Place 5-10 items in the meeting area that usually do not belong there. Have the group look around the room and try to spot all of the items that are "hidden in plain sight." (Item ideas: milk carton, toothbrush, deodorant, banana, power tool, etc.)
Alternative option: (no prep required)
A. Share a time when everyone around you understood something, but you were left “in the dark.”
B. Share a time when you clearly understood something, but everyone around you was “in the dark.”
1. Introduction: Read Luke10:17-21 to understand the event just prior to this week’s passage. What do you think that the “hidden things” were that Jesus referred to in verse 21? (Intent: A possible answer is the Gospel itself, which the Father hid from the worldly wise but revealed to the humble. Also, Jesus rejoiced in the privilege these disciples had of understanding God’s ways as they participated in His mission. The disciples were joy-filled because of what they saw with their eyes: the demons were subject to them. Jesus redirected their rejoicing to their salvation and the unseen, eternal world.)
2. What are some characteristics of the worldly wise and learned? Of children? See 1 Corinthians 3:18-20, Matthew 18:1-4, and 1 Timothy 1:2. (Intent: The worldly wise are deceived, prideful, and actually foolish. 1 Cor. 3:18b, the world’s wisdom is upside down. 1 Cor. 3:19a, the wisdom of this world is folly. Children are humble, trusting, and open to learning. Childlike faith is a prerequisite to “seeing” the unseen - the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 18:4, one who humbles themselves like a child is greatest in heaven’s kingdom.)
3. A. What parts of the Gospel are easy to understand? B. What parts of the message are difficult? C. How much understanding of God is needed for salvation? (Intent: The critical parts of the Gospel are that we must admit our sin, repent, and place our trust (faith) in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, whose death and resurrection provided our forgiveness and salvation. These concepts are easy for all to grasp; the primary barrier for non-Christians is their will and Satan’s influence. There are aspects of God that are difficult to fathom, like the nature of the Trinity, but understanding them is not required for salvation. The wonder of God’s truth is that the salvation message is accessible to anyone, yet even after much study some mysteries of God are not comprehensible to the human mind, which is what we’d expect. After all, He is God and we are not.)
4. How was the truth hidden from you before becoming a Christian? Refer to 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. (Intent: Group members may share specific ways that they now see how Satan had darkened their minds from seeing the Gospel and receiving Christ.)
5. Read Luke 10:22. How would you respond to someone who says many roads lead to God? See also John 14:6 and Matthew 28:18. (Intent: Jesus clearly claimed to be the unique Son of God and the only way to salvation and the Father. Either Jesus is a liar, lunatic, or Lord; there is no middle ground of “good man” or “prophet.” See C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity and Josh McDowell, The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict.)
6. Read Luke 10:23-24 and Hebrews 11:1-2, 39. A. What is something of God’s kingdom you've been privileged to hear or see? B. Something you don't expect to hear or see?
1. Refer to question 4. If you are not yet a Christian, consider humbly opening your heart to Christ’s “voice,” asking Him to reveal Himself to you. This may happen in a number of ways. Perhaps an inward conviction or a sequence of events leading up to this message that have been directing you to receive Christ into your heart.
2. Consider committing to some ways that you might use your own pre- and post-Christian history in sharing your faith with non-Christians.
It brings joy to the Lord to enable you to see people, events, and the world through His eyes. Ask the Lord for this revealed truth to lead you into a deeper relationship with God, that you may have His vision for the time in which we live and your part in building Christ’s Kingdom.