Luke: CBS Questions
1. What do you learn from 1:1-4 about Luke? About the reason he wrote this Gospel? About his sources?
2. What stands out to you about Zechariah and Elizabeth in 1:5-7? Since having children was especially important to 1st century Jews, what emotions might the couple have in light of their barrenness (see 1:25)? What feelings might they have about God (1:25)?
3. Zechariah burns incense inside the temple (1:8-22); most priests were never chosen for this task. Imagine what Zechariah might he be feeling as he prepares? . . . as the angel appears (1:12)? What does Gabriel say is John’s mission (1:15-17; see Mal 4:5-6)? Why would Zechariah doubt Gabriel’s words? (See 1Chr 23-24 for a description of the hereditary Jewish priesthood, its division into 24 part-time units for service at the temple, and the drawing of lots to indicate God’s will in the assignment of tasks.)
4. How do Zechariah and Elizabeth react to an old age pregnancy (1:24-25)? How would you react?
5. Gabriel visits Mary in 1:26-38. When does this happen (1:36)? What do you learn about Mary (1:27)? What do you learn about Jesus from the angel’s announcement (1:30-33)? How does this relate to Old Testament Messianic prophecy (see 2 Sam 7:12-13; Isa 7:14)?
6. How does Mary feel about the angel’s visit (1:29)? His message foretelling her supernatural pregnancy (1:34)? What do you think was the hardest thing for Mary to comprehend? What character traits can be seen in Mary's response to Gabriel (1:38)?
7. Why was Mary's question "How will this be?" different from Zechariah's question "How can I be sure of this?" (See Matt 16:4)
8. When Mary goes to visit Elizabeth (1:39-45) . . . How might she feel when Elizabeth greets her? How is she ''blessed'' and encouraged?
9. For what does Mary praise God in her song (1:46-56)? What contrasts does she make in 1:51-53? How do these reflect her feelings about God? About herself?
1. Of the major characters in this story—Zechariah, Elizabeth, John—with whom do you identify most? Why? With whom do you identify least? Why?
2. Consider Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s character (1:6) and struggle (1:7). Have you ever been obedient to God and still felt forgotten? What does this story tell you?
3. How is John’s mission a model for your mission today? How might you ''prepare'' people for the Lord?
4. In what area of your life do you need to believe nothing is impossible with God? What keeps you from believing this?
5. Considering Mary, what level of social status is needed to fulfill God's purposes? Does that encourage you? Why?
6. Would Mary consider you God's humble servant or a proud, rich ruler?
1. How did John's birth (1:57-66) fulfill the words of the angel in 1:13-17? Considering how important it was in this culture for a name to reflect a person’s “roots” and characteristics, what impression do the events in 1:57-66 make on the neighbors and relatives (1:65-66)?
2. How does Zechariah’s song (1:67-80) show God’s unfolding plan from Old Testament days to the coming of the Messiah (see Gen 12:1-3, 2 Sam 7:12-16, Is 9:1-7)? What, according to this song, is the purpose of John’s ministry (1:77-78; see Jer 31:34)?
3. How did God work His sovereign plan through a census for taxation by a pagan Roman emperor (2:1-7)? How do you suppose Joseph and Mary reacted to the timing of the census? Why was it important that Jesus be born in Bethlehem (see Mic 5:2)?
4. Shepherds were at the lowest rung of society. Of all the people the angels could have visited, why do you suppose God sent them to shepherds (2:8-20)? How does that relate to Mary's song (1:46-55)?
5. As Jesus is presented in the temple (2:21-40), what Mosaic laws are being fulfilled (see Lev 12:1-8; Ex 13:2, 12:13)? How do these events foreshadow Jesus' mission?
6. What does this temple ceremony reveal about the parents of Jesus: They were very poor? Religious? Proud? Dedicated? Fearful of their salvation?
7. What was the "consolation of Israel" that Simeon was waiting for (2:25)? In his prophecies (2:29-32,34-35), what was he predicting about the work of Jesus? His effect on people? The pain of his mother?
8. What impact would the starting predictions by Simeon and Anna have on all who were listening that day? On the parents of Jesus as they returned home (2:33,39)?
9. What was Jesus like as a child (2:40)?
1. Is there a time when you, like Zechariah, took a step of faith and began speaking, praising God.
2. How was "the Lord's hand" seen in John's life? In your life?
3. How has God unfolded his plan of salvation in your life? Who helped prepare the way? Did some key events lead to your commitment to Jesus?
4. Has God taken your "hopeless situation" and used it for good? What did that teach you?
5. God appeared to Zechariah, Mary, and the shepherds when they were just being themselves. Has God spoken to you in the ordinary flow of life?
6. How has Christ brought "light" to your life? How is he still the cause of "the falling and rising'' of people that you know?
7. When has God brought along a “Simeon” and “Anna” to confirm something in your life? How did this affect you?
1. What is the significance of the Passover feast (see Dt 16:1-6a, Ex 12:14-20)? Which Jews were supposed to come to Jerusalem to celebrate every year? What does their annual Passover tradition (2:41) tell you about Jesus' parents?
2. Many scholars believe 2:41-51 represents, essentially, Jesus’ Bar Mitzvah, in which a Jewish child is recognized as a man and a member of the synagogue. If this is true, what does this passage tell us about Jesus' character? About how much he seems to know about his mission? About how much his parents know? Why do you think Luke included this episode of Jesus' life?
3. In the story of the ministry of John the Baptist (3:1-20) why do you suppose Luke lists the political and religious figures in 3:1-2? What was John doing before this (1:80)? What was he like (Mt 3:1-6; Mk 1: 4-6)? How much time passes between 1:80 and John’s appearance now (see 3:23)?
4. What is John's message (3:3)? How is it related to the messianic prophesy from Isaiah that Luke quotes here (3:4-6)? Is John advocating social upheaval or inner transformation? Is he preaching or meddling (3:10-14)? Why would anyone go out of his or her way to hear such a preacher?
5. What would 3:8 mean to the Jews? What does the ''root'' and ''fruit'' signify (3:9)? What is John really saying in 3:7-9? How would many of the Jews feel about this?
6. Why is John confused with Christ (3:15; Jn 1:19-28)? How does John differentiate himself and his ministry (3:16-17)? What does the ''wheat" and ''chaff” signify (3:17)?
7. What is the beginning of the end for John's ministry (3:19-20)? What does this illustrate about John?
8. In Jesus’ baptism (3:21-22), what is significant that it happens at the same time as “all the people”? What three things at Jesus’ baptism make it unlike that of the other people (3:21-22)? How is the Holy Trinity represented?
9. What might be Luke’s point in including Jesus’ genealogy (3:23-38) all the way back to Adam (3:38)? What do Adam and Jesus have in common (see 1 Cor 15:22,45)? For what other reason might Luke include Jesus’ genealogy (see 1:27,32,69)?
10. Who can you identify from Jesus’ genealogy? What do you know about them? What does this lead you to conclude about Jesus’ earthly ancestry?
1. Has your hunger for God ever been misunderstood by your family? How? How do you maintain a balance between daily responsibilities and serving God?
2. Who have been ''John the Baptists" in your life: people who have shown you the way, led you to Christ and encouraged you?
3. If you asked John “What should we do?" how would he answer?
4. How can you emulate John's attitude toward Jesus as seen in 3:16? What action can you take this week to produce fruit in keeping with your repentance?
5. How has Jesus been like a "new Adam" for you, giving you a fresh start at life? How does Jesus' sonship (3:22) form the basis for the way the Father sees you? What kinship do you sense with Jesus?
6. When in your life have you felt God's special touch, as if something new were beginning for you? What happened?
1. Why was Jesus tempted by Satan (4:1-13)? Why were the temptations directed at Jesus immediately after he was affirmed by God at his baptism (3:22)? What was the appeal of each temptation? Its price? How does Jesus resist them? How does Satan’s use of scripture differ from the way Jesus uses it?
2. What does 4:13 mean? When might have been an “opportune time”?
3. In what ways is the story of Jesus' temptation a model for us? Under what circumstances are we tempted: After a spiritual high? At a weak moment? At a new stage in life? How should we respond?
4. Scan John 1:29-4:54. What occurred between Jesus’ temptation and his return to Nazareth—events which Luke summarizes in 4:14-15?
5. Compare 4:1,14,18. What is the common element in each of these verses? What does this tell us about the source of Jesus' power? About the event described in 3:22?
6. In Jesus’ rejection at Nazareth (4:14-30), how does the scroll Jesus reads (4:18-19)—Messianic prophesy from Isaiah 61—reveal Jesus’ mission? What five points are mentioned? How did Jesus fulfill this mission then? Now? Do Jesus’ words appear to claim he is the Messiah (4:21)—just as he did earlier at Jacob’s well (Jn 4:25-26)?
7. What caused the crowd to ask in 4:22: ''Isn't this Joseph's son?'' Why did the people’s amazement (4: 22) turn into anger (4:28)?
8. 4:31-37 reveals that Jesus teaches with “authority” (4:32,36) . . . more than the Jewish religious leaders (see Matt 7:28-29). How is this story related to the previous one, especially 4:18-19, 21?
9. How do the evil spirits identify Jesus (4:34,41)? How does Jesus identify himself (4:43)? Why does Jesus insist the evil spirits not reveal his identity (4:35,41)?
10. As you read about Jesus’ healings in Capernaum (4:38-44) . . . does it seem Jesus’ life has changed since his temptation (4:40-42)? What shows that Jesus is beginning to feel the effects of this change? (Note: in 4:31-39 Jesus heals on the Sabbath and no one objects; more on that later!)
1. What does it mean to you that all the authority and splendor of the kingdoms of the world has been given to Satan (4:5-6)?
2. If the devil had three shots at you. What three temptations would he use? What can help you resist? What encouragement does this story provide?
3. If all five areas of Jesus' mission are to be carried on by the church as a whole, which area of concern do you give priority and which do you tend to neglect: (a) Preaching the Gospel? (b) Helping people to be free to live for God? (c) Performing acts of mercy? (d) Working for fair and just social structures? (e) Explaining God's grace to disheartened people?
4. How has Jesus' authority grabbed your attention recently? How is his authority bringing you freedom?
5. Jesus takes time to be alone, even when he is busy. What example does this provide for you? How do you discern God’s long-range call to you amidst all the shouting of the urgent needs?
1. In the calling of the first disciples (5:1-11), what do you think Simon Peter was thinking and feeling in 5:4-7? How does this miracle affect him (5:8)? Why does this have a more profound effect on him than the healing of his mother-in-law? What is he beginning to grasp about Jesus?
2. Jesus heals a leper in 5:12-16. What is Jesus demonstrating by touching the leper before he heals him? Why does Jesus send him to a priest? Why do you think Jesus tries to silence him? (See Lev 13—esp Lev 13:45-46—for a description of Jewish regulations regarding “infectious skin disease”; see Lev 14:1-10 regarding the ritual to confirm healing of leprosy.)
3. In 5:17, where have these experts in Jewish law come from? Why do you suppose they have traveled so far to see Jesus? (5:21 gives a clue.)
4. In the story of Jesus’ healing a paralytic (5:17-26) . . . why did Jesus raise the issue of forgiveness (5:20)? The man had come for healing!
5. How might the Pharisees and teachers of the law have reacted to Jesus’ words in 5:22-24 (see Jn 10:32-33)? What point is Jesus trying to make (see Acts 13:38-39)? What is Jesus revealing about himself when he says he has authority on earth to forgive sins?
6. Most tax collectors became wealthy by extorting money far in excess of their “tax quotas.” How might the disciples feel about Jesus' choice of Levi (5:27-32)? What does Jesus mean in 5:31-32?
7. Jesus is questioned about fasting in 5:33-35. John’s disciples apparently followed the Pharisees’ practice of fasting twice a week, whereas there was only one required annual fast in the Bible before the Babylonian exile—the Day of Atonement (see Lev 16, 23; Num 29:7)—and after the exile there were three more (Zech 8:19). Is the question in 5:33 probably legitimate or just disruptive (see 7:33-34)? Since fasting in general expressed grief and humility, what does this tell you about how to interpret the parable in 5:34-35?
8. How does the parable in 5:36-39 relate to Levi's call and to the disciples' not fasting? What is the meaning of the patched garment and of the wine and wine skins?
1. When was the first time, if ever, that you responded to Jesus like Peter did in 5:8?
2. When have you felt shunned, like a leper? How did Jesus ''touch'' you then?
3. Who are the "lepers” in your life? What would it mean for you to touch them for Christ?
4. Who are you most like in this story? Why?
5. Are you a little paralyzed now—emotionally, spiritually, relationally? What needs to happen for you to ''take your mat and go home''?
6. In the way you relate to "undesirable types," are you more like Levi (inviting them to your party), the Pharisees (looking down on them), or the disciples (unsure what to do)? Why?
1. The stories in 6:1-11 are best understood in the context of the Pharisees’ ongoing investigation of Jesus (5:17,30,33); remember: no one objected to Sabbath healings in Capernaum in 4:35-39! How does the story of David and his companions (1 Sa 21:1-6) apply to criticism of Jesus’ disciples for working on the Sabbath by “reaping and winnowing” (6:1-2)?
2. With regard to the man with the shriveled hand (6:6-10) . . . why does Jesus provoke the Pharisees' wrath by healing on the Sabbath? Why not wait a day?
3. Jesus clarifies the Sabbath issue in 6:5,9? What is Jesus saying when He claims to be Lord of the Sabbath? How had the Pharisees distorted the purpose of the Sabbath (see Mk 2:27)? How did Jesus show them their error? (See Matt 12:11-12)
4. Can you see any special significance in the 12 men Jesus calls as disciples? What do you know about them? Brothers? Buddies? Antagonists? Is it a “balanced” group: ethnic, geographic, etc (see Matt 23:33-35)?
5. Where has this crowd come from (6:17-19)? Why have they come? How does Jesus meet their needs?
6. From 6:20-26, contrast the qualities of those “in” and “out” of the kingdom. What about their rewards? What is the significance of his comparison with prophets and false prophets (6:23, 26)?
7. The Old Testament ideal of interpersonal relations is found in Lev 19:18. How does Jesus modify that in 6:27-36? Summarize the point of this passage in a sentence or two. How general is the rule Jesus gives in 6:31 (see Matt 7:12)?
8. In Jesus’ discourse about judgment (6:37-42), What's Jesus’ main point (see 6:31,38c)? What does the illustration of the speck and the plank mean (6:42)?
9. How does the tree and its fruit (6:43-45) help you recognize a ''kingdom person''? How does this relate to the rest of this Sermon on the Plain (6:17-42)?
10. Compare the two houses and their owner-builders (6:46-49). How does this lesson relate to 6:17-45?
1. When have you felt tension between obeying religious principles and helping people? What causes that tension? What relieves it?
2. As you try to follow Jesus, are you becoming more free to love others, or becoming more constrained by religious rules? Why?
3. How do the values Jesus talks about here compare with the values you are sold every day on TV? What values do you and your family accept? Reject?
4. If you could add another ''blessed'' and another ''woe'' to counteract modern values, what would you want to add?
5. How is this description of love a model for relating to someone you find difficult?
6. In light of this three-fold passage (6:41-45), how would you recommend approaching people who need help or correction?
7. What quality of fruit would your acquaintances say you are producing: Grade A-1? So-so? Wormy? Why? What would Jesus need to do to make it good?
8. During the last storm to hit your life, what did you learn about your life's foundation?
1. Describe the faith of the centurion in the story in 7:1-10. How are Roman centurions portrayed elsewhere in the New Testament (see Mt 27:54; Ac 10:2; 23:17-18; 27:43)? Relate the character of the centurion to 6:27-36,43-45.
2. The miracle in 7:11-17 resembles one by Elisha in Shunem (2 Kings 4:8-37). Can you imagine why Jesus performs this miracle in Nain (near Shunem)? What does he reveal about himself? What impact did this have on his fellow Jews?
3. The story in 7:18-35 occurs while John the Baptist is in prison (3:20). What is the point of the question he sends two disciples to ask Jesus (7:20)?
4. Jesus doesn’t answer the question directly, but his reply (7:22-23) quotes Messianic prophesy from Isaiah 29:18-19; 35:5-6; 61:1. How would John be expected to interpret Jesus' reply? Why doesn't Jesus answer directly?
5. What is the significance of what Jesus says to the people after John’s men return (7:24-28)? What does it say about John . . . what does it say about Jesus (see Mal 4:5-6).
6. What does 7:29-35 (esp 7:33-35) say about the Pharisees . . . and why they opposed both John and Jesus?
7. What is your impression of Simon from the story in 7:36-50? (Note: 7:44-46 reveals that Simon did none of the things for Jesus that a host customarily did to welcome a guest.)
8. What point do you think Jesus is making with the parable in 7:41-43?
9. What does Jesus see in this woman that Simon does not? How does this affect Jesus' actions toward her? What does Jesus see in Simon, and how does this affect Jesus' attitude toward him? How does this story illustrate 5:31-32?
10. Who in this story was “justified” before God: the woman or Simon (see Gal 2:16)? Why?
1. Describe a time when you let go and let God accomplish His purposes.
2. How does Jesus’ power over death affect the way you live your life?
3. When did you come to the place in your spiritual pilgrimage when you knew Jesus was ''the one” you were looking for? How did you come to this understanding? What difference has it made?
4. Looking at 7:33-34, are you more like John or Jesus in your lifestyle? Would you be more effective if you lived differently? Why or why not?
5. What is the most loving thing you have ever done for Jesus? For someone else? How was Jesus part of it?
6. What have you learned from this story that you could apply this week?
1. Jesus seems to have acquired a large entourage as he travels from village to village (8:1-3). Describe them. What does this imply about the status of Jesus’ ministry?
2. The parable of the Sower and the Soils (8:4-15) is the only parable Jesus explains—and it’s where he describes this technique. What is a parable? Why does Jesus use parables (see 8:10)? (More parables from this phase of Jesus’ ministry are found in Matt 13.)
3. In the parable of the Sower and the Soils, what is the seed? The birds? The soils? The crop (or fruit)? The farmer? How would the parable help the disciples better understand what is happening in Jesus’ ministry? What does it really mean to "hear''? What effect does persecution have on someone who really “hears” the word? What does Jesus mean to be "a noble and good heart''?
4. Explain Jesus’ strange reaction to his family in 8:19-21 (see Mk 3:20-21,31-34). Relate this to the parable of the lamp (8:16-18).
5. In 8:22-25, what is Jesus teaching his disciples by ignoring and then rebuking the storm (see 8:25)?
6. In 8:26-39, Jesus and his disciples have crossed over to the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee . . . to a Gentile area where pigs are raised. Devout Jews believe this is the domain of Satan. After 8:22-25, how might the disciples be feeling: As they arrive on the other side of the lake? As they encounter a demoniac? Why is Jesus asked to leave the region?
7. In the two interwoven stories in 8:40-56, what risk is Jairus, a synagogue ruler, taking by approaching Jesus like this (8:41; see 5:17,30,33, 6:2,7,11)? What part does Jairus' intense desire have in the raising of his dead daughter? Why does Jesus say she will be healed—or that she is ''only asleep”—when the facts speak otherwise (8:42,49 and 53)?
8. What do you learn about the character of the sick woman before and after she touches Jesus’ garment (8:46-48)? How was her faith obvious to Jesus? Why do you think Jesus makes her reveal herself? For his sake . . . for her sake . . . for the crowd’s sake?
9. Why does Jesus sometimes tell those he heals to be silent (5:24; 8:56), but in the case of the Gentile demoniac, he wants the man to tell others what has happened (8:39)?
1. What kind of "soil'' best represents you now? Five years ago?
2. The disciples were always asking Jesus questions (even dumb ones). How comfortable are you taking your questions to Jesus?
3. How do you feel about 8:17?
4. Are you closer to your church family or your family of origin? Why?
5. Comparing your life to a storm, what would it be like right now: Partly cloudy? Lightning? Raging? Clearing up? What do you wish Jesus would do for you?
6. In your life right now, does something make you feel like a ''legion” (6,000 soldiers) is marching through your head, keeping you awake at night or filled with anxiety?
7. What is the most dramatic transformation you have seen Jesus work in someone’s life?
8. When (if ever) have you been as desperate as Jairus and the bleeding woman? How did Jesus respond to you?
9. From the stories in 8:2-56, what stands out to you about Jesus' power? His purposes? How might this make a difference as you face desperate situations?
1. What is Jesus trying to accomplish in 9:1-6? What do the disciples do? Why?
2. 9:7-9 (also 23:7) refers to Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, who executed John the Baptist (9:9). (See Mk 6:17-28 for details of John’s execution). What does Herod think about Jesus? Why?
3. In Jesus’ miracle of feeding 5000 (9:10-17), what precipitates the need (9:12). How do you account for the differences in the way Jesus and the disciples view the crowd (9:12-13)? What thoughts must the discip1es have as they collect the leftovers (9:17)?
4. After the other events you have read in Luke so far, why do you think Jesus would ask the questions in 9:18,20? Why doesn’t Jesus want the disciples to tell anyone he is the Messiah (Christ) (9:21)?
5. Why does Jesus’ teaching in 9:22-27 follow his confirmation that he is Messiah (9:21)? How might the disciples have felt about what he says—especially 9:22-23?
6. Why would Jesus take disciples to witness the Transfiguration (9:28-36)? How is this event related to: (a) Peter’s confession (9:20)? (b) The preceding saying (9:27)? (c) The presence of Moses (see John 1:17)? (d) The presence of Elijah (see 2 Kn 2:11, Mal 4:5-6)? How is this event underscored by God (9:34-35; see also 3:22)?
7. In the story in 9:37-45, what has evidently been going on while Jesus was gone? Why does Jesus speak with such sternness in 9:41 (see 9:1-6)? What is Jesus trying to teach his disciples with 9:44?
8. A determination of relative importance was required to decide about seating positions at banquets (see 14:8-9). In 9:46-50, how are the disciples gauging "greatness”? How does Jesus do so? How is this teaching related to John’s concern (9:49)?
9. Explain Jesus’ resolution (9:51) in the context of 9:20, 22-27,28-36,44? What is Jesus resolute about? Explain the different attitudes of Jesus and his disciples toward the Samaritans (9:52-56)? (Jews en route to Jerusalem were often treated this way by Samaritans; see Jn 4:20)?
1. Who is someone you admire because they dared to give their 1ife to a mission?
2. What is your mission in life, other than to keep food on the table? How does God’s kingdom fit in?
3. From what do you need a rest: Work hassles? Family? Church activities? Community activities? School deadlines? How wou1d you cope if God gave you a new challenge instead?
4. What does it mean specifically to you to: (a) Deny yourself, (b) Take up your cross daily, (c) Follow Jesus, and (d) Lose your life?
5. When have you experienced God in an unusual way? What happened?
6. When it comes to listening to Jesus, how hard of hearing are you?
7. If you had been one of the disciples who couldn’t solve the boy’s problem only days after you had been on a mission trip. How would you feel?
8. What spiritua1 low has recently followed a spiritual high for you?
9. What have you done for someone recently in Jesus’ name?
1. As Jesus teaches on the cost of discipleship (9:57-62), what do the three excuses represent? What does Jesus really mean by his responses (9:58,60,62)? What's his main point?
2. Jesus sends out seventy-two disciples in 10:1-16. What is their purpose (10:1-2)? How are they to conduct themselves (10:4-9); are they “high-maintenance” or “low-maintenance”? What is their mission” (10:9)? How is the Christian disciple like a "worker in the harvest"? A "lamb among wolves"? Like Jesus (10:16)?
3. What is the fate of those who reject Jesus (10:12)? What do you know about Sodom (see Gen 19:24-28)? Bethsaida (9:10; Jn 1:44)? Capernaum (4:31-37; Mt 4:13)? Tyre and Sidon (see Ez 28)?
4. Jesus debriefs the seventy-two disciples upon their return (10:17-24). What is the main point (see 10:19-20, 24)?
5. When the expert in Jewish law asked Jesus what he could do to inherit eternal life, why did Jesus direct him to the law (10:25-26)? What did Jesus say (10:28) about his answer (10:27)? How is it like Jesus’ summary of the entire Jewish law (see Matt 7:12, 22:35-39)?
6. Samaritans were detested by Jews (see Jn 4:5-22, esp 4:9) because they were half-breed Israelites whose religion was a combination of Judaism and paganism (see 2 Kings 17). What reaction would the Jewish listeners have had to a Samaritan as the hero of the story in 10:30-36? What does that tell you about the answer to the question: "And who is my neighbor'' (10:37)?
7. In the parable of the Good Samaritan (10:30-36), what may be a reason the priest and Levite didn't stop to help the hurt man (see Lev 21:1-3; Nu 19:11-22)? Consider 10:37 in the context of Hos 6:6, Mic 6:6-8, and Matt 9:13. Is Jesus making a point about proper religious practice by the fact that both people who bypass the injured man are members of the Jewish clergy?
8. In 10:38-42, how do the two sisters differ? Relate this story to 9:12; how is Mary's choice better? What about Jesus' call to servanthood (Matt 20:25-28)? What is Jesus' real point?
1. Of the issues listed here (comfort, social obligations, family concerns), which one would most likely tempt you not to follow Jesus?
2. How do you fee1 about the harvest where you live? Are people ripe for the Gospel? What would it take for you to be more involved in the harvest?
3. When have you felt like a lamb among wolves? What did you learn from that experience?
4. What do these verses show you about the privileges you have in Jesus Christ? Of these privileges, which are you experiencing now?
5. What attitude or behavior does God want you to have that is the most difficult to accept?
6. Who has been a Good Samaritan in your life? How can you be a Good Samaritan to someone in need?
7. How do you seek to serve others while also keeping God-given priorities?
1. What motivates the disciples to ask about prayer at this point (11:1)?
2. In Jesus' model prayer (11:2-4), what two concerns related to God come first? Why? What personal concerns then follow? Why is the question of forgiveness mentioned with regard to others as well as to God (see Matt 6:14-15)?
3. What is the point of 11:5-13 (esp 11:10, 13) in regard to prayer?
4. According to Matt 12 and Mark 3, the accusation that Jesus drives out demons by Beelzebub (11:14-26) comes from the Pharisees as part of their ongoing investigation. How does Jesus show the foolishness of this claim? What does Jesus mean in 11:20? How does 11:19 relate to 11:24-26?
5. 11:29-32 is a response to Jesus’ detractors in 11:16. Why is Jesus upset about ''this generation"? What does Jesus mean by the sign of Jonah (see Jnh 1:17)? Why would Jesus' comment about condemnation from the “Queen of the South” (see 1Ki 10:1-15) and the Men of Nineveh (see Jnh 3:5) annoy the Jews?
6. What is the point of parable of the light in 11:33-36? How is it related to 11:23 and 11:28?
7. The issue in 11:38 is ritual washing (not cleanliness), and hence 11:39-52 reflects Jesus’ counter-charges against the Pharisees: a response to their investigation of him. As Jesus denounces many practices of the Pharisees and experts in Jewish law (11:39-44,46-52), what is he really saying (see Mk 7:13)? What is his underlying point (see 11:39,52; 12:1)? Compare this with the main point of his teaching at the earlier Pharisee dinner (7:36-50)?
8. How do the Pharisees respond (11:45,53-54)? Comment on how this response foreshadows the way Jesus dies (since you already know how the story ends).
1. What should be the relationship between this prayer and our own? How do you usually pray? Do you have a set time? A set place? Or are you more spontaneous when you pray?
2. What concerns occupy most of your time in prayer: Praise? Confession? Petition? Why? In which area do you want to grow?
3. What one thing would you like to obtain from the Father?
4. If you compared your life right now to a fortress, what is it like: (a) The Rock of Gibraltar? (b) Slowly eroding? (c) Quick1y crumbling? Are you spirituality on the attack or feeling besieged? How's the battle going?
5. What sign would it take for your generation to turn to God? What’s the problem with relying on ''signs" to do the trick?
6. How would you score on a spiritual sight exam: 20/20? 20/80? Colorblind? Why?
7. Typically, Jesus is thought of as ''meek and mild." What is the significance of this passage's presentation of Jesus for you?
8. Of the woes directed to the Pharisees and experts in the law, which one has your name on it? Why?
9. How would you like your life to change this week in light of what you've read here?
1. 12:1 shows that 12:1-12 is an elaboration on Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees. What is Jesus’ point in 12:4-5 and 8-9 (see 12:11-12)? How would you define hypocrisy? Why do people practice it? How is hypocrisy like yeast (see 11:37-54)?
2. What does 12:11-12 teach about the believer’s security when facing human opposition?
3. In 12:15, what is Jesus warning against? How does that clarify what was displeasing to God about the attitude of the rich man in Jesus’ parable in 12:13-21 (see 12:21)?
4. How does Jesus teaching in 12:22-34 relate to the preceding parable about riches (see 12:31,34)? What does Jesus tell the disciples not to do (12:22)? Why? What does Jesus urge them to do instead (12:31)? Why?
5. How does the parable on watchfulness (12:35-48) clarify the previous teaching on worry (12:22-34)? What does it tell us about the balance between trusting God and discernment and diligence? The man in the parable 12:13-21 practiced diligent planning; what was wrong with him?
6. How does 12:42-48 (esp 12:48) answer Peter’s question in 12:41?
7. In Jesus’ teaching in 12:49-53, of what ''fire'' is Jesus speaking (see Mal 3:1-3)? What ''baptism''? What division? How and why does Jesus bring division? How does this relate to ''peace on Earth, goodwill toward men''?
1. Have you ever taken a risk and stood for Jesus in a public way? What happened? What did you learn?
2. How pervasive is the attitude: ''Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry'' (12:19) in our society? How can this attitude affect your relationship with God?
3. In what way can you be "rich toward God'' (12:21)? What is the lesson for you in the parable 12:13-21?
4. On a scale from 1 (''no sweat”) to 10 (''panic''), what is the worry quotient in your life right now? Why?
5. How can you transfer your treasure from Wall Street to Heaven's Gate? How would your life be different?
6. What dangers is Jesus warning about in this section? Which danger is most likely to be a problem for you?
7. What has God entrusted to you as his manager? If you knew Jesus was returning in 30 days, what would you do to get things ready for inspection?
8. Has Christ brought your family and friends: division or peace? Why?
9. How can you tell if it is your faith that strains a relationship . . . or if it is the way you live your faith?
1. What is the meaning of Jesus teaching about the signs of the times in 12:54-59? What is the point of 12:58-59 in the context of 12:54-57—esp 12:57?
2. 1st century Jews believed misfortune was a result of sin (5:23, John 9:1-2). What is Jesus’ point in 13:1-5? How does it explain the relationship between tragedy and divine judgment (see John 9:1-3)?
3. The nation of Israel is often represented by a fig tree (see 13:6; also Matt 21:18-19). In that context, interpret 13:6-9. Might this parable also apply to non-Jewish individuals? How?
4. The story in 13:10-17 represents yet another challenge of Jesus by the Pharisees for breaking the Sabbath. Healing was permitted only if a patient’s life was in danger (13:14), yet farmers were permitted to feed and water livestock (13:15). How does Jesus use these facts to expose the hypocrisy of the Pharisees’ attitude toward the Sabbath? What is the result (13:17)?
5. In the parables in 13:18-21, what does the contrast between the mustard seed and its tree teach about the power of God's kingdom? What does yeast teach about it?
6. Based on Luke 11-13 (see esp 11:28, 12:31), who will make it through the narrow door and who won’t (13:24)? Explain what Jesus means in 13:25-30, realizing that in the Middle Eastern culture, having a meal with someone was thought to form a special bond of friendship. Who are the ones outside who have been eating and drinking with Jesus? What do you think Jesus means by ''evildoers'' (see 12:1, 56; 13:15)? Who are the “people (who) will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God” (13:29)?
7. What does Jesus reveal about his intentions in 13:32-33? How does 13:31-35 show Jesus practices what he preached in 6:22-23 and 12:4-5 (also Matt 5:10-12)? Interpret 13:35 in the context of Ps 118:22-26, which is Messianic prophesy.
1. What signs in your own life indicate how you are doing? Using a weather map to describe your spiritual life, what does it forecast?
2. If you had ''one more year'' like the fig tree to turn your life around, what would you do?
3. What fruit do you want to be producing by this time next year?
4. What tensions between caring for people and keeping religious rules do you experience?
5. How can a little faith influence your everyday life?
6. How do you know whether you are inside or outside the kingdom? How can you be sure?
1. Jesus’ argument for healing on the Sabbath in 14:1-6 is similar to the one he uses in 13:10-17: “work” was permitted on the Sabbath to rescue a child or an animal from a pit. Hence Jesus asks: “Why not heal?” What does the silence of the Pharisees (14:4,6) indicate (see 13:17)?
2. What does Jesus’ teaching in 14:7-14 teach about humility? How does Jesus use the prospect of humiliation (14:9) to drive home his point? What does this passage teach about the differences between kingdom values and secular values (see 14:11)? What encouragement does Jesus give to persons who extend hospitality to those who cannot reciprocate (14:13-14)?
3. What do you think the ''great banquet'' (14:15-24) represents? Do the invited guests appear to have good reasons for not coming to the banquet, or are they just making excuses? What area of life is given priority over the dinner with each of the three excuses? Compare this story with 9:57-62 and 13:29-30; what is Jesus’ main point?
4. Review 9:57-62, 12:4-5, 49-53, and 14:15-33. What is Jesus saying in 14:25-33 (esp 14:27,33)? What does Jesus mean when he uses the word "hate" in reference to one's family and life (14:26)? Based on this passage, what price must a person be willing to pay to be a disciple of Christ? What effect would Jesus’ words have had on the "large crowds" (14:25) who followed Him?
5. In ancient times, salt was used for flavoring and for preserving. What does Jesus’ salt analogy (14:34-35) emphasize about discipleship?
6. Review 5:27-32 and 7:36-50. How does Jesus' parables of the lost sheep (15:3-6) and the lost coin (15:8-9) relate to the muttering of the Pharisees (15:2)? What is Jesus’ point in both cases (15:7, 10)?
1. How do things like customs and status get in the way of loving others in your family? Church? Work p1ace? Community?
2. If you threw a party for the "poor," "crippled," "lame," and "blind," who would you invite? How might you do this?
3. From your experience, what excuses do people make to avoid God's ''banquet''? What can you say or do to help people overcome their hesitation?
4. On a scale of 1 (not hungry) to 10 (starving), how would you describe your appetite right now for the things of God?
5. When has a family relationship or close friendship been a hindrance to your whole-hearted devotion to Jesus?
6. Have you had to pay a price to follow Jesus? How hard or easy has this been?
7. How do these stories make you feel about your value to God?
8. How could these stories affect your relationships with those you know who wander from the faith?
1. The parable of the lost (or prodigal) son (15:11-32) is remarkable because—in the Middle Eastern culture—a son who treated his father like this would be disinherited and shunned and likely killed if he tried to return home. What do you think of the character of the younger son, based on 15:13,30? Do you think you would have been proud to have him a member of your family? Why or why not?
2. In the Middle Eastern culture, the oldest son received a double portion of the inheritance, and would become head of the family upon his father’s death. What do you think of the character of the older son, based on 15:29? Do you think you would have been proud to have him a member of your family? Why or why not?
3. Why do you think the younger brother wanted to leave home (15:13)? Was he ready? What caused him to ''come to his senses'' (15:17)? Did he seem genuinely repentant? Why?
4. Why did the older brother react as he did when the younger brother returned home (15:25-30); wouldn’t he be glad to see him? What words best describe the older son's attitude? Do you think the father was wise in throwing a party when the son returned? Do you think the father dealt fairly with the older brother (15:31)? How is the father like the portrait of God in Rom 2:4b?
5. What prompted Jesus to give the parables on the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son (15:1-2)? What common message can you find among all three parables?
6. In the parable of the Shrewd Manager (16:1-13), in what crisis does the manager find himself (16:1)? What prompts him to decrease the amount owed by his master's debtors? Why does the owner commend the manager for this scheme (16:8)? How does Jesus summarize this parable (16:9)? What do you think he's commending? How does 16:10-12 help you understand his point?
7. How does Luke characterize the attitude of the Pharisees (16:14)? How does the parable speak to them? How does the issue of trying to serve two masters (16:13) apply here? Why would it be important for Jesus' disciples to hear this parable?
8. What does Jesus mean in 16:16 about who John the Baptist was? About who he is? What does 16:17 tell you about the relevance of Old Testament now that Jesus the Messiah is proclaiming the New Covenant (see Matt 5:17-18)?
9. What does Jesus mean by what he says in 16:18? (See also Matt 5:32, 19:9).
1. Where are you right now in your relationship with your parents? Are you satisfied with that relationship?
2. Which brother reminds you of your spiritual pilgrimage?
3. In your spiritual pilgrimage, what do you identify as your “far country'' time?
4. What is it going to take to get you to ''the party''?
5. How do you view your money: (a) It's mine; keep your hands off? (b) It's my creditors'? (c) It's God’s; I just manage it? Why? How could you use it for the sake of the kingdom?
6. Who (or what) are some of the masters you've served in the past? What masters pull at you for allegiance now? How do you deal with these pressures in light of your commitment to Christ?
7. How have you tried to force your way into the kingdom of heaven?
1. In 16:19-31, how do the lives of the rich man and Lazarus compare on earth (16:19-21)? After death (16:22-24)? Why is this poor man in heaven while the rich man is kept out (16:25)? Do you think wealth and comfort are the entire reason . . . or is there more to the story (16:28)? Lack of knowledge is not the problem (16:29); what is? What do you think is Jesus’ main point (see 16:13-15, 18:25)? How do comfort vs suffering relate to salvation vs damnation?
2. What does the story of the rich man and Lazarus teach about the 1st century Jewish view of afterlife? (See also John 11:23-24).
3. Read 16:27-31 carefully. How is 16:31 related to Jesus death and resurrection? How is it prophetic?
4. What is Jesus point in his teaching about sin in 17:1-3a? What does he mean by “these little ones” (17:2; see Ja 3:1)? How does the maxim: "I am responsible for my responses" relate to this teaching? Give an example of someone who seems to deserve to be “thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck”?
5. When others sin against us, what are our typical reactions? What response does Jesus advocate (17:3-4)? How could you practice this without reinforcing someone's bad behavior? . . . or is that a consideration? Why or why not? Why should Christians forgive others (Eph. 4:32)? In what sense is faith needed before we can forgive another person?
6. How might the dialogue in 17:5-10 relate to 17:3-4 (see 17:10)? What does 17:6 really mean? What does this passage teach about the attitudes Jesus' followers should have in serving him (17:7-10)?
7. What is it like to be a leper (see Lev 13:45-46)? What would healing mean for the ten lepers Jesus heals (17:11-19)? What words describe the lepers' approach to Jesus before He healed them? How was their response to Jesus' command, to show themselves to a priest (17:14), an act of faith? As one of the nine . . . how would you rationalize not going back to Jesus to say thanks? What is significant in the fact that the one who returns is a Samaritan?
8. In Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees' question (17:20-21), what does Jesus say about the kingdom—as to when, how, or where it is? Does he view the kingdom as an inward, spiritua1 reality within people? An outward, social manifestation among them? Or is the kingdom present in the person of the king, Jesus (and his comment reflects their failure to recognize who he is)?
9. What else does Jesus teach as he elaborates on this topic to his disciples (17:22-37)? How does this relate to 12:35-40? What did Jesus mean by ''one of the days of the son of Man''? How will those days be like the days of Noah and Lot? What is meant by the warning about Lot’s wife (see Gee 19:17-26)? What does 17:33 mean?
1. On a scale of 1 (the rich man and his brothers) to 10 (Lazarus), where do you stand? Why there?
2. Since lack of knowledge is not the brothers' problem. What is? How do you see that tendency in yourself?
3. How do you feel about discussing Judgment Day with friends?
4. Which quality of discipleship do you have the most difficulty with? How might dealing with this affect the other qualities?
5. How do you express your gratitude to Jesus?
6. While you live ''in the kingdom'' waiting for ''the son of Man'' to come, what do you see in this section about the way you ought to apply verses 32-33?
7. Do you ever look back to your pre-Christ lifestyle? In what way?
1. What method did the widow in the parable in 18:1-8 use as she approached the judge? How is God like and unlike the judge? What does the parable tell us about prayer (see 1 Thes 5:17)?
2. How would people in Jesus’ day view the two characters in the parable in 18:9-14 (see 5:29-30, 20:56)? Why did the tax collector go home ''justified before God'' (18:14a) rather than the Pharisee? How was the Pharisee deluded? What point is Jesus making with this parable (18:14b)?
3. In contrast to today’s “kid-centered” society, children in 1st century Israel were strictly disciplined. For what purpose would these parents be bringing their babies to Jesus (18:15)? Why would the disciples try to stop them? What does Jesus mean in 18:16-17 (esp 18:17)? What is the difference between being childlike and being childish?
4. How is the ruler’s question (18:18) like an earlier interview recorded by Luke (see 10:25)? Is Jesus’ answer (18:20) the same (see 10:26-28)? Why or why not? What subtle point is found in Jesus' response (18:19)?
5. In analyzing Jesus’ dialogue with the ruler (18:18-30): wealth was considered a sign of God's blessing in 1st century Israel, and the ruler was already doing what Jesus commanded (18:21). Why, then, does the man persist (see Matt 19:20)? What does Jesus’ response really mean (18:22; see Matt 19:20)? Why are Jesus’ comments (18:22,24) so difficult for both the ruler (18:23) and the crowd (18:25)? What does Jesus mean in 18:27 (see Ac 13:38-39, Ro 3:22-24)? How does Jesus’ conversation with Peter (18:28-30) summarize this . . . and point the way into the kingdom?
6. Why is Jesus teaching in 18:31-33 (also 9:21-22) misunderstood by the disciples (18:34)?
7. In the episode with the blind beggar (18:35-43), what does the beggar's form of address to Jesus (18:38-39) show about his faith (see Matt 22:41-43)? How might that explain the disciples’ attitude (18:39)? Is the beggar being too pushy? What other parable does he remind us of (see 18:1-8)?
1. As for prayer, are you more likely to give up or hang tough? Why?
2. When have you been like the Pharisee in this story? Like the tax collector? Right now, considering your attitude toward others, who are you most like?
3. How are you humble before God?
4. Are you more like the ruler or the children in how you approach God? Why?
5. What has helped you see the impossibility of earning the kingdom? As a result, how have you experienced the gift of the kingdom (18:29-30)?
6. What is the greatest dilemma you have faced in your spiritual life? How did you respond?
7. Have you ever felt Jesus was too busy for you? Why? How do we inadvertently communicate that idea to children or people with chronic needs?
1. How is Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus (19:1-10) like his encounter with Matthew/Levi (5:27-32)? How is Zacchaeus like the blind beggar (see 18:39, 19:3-4)? Which attitudes of Zacchaeus prompted Jesus’ response?
2. Compare the story of Zacchaeus with the rich young ruler (18:18-30). How is it like the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (18:9-14)? How does the end of the story (19:8-10) clarify what Jesus means in 18:22,24?
3. In the Parable of the Ten Minas (19:12-27), who is the “man of noble birth” (see 3:23, 31; Matt 22:41-42)? How does this parable help you understand the point of 19:11? The reason Jesus tells the parable at this time?
4. Where does the man of noble birth (19:11-27) go? Why? What are his servants to do in his absence? How does the first servant perform? The second servant? How does the master reply to them? How about the third servant? What happens to him? Interpret this parable in the context of your answer to the question “who is the ‘man of noble birth’”? Who are the enemies? What is the meaning of 19:14-15 and 27? Who are the servants? What does Jesus mean in 19:26? Is the third servant treated fairly (see 14:25-35, esp 14:34-35; Jn 4:37-38)? Why or why not?
5. How does Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (19:28-44) tie into the parable about the “man of noble birth” (19:12-27)? How close is Jesus to Jerusalem now (19:29)? What task does he give two of his disciples? Why (see Zech 9:9)? What problem did they encounter? How was the problem addressed (19:31-34)?
6. What were the people expecting Jesus to do when he reached Jerusalem (19:11)? How does his entry (19:35-44) encourage those expectations (see Zec 9:9, Ps 118:24-27)? Why did Jesus permit such a public demonstration? How does Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees (19:39-40) help answer this question? How do Jesus' words and emotions in 19:41-44 demonstrate that the expectations of the people are different from his? How does 19:43-44 prophesy the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD?
7. How does 19:45-46 relate to Jesus' concern about Jerusalem? Why does he take such extreme action? What effect did Jesus' cleansing of the temple have on His foes?
8. Interpret what happens in 19:47-48 in the context of Matt 26:3-5 and Jn 11:47-53.
9. In the dialogue in 20:1-8, what ''things'' (19:47, 20:1) has Jesus been doing? Why would this worry the chief priests (20:2; see 4:32)? In what sense did their questions about Jesus' authority pose a potential trap for Jesus? Who is considered the “authority” in the temple? How does Jesus evade their question? Why? What sins does He reveal? Why was their rejection of John the Baptist significant? What is the source of Jesus’ authority (19:40)?
1. Where did Jesus first find you? Up a tree? Out on a limb? How did he get you to join him?
2. What wrongs do you need to make right?
3. What talents and resources do you think Jesus has left with you? How do you feel about the way you have invested them? How could you be more prudent in the way you invest?
4. Is fear ever a motive in your relationship with Christ? Why?
5. What kind of reception would Jesus get: (a) If he rode into your town today? (b) After the people heard the message?
6. How would he be treated by the local media? By elected officials? The guys in the tavern? The ladies in the bridge club?
7. What people, things or events led you to recognize Jesus' authority? What authority does he have (or demand) in your life now?
1. How does the Parable of the Tenants (20:9-16) relate to the question of authority raised in 20:1-8? What does the landowner do? How do the tenants respond? Why? How does Jesus use this parable to interpret a psalm the Jews believe is Messianic prophecy? Based on this, who do the landowner, the tenants, the servants and the son represent? How does the parable and the quote affect the religious leaders (20:19)?
2. Why do Jesus’ opponents ask the question recorded in 20:22 (see 20:20)? What’s their trap here: If Jesus said ''pay Caesar,” what would have happened to his crowd support? If Jesus had said “don't pay,” what would have happened?
3. What does Jesus' response (20:23-25) accomplish (20:26)? What other point is Jesus making here (see Ro 13:1-3)?
4. The Sadducees represent the wealthy, aristocratic priests who control the temple. Why would they pose the question in 20:27-33 to Jesus?
5. What does Jesus’ response teach about life after death (20:34-36)? How does he then "prove" the resurrection? How do the teachers of the law—most of whom are Pharisees—respond? Why (see Acts 23:8)?
6. In Jesus comments in 20:41-44, he quotes a psalm which the Jews believe is Messianic prophecy? What is Jesus’ point? How can the Messiah be both David's son and David's Lord?
7. What does Jesus mean by his criticism of the religious leaders in 20:45-47 (see 11:37-52, 12:1, 16:14-15,18:9-14)? How does the illustration of the poor widow (21:1-4) tie in? What is Jesus' point in making this contrast? How is she a real life illustration of Jesus’ teaching in 12:22-34?
1. At different times in your life, how have you received Jesus? How do you receive him now?
2. Is Jesus more like a millstone (weight) or a capstone (one that holds everything together) in your life? Why?
3. In giving yourself to God, are you in the 15, 28, 45, or 100 percent ''tax bracket”? Why?
4. How do you deal with someone who wants to argue a point in the Bible? What if the person has honest questions and you don't have the answer?
5. When have you ''used" religion to get something for yourself (attention, respect, good fee1ings) rather than for love of God? What helps get you back on track?
6. Do you give to God off the top (at the outset of the month), or from what is left over (at month's end)? Explain.
1. What prompts Jesus' teaching in 21:5-38? What bombshell does he drop on his disciples (21:6)? Considering how the Jews felt about the temple (21:5), how must they have felt when they heard Jesus' words?
2. See Matt 24:3 for clarification of the question raised by the disciples in 21:7. In that context, what is the subject of Jesus’ comments in 21:8-11? What does he tell his disciples to look for? What not to look for (21:9b)? What is the surest way to avoid deception and keep our spiritual balance?
3. What does Jesus say will happen to the disciples and the church prior to his return (21:12-19)? Compare this to Jesus’ earlier discourse in 9:23-25. What comfort will come in the midst of these trials (21:15,18)? In the context of the rest of this passage, do you take 21:18 literally or figuratively? Why?
4. Most likely, Jesus’ words in 19:43-44 and 21:6 prophesy the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD; and hence 21:20-24 describes the signs that will come before this happens (so Christians can flee). What are those signs? Why will Jerusalem be devastated (21:22; see 11:49-51; 13:34-35)? Why would Jesus warn of this event as part of his answer to the question in 12:7 (see 21:8-9)? How does Jesus describe this time (21:23)? What does he tell the people to do (21:21)?
5. What is Jesus talking about in 21:25-28: Jesus’ return or Jerusalem’s destruction (21:27)? What is significant about the way Jesus will return (21:27; see Da 7:13-14, 1 The 4:16)? What is the good news for believers when they see the signs of the return of Jesus (21:28)?
6. What is the lesson of the fig tree (21:29-31)? How does it answer the disciples' question from 21:7? How is it like Jesus’ earlier discourse in 12:54-56? Are the signs (21:10-11,25) appearing today? (Do you think people in an earlier time might have said the same thing?) How can we follow Jesus’ admonitions to not be deceived, not be terrified, and to not worry during the end times (12:22-32)?
7. What does Jesus’ prophesy in 21:32-33 mean? Is he talking about his return or Jerusalem’s destruction (see Acts 2:40)? Do these words give comfort to the disciples? Discomfort? Why?
8. How does Jesus caution his followers to prepare (21:34-35)? How is this advice like Jesus’ earlier comments in 12:35-48?
1. When were you a bold witness for Christ? What happened? How did God give you insight and wisdom?
2. When reading the parable of the fig tree today, how near is the fig tree to sprouting? What makes you think this? How does this affect the way you live your life?
3. How well does your life reflect 21:36? What will you do this week to become better at watching and praying?
4. What is the surest way to avoid deception and keep our spiritual balance?
5. Why do Christians who experience little trouble have to be especially on guard?
6. In what ways are you making sure you are ready for the return of the Lord?
1. What was the significance of Passover (Ex 12:14-20)? The Passover lamb (Ex 12:1-13,21-28)? Which Jews were supposed to come to Jerusalem to celebrate every year? How does that contribute to extraordinarily large crowds in Jerusalem at this time . . . and the concerns of the chief priests (22:1-3)?
2. What was so hypocritical about the plot of the religious leaders to kill Jesus at this Passover time Jesus (19:47-48, Matt 26:3-5, Jn 11:47-53)? How would Judas’ offer to betray Jesus be welcomed (22:3-6)? Why?
3. Does the plot possibly explain the roundabout way Jesus has the disciples arrange for the Passover feast (22:7-13)? Does this episode appear to have been planned, so that most of the disciples would not know—in advance—where Jesus was eating Passover? (Hint: carrying water was woman’s work.) How would this affect Judas’ betrayal plans?
4. Why might Jesus say in 22:14-23 that he "eagerly desires" to share this particular Passover feast with the disciples? How will this meal “find fulfillment” in the kingdom of God (22:16)? How does Jesus' use of the bread and wine change the emphasis of Passover (see Jn 1:29)? What is the meaning of 22:18? Of 22:19? From Jeremiah 31:31-34, how would you describe the "new covenant" (22:20) which Jesus brings about at this time?
5. When does Judas leave (Jn 13:30)? Why was this necessary?
6. When Jesus announces he will be betrayed (22:21-22), how do the disciples react (22:23)? How might their reaction precipitate the argument in 22:24? How does Jesus resolve that argument (22:25-27)? How does the understanding of the term "greatness" differ between unbelievers and Christians? How does Jesus promise in 22:28-30 identify the betrayer? What does this promise mean? How does it clarify Jesus’ explanation of why he will be betrayed (22:22a)?
7. Why does Jesus’ single out Peter in his comments to the disciples in 22:31-34 (see 22:59-62)? How does Peter’s response (22:33) indicate the way he feels about this prediction? Does Peter's self-confident boasting of his loyalty and his subsequent betrayal serve as a warning to us?
8. Jesus’ comments to his disciples in 22:35-38 include a quote from Is 53:12 which is Messianic prophesy (22:37). What is Jesus trying to impress upon his disciples? That they should fight to protect Jesus (22:52)? That Jesus is going to die as a criminal, so his followers will not be able to rely on hospitality from strangers for their needs (22:35-36)? That Jesus will leave them on their own (Jn 14:15-18)? Other? Why?
9. What “new commandment” does Jesus give in the Upper Room (Jn 13:34-35)
1. What does sharing in communion (or the Lord's Supper or Holy Eucharist) mean to you?
2. What would it mean to apply Jesus' words about service (22:27) in your family life? Work or school relationships? Use of money? Why apply this principle in those areas? Why not?
3. How can you be more of a servant in your home? In your church?
4. In 22:24-27 Jesus criticized self-centered ambition and called for a servant's heart. In what specific ways does a competitive, self-promotional spirit express itself in local churches and Christian organizations? How does it show in the lives of individual believers?
5. With which disciple do you identify most and why: (a) Judas: I've sold out on Jesus? (b) Those arguing: I want to follow Jesus, but I still want to be successful in the eyes of others? or (c) Peter: I am passionately committed to Jesus, but sometimes I fall flat on my face?
1. Jesus goes with eleven disciples to the Mount of Olives to pray (22:39-45). How does he ask the disciples to pray (22:40,46)? Why? What strikes you about Jesus' prayer? In saying "your will be done,” is Jesus: (a) Helplessly submitting? (b) Bitterly resigning himself to the inevitable? or (c) Building resolve to follow through on God’s plan and quietly trusting in God's love? How did Jesus handle the pressure of knowing the agony ahead of Him? What does 22:43-44 reveal about how real Jesus’ agony was and how intensely he felt it?
2. Plot out where Judas probably goes between the time he left the meal and his appearance on the Mount of Olives (22:47). What clue in 22:39 reveals why Jesus came to the Mount of Olives . . . and how Judas knew to find him here?
3. In Jesus’ arrest (22:47-52), what is the irony in Judas' betrayal (22:47-48)? How does the disciples’ action (22:49-50) reveal confusion about what Jesus meant in 22:36,38? In the context of 22:52-53, why is the crowd large and armed? What do they fear; why are their fears unfounded (see Matt 26:53-54)? What does Jesus mean by “your hour—when darkness reigns'' (22:53) (see 22:3, Jn 14:30)?
4. How would you describe Peter's personality (see 5:8, 18:28; Matt 16:16-23, Jn 6:68, 13:6-9)? Do his actions in 22:54-62 seem consistent with that personality? Given 22:33-34, what accounts for Peter’s actions in 22:62? What questions must he have had about himself? What did Jesus say during His prediction of the denial (22:32) that should have encouraged him?
5. In the scene with the guards (22:63-65) . . . are they Jewish or Roman (22:54,66)? Why would they treat Jesus as they do?
6. Jesus appears before the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) at daybreak (22:66-71). What physical and emotional shape do you think Jesus is in (22:44)? From what you have learned so far about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (19:35-38) and his authority (20:1-8), who does Jesus claim to be? How is this reflected in the Sanhedrin’s question (22:67-70)? In Jesus’ answer (22:69-70)? What is the meaning of 22:71? Did Jesus incriminate himself? Of what crime (see Jn 10:33)?
7. In Jesus’ 1st trial before the Roman governor, Pilate (23:1-7), what charge does the Sanhedrin bring against him (23:2)? How is this similar to—but different from—what was said and done in the Jewish court? Why doesn’t Pilate seem to take Jesus’ confession seriously (23:3; see Jn 18:36-37)? What new charge is brought against Jesus in 23:5 (see 23:14)? What does Pilate's referral of the case to Herod show about the seriousness with which he viewed this charge?
8. In Jesus’ trial before Herod (23:8-11) . . . what was Herod’s attitude toward Jesus (23:8a; see Mk 6:14-16)? What did Herod want of Jesus (23:8b)? Why wouldn’t Jesus answer him at all?
9. In Jesus’ 2nd trial before Pilate (23:13-25), what is the verdict (23:14-15)? What does Pilate propose (23:16)? Why? How does the question of Barabbas (23:18-19) enter into the story (see Matt 27:15-21)? Although Pilate and Herod both found Jesus innocent, why does Pilate finally give in to the leaders (23:23-24; see Jn 19:12)? What irony do you see in the fact that Barabbas was released, while Jesus was condemned (23:14,19)? What does that show about the leaders (12:1)? About Pilate? Why is this God’s plan (1 Cor 5:21)?
10. What has happened to Judas in the meantime (see Matt 27:3-5)?
1. What do you mean when you pray, ''your will be done"?
2. How would you compare Jesus' attitudes and actions with those of his disciples? His enemies? What impresses you most about him?
3. In addition to employing prayer as a release valve for anxiety, what can we learn about coping with pressure from Jesus’ experience?
4. When have you felt like Peter? What "rooster” reminds you of failure? What helps you work through guilt?
5. What is God's timeless message to us from this episode of Peter's denials (see 22:54-62)? What perspective might Psalm 51:17 bring?
6. In 19:45. Jesus confronted injustice with action, but here he is silent. Why? How do you decide when to fight for what is right and when not to? Has that decision faced you recently?
7. What contrasts do you see between Jesus' kingship and the authority of Pilate and Herod? What difference does it make to you that Jesus is not the type of king they were?
1. What happens to Jesus after Pilate condemns him to be crucified (Matt 27:27-30)? In light of Jesus physical condition before his trial (22:44) why would someone have to help Jesus carry the cross (23:26)?
2. What does Jesus say to the women weeping for him on the way to his crucifixion (23:27-31)? Why would Jesus rather have no one weep for him (see 19:41-44, 21:20-24)? Does Jesus address these women as his followers or as citizens of Jerusalem? What does Jesus mean in 23:31?
3. What attitudes do you see in the witnesses to Jesus’ crucifixion? The Jewish “rulers” (23:35)? The soldiers (23:34b,36)? The criminals crucified with Jesus (23:39-43)? Jesus himself (23:34a, 43)? What is the published charge against Jesus (23:38)?
4. At Jesus death (23:44-49), what is the meaning of the darkness (22:53)? The torn curtain (Heb 9:1-12)? Jesus' prayer (Ps 31:5)? When does the darkness descend (23:44)? How long does it remain? How does the centurion react (23:47)? The ordinary people (23:48)? Jesus’ followers (23:49)?
5. Jesus’ burial is described in 23:50-56. What do you learn about Joseph of Arimathea (23:50-51)? Who accompanied him (Jn 19:39)? What do you know about him and his position (Jn 3:1)? What did they do (23:53)? Why would these two members of the Sanhedrin risk their reputation and status in this way?
6. When do the women return to the tomb to complete the burial (24:1)? Why did they wait 36 hours (or so) to do this (23:54-56)? Why not on the day Jesus died? What do they find (24:2-4)? How do they react (24:5a)? What do the angels tell them (24:5b-7)? How do you think the women felt when they heard the angels' announcement (see 24:8)?
7. How did the disciples receive the news when the women told them about the empty tomb (24:9-11)? How did Peter react (24:12)? What did he find?
1. How do you view the crucifixion: Necessary evil? Cruel and unusual punishment? Sacrifice for sin? Triumph over injustice? Why?
2. When did the meaning of the death of Christ begin to make sense to you? How would you explain the crucifixion to a non-Christian friend?
3. Who in this story do you identify with most? Least? Why?
4. From the elements here, how would you describe to someone what Jesus' death was all about? How does it make a difference in your view of sin and failure? Your confidence in God's love?
5. Jesus had apparently failed, but Joseph and the women did not abandon him. What do you learn from this for your life?
6. How did the meaning of the Resurrection first ''dawn” upon you? What difference does the Resurrection make in how you live your life?
1. Jesus’ first post-resurrection appearance recorded by Luke is to two followers traveling from Jerusalem to Emmaus (24:13-35). Why don’t these followers recognize Jesus (24:16)? What are the two disciples talking about as they walk (see 24:14,19-24)? What seems to be their mood (24:17b)? What hopes appear to be dashed (24:21)? Why? What was their reaction to the story of the empty tomb (24:22)? How widespread among Jerusalem’s residents and visitors was knowledge of Jesus’ “Holy Week” story (24:18)?
2. Jesus gives a “refresher course” in Messianic prophecy as he walks to Emmaus with the men (24:25-27). What is Jesus’ attitude toward the fact that the disciples need this “refresher course” (24:25-26)? How is it like the angels’ words to the women at the empty tomb (24:6-7)? As you studied Luke, does it seem Jesus made God’s plan clear enough to his disciples (9:21-22,44;17:24-25;18:31-33;22:15-16)? What basis—in addition to Jesus' words—did his followers have for expecting His death and resurrection (24:27)? Why do you think Jesus did a roundabout Bible study rather than just reveal his identity directly?
3. When the men reach Emmaus (see 24:28-32), why do you think Jesus acts as if he is going further (see 10:5-7)? When is Jesus’ identity revealed (24:30-31)? How do the men react (24:32-33)?
4. In the meantime . . . what has happened to the disciples back in Jerusalem to cause them to change their minds from 24:11 (24:34)? Why does Jesus make a special appearance to Peter (22:54-62)? What will this accomplish?
5. “Peace be with you" (24:36)—“shalom”—is a standard Jewish greeting. How is it now a good summary of Jesus’ gospel (see Jn 14:27, 16:33; Phil 4:7)?
6. Jesus’ 2nd (or 3rd) appearance (recorded by Luke) is to the disciples soon after the men from Emmaus arrive (24:35-49). How do they react (24:37)? After the other post-resurrection events recorded in Luke 24, why do you think the disciples still express such surprise and doubt: (a) Not enough evidence? (b) Not enough faith? (c) Not sure what they are seeing (24:39)? Jesus goes to great lengths to show he is not a ghost (24:39-43); why is this important (see Deut 18:10-12)?
7. What does Jesus say that helps the disciples believe (24:44-48)? How is it like what he said on the road to Emmaus? Why do you think Jesus places such emphasis on Old Testament Messianic prophecy? Did Jesus do away with Old Testament law (see Matt 5:17)? Is the Old Testament important to Christians today?
8. What task does Jesus give the disciples (24:49)? What promise (see Jn 14:26)? How must they have felt?
9. Why do the disciples react so differently when Jesus is taken away now (24:50-53)? Compare when he was arrested and crucified (Matt 26:56b)?
1. Where is your "Road to Emmaus": the place where Jesus surprised you recently? What happened? Did you urge him to stay (24: 29)? Why or why not?
2. How well do you think you can explain the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and the way a person can have a relationship with him? Who could you communicate these truths with today?
3. Why is it important to you that Jesus' mission was anticipated far beforehand in the Old Testament?
4. How would you live differently if Jesus was not currently reigning in heaven, but was only another noble martyr?
5. Where is the mission field Jesus has sent you? Who are some of the people you can witness to by your life? By your words? Who are the disciples in your life who encourage your service to Christ?
6. How do you respond to his mission for you: (a) Let's get going!? (b) I couldn’t possibly do that!? (c) He didn't mean me? (d) I'm scared, but I'II trust him? Why?