, or experience.

One can be taught by precept through written means such as reading this post, a book, a study guide, a magazine article, etc.

Precepts can also be taught through verbal means by having a person recite back the precept just shared.

Being taught by example is done by someone demonstrating how to do something then having the student imitate them.

Learning through experience could be an individual or group endeavor such as planning a backpacking trip for the first time. One may have studied precepts and examples but once one physically takes a backpacking trip the experience reveals how well you understood the precepts and examples you prepared with as well as your own limitations.

(Yes, I once traversed a portion of the continental divide with my husband, his sister , and her husband. We all learned a great deal from that group experience as rookie backpackers! Day 3 of the 5-day trip was especially enlightening but I digress…) 😊

The definition of disciple is one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.

Read the following scripture:

ESV  Luke 11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

  • What does Luke 11:1 teach us?

Jesus was praying.

Jesus was praying in the presence of his disciples.

One of his disciples asked on behalf of all the disciples to be taught to pray.

Apparently, John had taught his disciples to pray.

  • Who is John?

The disciples are referring to Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist. (See Luke 1:13-17,  Luke 1:34-37 and Luke 3:1-3.)

Read the following scripture:

ESV  Luke 5:33 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.”

  • What do we learn about John the Baptist in this verse?

Compare the verse above with our verse for today again:

ESV  Luke 11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

Luke 5:33 reveals that John the Baptist and his disciples fasted and prayed as did the disciples of the Pharisees.

Luke 11:1 reveals that Jesus prayed too.

We also learn that Jesus’ disciples knew John had taught his own disciples to pray and they too desired to be taught how to pray by Jesus.

Consider the following study note from the NET Bible translation on Luke 11:1:

“It was not unusual for Jewish groups to have their own prayer as a way of expressing corporate identity. Judaism had the Eighteen Benedictions and apparently John the Baptist had a prayer for his disciples as well.”

Read the following scriptures that the Gospel of Luke shares before Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them to pray:

ESV  Luke 5:16 But he [Jesus] would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

ESV  Luke 6:12 In these days he [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.

ESV  Luke 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. (Jesus teaching who to pray for.)

ESV  Luke 9:28 Now about eight days after these sayings he [Jesus] took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.

ESV  Luke 10:2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

Review the definition of disciple again:

The definition of disciple is one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.

Reflections Questions:

  • What is corporate identity and why is it something a group might desire to express?
  • What precepts, examples or experiences have Jesus’ disciples had to Jesus’ prayer habits before asking Him to teach them?
  • What motive(s) are be behind the disciples’ request for Jesus to “teach us to pray”?
  • Have you been taught to pray by another Christian?
  • Have you ever asked Jesus’ to teach you to pray?
  • Have you taught someone else to pray?
  • What else do you see in the verses shared above that encourages you?
  • What else do you see in the verses shared above that raise a question for you?

To encourage group discussion, leave a comment on this post.

For a private discussion with me, write me at [email protected]

Blessings,

Barbara Lynn

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