By Gregg Hein

Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Epiphany 3 Gospel.

Text: Luke 4:16-30 for the Third Sunday after Epiphany, Lectionary Series C


Participants will:

  1. Investigate the five points of Jesus’ mission during His earthly ministry.
  2. Learn to better endure rejection because they have been accepted by Him who was rejected for them.




Gather in groups of 3-5 people. Choose as the leader of each small group, the person resides furthest from where he/she was born. If participants do not know or are too shy to serve as leader, have someone appoint one. The small group leader will kindly ensure each person has equal opportunity for participation, as well as watching the time so that progress is made through the study. Take care so that people participate willingly.


  1. Describe a time when you felt trapped by something. It may have been physically trapped (traffic, elevator, etc.) or otherwise. Include how you escaped and who helped. Take care not to pry if someone gets personal.
  2. As a group, discuss typical reactions to rejection or the fear of it. Retreat? Retaliate? Redirect? Other?


Read Luke 4:16-21.

  1. Jesus identifies five aspects of His mission. Did He accomplish this mission? Have each member of the group look up at least one.
    1. to preach the Good News to the poor (Luke 4:42-44);
    2. to proclaim freedom for the prisoners (Luke 4:33-35);
    3. recovery of sight for the blind (Luke 18:35-43);
    4. to release the oppressed (Luke 5:12-14);
    5. to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 5:17-26).
  2. Summarize the nature of Jesus’ mission. Are there any human needs Jesus would not meet?
  3. In what ways do each part of Jesus’ mission reach out to us?

Read Luke 4:22-30.

  1. How did the people feel about Jesus based on verse 22? Compare with Luke 19:28-38. What did the people mean by the question, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” What was it that amazed the people? As the perfect Son of God, did Jesus need to have human adulation to encourage Him?
  2. How did they feel about Jesus? Compare with Luke 23:13-25. Being fully human, Jesus was not insensitive to persecution. Even through He knew His people would reject Him, what was His attitude? (see Luke 13:34)
  3. Jesus was very close to His disciples and loved them very much. Read Luke 22:33-34; Mark 14:37-41. How do you think He felt about their actions? Read Matthew 27:38-46. What are the several directions from which Jesus faced rejection? What’s the ultimate rejection? Why did it happen?
  4. How did Jesus handle the rejection of His hometown people?


  1. How does the year of the Lord’s favor continue today? How can you proclaim it?
  2. Read Matthew 25:31-46. What does this say about our work? (Note that the “reward” is a gift, an inheritance, v. 34. It is impossible to earn).
  3. Rejection and the fear of rejection are powerful influences. Take a few moments to consider a time when fear of rejection changed your course of action. Who might have rejected you? What action did you intend to take? What did you end up doing? If any feel comfortable in sharing such an experience, take a couple of minutes to do so with the small group.
  4. One way of summarizing the Good News is: You rejected God (sin); God rejects you (just condemnation; Jesus bears the rejection for you; God accepts Jesus’ saving work; God accepts you by faith in Jesus. Discuss how Romans 8:13-17, Galatians 3:13-14 and Colossians 1:21-23 emphasize God’s acceptance of you. What assurance does God give you of this acceptance? On whom does His acceptance of you depend?


Have a volunteer lead the group in a prayer based on this study.


Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies.

Updated for youthESource in December 2015