Red Letter Conversations - Discussion 11

Discovering life in the words of Jesus
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The Hesitant Disciples

Jesus Speaks to the Problem of convenient excuses


Pray together for the group meeting, and any pressing needs within the group.


Each week you’ll spend some time reviewing the previous week’s lesson. Did anything happen last week that brought the lesson to mind, and what did you learn from it?


Watch the following discussion-starter video. It’ll set the topic of discussion for the group.

Read Luke 9:57-62, 10:1

  1. One person will first read the scripture selection in the King James Version.
  2. Next, another person will read the same passages in a modern language or amplified version for more clarity such as the New Living Translation (NLT), Message Bible (MSG), New English Translation (NET), Amplified Bible (AMP), etc. We recommend using the YouVersion Bible app.


  1. One person will begin retelling the scripture passage in their own words (a new person to start each week is great!) Then…
  2. As a group, work together to fill in gaps and build the story. This will help us internalize and own it. Be sure everyone participates.


Together, share around the group how the topic and scripture setting applies to your life personally. Here are some thoughts to consider for discussion… don’t let the discussion stop here, though… what questions can you ask that will help uncover God’s message?

Count the Cost – vs. 57-58

  • How enthusiastic was this man about following Jesus?
  • How sincere is he in what he says?
  • What conditions does the man place on his desire to follow Jesus?
  • When you observe the church today, how would you characterize “most” people’s approach to committing to Jesus?
  • Why didn’t Jesus just say “thank you”, or immediately welcome him as a disciple?
  • What might have persuaded the man to be so enthusiastic about following Him?
  • Did this man fully count the cost of discipleship before making this statement?
  • In what other settings might people quickly make a statement of following Jesus without counting the cost?
  • What might Jesus have sensed, or knew, about this man that caused Him to speak these words of caution?
  • What did Jesus mean about the foxes, and Himself (the Son of Man)?
  • Was Jesus rejecting this man, or just challenging him?
  • In what ways is it easier to follow Jesus than in other parts of the world?
  • In what ways is it harder?
  • Should we be comfortable in this world? Explain.

“Committed individuals live with shallow tent pegs. They may own things, but nothing owns them.” ~Corrie Ten Boom

No Delays – vs. 59-60

  • Define the word “reluctance”.
  • Was this man reluctant?
  • Was his answer to Jesus’ request reasonable?
  • How thoughtful was he of his family, and was this good?
  • Did he attempt to “count the cost” of discipleship?
  • Was Jesus pitting the man against his own family?
  • Was the father already dead and waiting to be buried, or just elderly and possibly soon to die?
    • What impact would each of those possibilities have on the time it would take for him to follow Jesus?
  • What did Jesus mean by saying, “let the dead bury their own dead”?
  • How do the affairs of earthly life compare to the importance of preaching the Gospel?
  • How much should our family relationship be considered in our willingness to follow the Lord?
  • Is it possible that family can become an idol before God? Explain.
  • If one excuse keeps us from following Jesus, is the next excuse easier or harder? Explain.

No Turning Back- vs. 61-62

  • The man said, “but first”… in what ways do we present our own “but first’s” to God?
  • Was this man’s request reasonable?
  • What might have happened to the man’s desire to follow if he had gone back home for a while?
  • Jesus spoke about plowing a field. What relevance does his example have in being a disciple?
  • Have you ever ridden a bicycle and turned around to look back? What happened?
  • Can you think of a time when your family relationships were affected by your desire to follow Jesus? Please share.
  • In what ways might we seek the approval of others instead of the approval of God?
  • In what ways could a modern Christian expect to sacrifice in their walk with the Lord?

Conclusion- Luke 10:1

  • Do we know whether the first 3 men followed Jesus or turned back?
  • Is there a clue in vs. 1 that might help us know?
  • When we follow Jesus, what are we signing up to sacrifice in our life?
  • In what ways has sacrifice for God brought joy in your life?
  • What are some areas of life that you could surrender more in?

Next Week’s Scriptures 

The Man from the Tombs: Jesus Speaks to the Problem of Spiritual Bondage – Mark 5:1-17