The Expectant Crowd

Note to the Teacher

In 2016, Discipleship Ministries began launching materials around the theme “See All the People.” This message of reaching people and expanding the church into the community then began to bear fruit as churches began launching campaigns to strengthen their own disciple-making systems. Because of his preaching, teaching, and healing, Jesus truly saw all the people; and as a result, the people were always with him. As the church makes connections in the community to bring people to know Christ, we would do well to make note of the way Jesus responded to the crowds.

In the second week of the series, we see a crowd around Jesus coming with expectations to see him, hear his teaching and be healed of various ailments.  Their expectations shape their experience just as our expectations shape ours. 

Times are based on a 50-minute lesson period but can be adjusted as is necessary.

10 min

1. Ice Breaker & Game - Tricky Expectations:

This game helps introduce the idea of expectations and how they shape our experience. You will need two containers in which the contents cannot be seen (i.e. bags, boxes, etc.) Place one unique item for each person in your group into one of the containers. Leave the other container empty. Students will take turns passing the containers around the group.

Begin the activity by letting one of the students reach into the container that contains the items (WITHOUT LOOKING, and without allowing the rest of the group to see the item) and transfer it to the empty container. Once the item is in the formerly empty container, the student should make ten true statements that describe the item while he/she looks at it, but the statements should attempt to mislead the group into believing that the item is something other than what it actually is. 

After the student has finished making the statements, have the group make a couple of guesses of what the item is before opening the container and revealing it. Pass the container to the next student and repeat.

 5 min

2.  Read Scripture

The scripture reading today is part of the “Sermon on the Plain” in Luke. The location on a level plain suggests that Jesus assumed a vantage point of equality. In this position, he was not above the people. He could maintain good eye contact with the crowd. In addition, he could readily look out and see who was in the crowd. Jesus, from his vantage point, could read the faces of the people; he could read their body language. He also could sense their expectations, enabling him to prepare himself to respond appropriately.

Read Luke 5:1-11

15 min




3. Discussion

  • The people gathered in this story came with specific expectations.  What does the scripture tell us those expectations were?
  • Knowing what people were hoping to experience, do you think those expectations changed how they heard and understood Jesus’ statements?
  • Let’s build on that last question.  When people were sick in the first century, people thought of them as particularly sinful and “unclean.” The common practice with people who were “unclean” was to exclude them from everyday life and reject them because they were seen as “evil.”  How does this information add more depth of meaning to what Jesus was saying in verses 20-22?  What about this circumstance would make people weep? How would it make them hungry?
  • The people’s expectation changed the way they experienced Jesus.  How does that happen at school? Think of a class or a teacher and what you expect from it/them.  How does that expectation shape your experience?  What does it make you focus on?  What does it make you miss?
20 min  

4. Activity

Take this lesson to the next level by helping students evaluate their expectation of spiritual practices through this Youth Worker Collective resource (

Close in the manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys/concerns from the students, then ask for a volunteer to close in prayer.

50 min


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