Week 18, Luke 7 – 9

Reading 1, Luke 7:1-35

Luke 7  

Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. 3 So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, 5 “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.” 

6 Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. 7 Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 

9 When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well [bp]who had been sick. 

  1. Question: Rather than begging our Heavenly Father to heal someone based on the merits of what they had done (3-5), how has Jesus taught us to ask and why (see John 14:12-13)? 

What was unusual in the demonstration of the centurion’s faith that caused Jesus to marvel at how much faith he had? 

Jesus Raises the Son of the Widow of Nain

11 Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. 12 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. 

16 Then fear [bq]came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.” 17 And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region. 

  • Question:  When Jesus did miracles and good works, who did He bring glory to? 

John the Baptist Sends Messengers to Jesus

18 Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. 19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to [br]Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or [bs]do we look for another?” 

20 When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” 21 And that very hour He cured many of [bt]infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. 

22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 And blessed is he who is not [bu]offended because of Me.” 

24 When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.27 This is he of whom it is written: 

‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, 
Who will prepare Your way before You.’ 

28 For I say to you, among those born of women there is [bv]not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 

29 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors [bw]justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and [bx]lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. 

  • Question: What is the connection between those that received vs. rejected the baptism of repentance of John, and those that received or rejected the teachings of Christ as seen in verses 29-30? 

31 [by]And the Lord said, “To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying: 

‘We played the flute for you, 
And you did not dance; 
We mourned to you, 
And you did not weep.’ 

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a [bz]wine bibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 But wisdom is justified by all her children.” 

Note: The men of that generation were like children playing in the market place just making up stuff to justify their rebellion to God, but the kingdom of God bears good fruit that testifies to it’s truthfulness. 

Reading 2, Luke 7:36- 8:21

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” 

40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” 

So he said, “Teacher, say it.” 

41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 

43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” 

And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” 

48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 

49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 

50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” 

  • Question: How can we practice being like the woman whose sins were forgiven, rather than being like Simon who remained in His sin (see 1 John 1:8-10)? 

Many Women Minister to Jesus

Luke 8  

Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and [ca]bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and [cb]infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for [cc]Him from their [cd]substance. 

The Parable of the Sower

4 And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded [ce]a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” 

The Purpose of Parables

9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?” 

10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the [cf]mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that 

‘Seeing they may not see, 
And hearing they may not understand.’ 

The Parable of the Sower Explained

11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of [cg]temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.[ch] 

  • Question: What does this parable teach us about how to bear the fruit of God’s word and kingdom of God in your life?

The Parable of the Revealed Light

16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. 18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he [ci]seems to have will be taken from him.” 

  • Question: How do you think Jesus’ statement in verse 18, “Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he [ci]seems to have will be taken from him.” ties in with the purpose of parables in verses 9-10 and the parable of the sower in general? 

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Come to Him

19 Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. 20 And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.” 

21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” 

  • Question: Why do you think Jesus said, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”  See also John 1:12-13 and 1 John 3:2-6. 

Reading 3, Luke 8:22-56

Wind and Wave Obey Jesus

22 Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in [cj]jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” 

Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” 

And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” 

A Demon-Possessed Man Healed

26 Then they sailed to the country of the [ck]Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons [cl]for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. 

30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” 

And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. 

32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. 33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. 

34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was [cm]healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the [cn]Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned. 

38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. 

  • Question: How was this man who had been delivered from demons able to proclaim the good news throughout the city of what Jesus did for Him without a lot of training? 

A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed

40 So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. 41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. 

But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped. 

45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” 

When all denied it, Peter [co]and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, [cp]and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” 

46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. 

48 And He said to her, “Daughter, [cq]be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” 

49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the [cr]Teacher.” 

50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” 51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go [cs]in except [ct]Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. 52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” 53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. 

54 But He [cu]put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. 56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened. 

  • Question: What is the connection, or lack of connection between fear and faith (verse 50)? 

Why do you think Jesus put outside all that ridiculed Him for saying, “she is not dead, but sleeping” before raising the girl to life?  (See also Matthew 13:58, John 11:39-40.) 

Reading 4, Luke 9: 1-27

Sending Out the Twelve

Luke 9 

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece. 

4 “Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 

6 So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. 

10. Question:  What was the whole package Christ gave the disciples when He sent them out on this mission (1-2)? 

Herod Seeks to See Jesus

7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, 8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again. 9 Herod said, “John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?” So he sought to see Him. 

Feeding the Five Thousand

10 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.” 

13 But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” 

And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. 

Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.”15 And they did so, and made them all sit down. 

16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17 So they all ate and were [cv]filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them. 

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 

19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.” 

20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 

Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” 

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” 

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [cw]daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.” 

11. Question: What do you think Jesus meant by, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [cw]daily, and follow Me.  

What do you think is the difference between sharing Jesus and His words (verse 26), and a canned method of trying to get someone saved (I.e., 4 spiritual laws)?  

Reading 5, Luke 9:28 – 62

Jesus Transfigured on the Mount

28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. 30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His [cx]decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. 33 Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three [cy]tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 

34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is [cz]My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen. 

A Boy Is Healed

37 Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. 38 Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. 40 So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 

41 Then Jesus answered and said, “O [da]faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and [db]bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father. 

Jesus Again Foretells His Death

43 And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. 

But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying. 

Who Is the Greatest?

46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. 47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.” 

Jesus Forbids Sectarianism

49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” 

50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against[dc]us is on [dd]our side.” 

A Samaritan Village Rejects the Savior

51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, [de]just as Elijah did?” 

55 But He turned and rebuked them, [df]and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 [dg]For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. 

The Cost of Discipleship

57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 

58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 

59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” 

But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” 

61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 

62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” 

12. Question: Why do you think Jesus told someone to, “follow me,” and then said, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” 

Week 17 – Luke 4-6

Reading 1, Luke 4:1-30

Luke 4  

Satan Tempts Jesus

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit [ac]into the wilderness, 2 being [ad]tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. 

Study Note: See also Hebrews 4:14-16. 

3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 

4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, [ae]but by every word of God.’ ” 

  1. Question: What was the devil tempting Jesus to do, and what was bait the devil used to tempt Him. 

5 [af]Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” 
 
8 And Jesus answered and said to him, [ag]“Get behind Me, Satan! [ah]For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” 

2. Question:  How do you think “all this authority” was delivered to the devil?  What was the devil tempting Jesus to do, and what was bait the devil used to tempt Him. 

9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: 

‘He shall give His angels charge over you, 
To keep you,’ 

11 and, 

‘In their hands they shall bear you up, 
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 

12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not[ai]tempt the Lord your God.’ ” 

13 Now when the devil had ended every [aj]temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. 

3. Question: What was the devil tempting Jesus to do, and what was bait the devil used to tempt Him. 

Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry

14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, 
Because He has anointed Me 
To preach the gospel to the poor; 
He has sent Me [ak]to heal the brokenhearted, 
To proclaim liberty to the captives 
And recovery of sight to the blind, 
To set at liberty those who are [al]oppressed; 
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 

20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 

23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum,[am] do also here in Your country.’ ” 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to[an]Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 

28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with [ao]wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way. 

4. Question:  What was it that angered the people in the synagogue so much that they tried to kill Jesus? 

Reading 2, Luke 4:31-5:16

Jesus Casts Out an Unclean Spirit

31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. 33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 

35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, [ap]“Be quiet, and come out of him! ”And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. 36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” 37 And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region. 

Peter’s Mother-in-Law Healed 

38 Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was [aq]sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her. 39 So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them. 

Many Healed After Sabbath Sunset

40 When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are [ar]the Christ, the Son of God!” 

And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to [as]speak, for they knew that He was the Christ. 

Jesus Preaches in Galilee

42 Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; 43 but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”44 And He was preaching in the synagogues of [at]Galilee. 

Luke 5  

Four Fishermen Called as Disciples

So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 

4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 

5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 

9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they [au]forsook all and followed Him. 

5. Question:  What was the purpose and impact of the miracle of the great catch of fish? 

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and [av]implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 

13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.” 

15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. 

Reading 3, Luke 5:17-Luke 6:11  

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic

17 Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present[aw]to heal them. 18 Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. 19 And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. 

20 When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 

21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 

22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 

25 Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!” 

Matthew the Tax Collector

27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him. 

29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. 30 [ax]And their scribes and the Pharisees [ay]complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 

31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” 

6. Question: What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” 

Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting

33 Then they said to Him, “Why[az] do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” 

34 And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.” 

36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one [ba]puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, [bb]and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine,[bc]immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is [bd]better.’ ” 

Luke 6  

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

Now it happened [be]on the second Sabbath after the first that He went through the grain fields. And His disciples plucked the heads of grain and ate them, rubbing them in their hands. 2 And some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” 

3 But Jesus answering them said, “Have you not even read this, what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he went into the house of God, took and ate the showbread, and also gave some to those with him, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat?” 5 And He said to them, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” 

Note: Jesus taught that man was not made for the Sabbath but the Sabbath was made for man.  In God’s infinite wisdom, He knew that the people He created needed a day of rest each week from their labor.  This was also to be a day for His people to remember their God, exercise trust in Him for their provision, and be thankful for all their blessings that came from Him.  The religious leaders, whose hearts were far from God, turned the Sabbath into another self-righteous box to check off, and made extra rules around it to make sure everyone did not break the Sabbath.  They held these extra rules up as being as important as the Word of God.  Jesus spoke against this in Matthew 15:9. 

Healing on the Sabbath

6 Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7 So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him. 8 But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, “Arise and stand here.” And he arose and stood. 9 Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or [bf]to destroy?” 10 And when He had looked around at them all, He said to [bg]the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored [bh]as whole as the other. 11 But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. 

7. Question: What was the problem the scribes and Pharisees’ had with Jesus in the above (6-11)? What was God’s problem with them?  Did Jesus respond to their words or thoughts?  How important are our thoughts before God? 

Reading 4, Luke 6:12-36

The Twelve Apostles & Jesus Heals a Great Multitude

12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: 14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; 15 Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; 16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor. 

17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. 

8. Question:  Why did Jesus spend so much time alone talking with His Father?  What did He do and what happened following His night of talking with the Father? 

The Beatitudes

20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: 

“Blessed are you poor, 
For yours is the kingdom of God. 
21 Blessed are you who hunger now, 
For you shall be filled.[bi] 
Blessed are you who weep now, 
For you shall laugh. 
22 Blessed are you when men hate you, 
And when they exclude you, 
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, 
For the Son of Man’s sake. 
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! 
For indeed your reward is great in heaven, 
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. 

9. Question:  From what you have learned so far in the Gospels, what do you think Jesus is talking about in verses 20 – 23? 

Jesus Pronounces Woes 

24 “But woe to you who are rich, 
For you have received your consolation. 
25 Woe to you who are full, 
For you shall hunger. 
Woe to you who laugh now, 
For you shall mourn and weep. 
26 Woe [bj]to you when [bk]all men speak well of you, 
For so did their fathers to the false prophets. 

10. Question:  What do you think Jesus is talking about in the four woes in verses 24-26? 

Love Your Enemies 


27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. 

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, [bl]hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. 

11. Question:  What is at the heart of Jesus’ teaching to His follower’s various ways of loving their enemies in verses 27 – 35 (hint, see verses 35 – 36)?  (See also Matthew 12:50, 1 John 4:16-17) 

Reading 5, Luke 6:37-49 

Do Not Judge

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” 

12. Question:  Why should we not judge or condemn, but rather forgive? 

39 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 

13. Question: What does a blind person in the above represent? From what you have learned so far, what can help you with focusing on getting the plank out of your own eye before worrying about getting the speck out of your brother’s eye? 

A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit 

43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil [bm]treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 

14. Question: What does our fruit look like?  If our fruit is not good, what do we do about that? 

Build on the Rock 

46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was [bn]founded on the rock. 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it [bo]fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” 

15. Question: the person who hears what Jesus says and puts it into practice demonstrates what (see 46-47)?  What the benefit(s) do you find for putting Jesus words into practice from what He says above? 

Week 16, Luke 1-3

Reading 1, Luke 1:1 – 25

Luke 1  

Dedication to Theophilus

Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which [a]have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having [b]had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. 

Note: The Gospel of Luke is believed to have been written sometime between A.D. 63 and 68.  The first letter Paul the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians was written around 57 AD, in which he wrote:  

1 Corinthians 3:3 … for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said:

Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 

  1. Question: How do you think the follow three are related: 1) what Luke said to Theophilus above regarding what he had been instructed, 2) what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3 about building a foundation on Jesus Christ, and 3) what Christ said about building your house on the rock?   

Bonus question: What do you think the unintended consequences may be of being weak on Jesus’ teachings while being strong on the apostle’s teachings as we commonly see in the church today? 

John’s Birth Announced to Zacharias

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. 

8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, [c]his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 

2. Question: Why was John sent (what was his purpose, 16-17)? 

18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” 

19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you [d]theseglad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” 

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. 

3. Question: In spite of all of Zacharias’ good points, what did he lack when the word of the Lord came to him from Gabriel? 

23 So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” 

Reading 2, Luke 1:26 – 58

Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; [e]blessed are you among women!” 

29 But [f]when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” 

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I [g]do not know a man?” 

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 

38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. 

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who [h]believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” 

4. Question: Why was Mary’s reaction to the what the angel told her acceptable and Zacharia’s reaction not to what the angel told him not acceptable? 

The Song of Mary

46 And Mary said: 

“My soul [i]magnifies the Lord, 
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; 
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. 
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, 
And holy is His name. 
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him 
From generation to generation. 
51 He has shown strength with His arm; 
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, 
And exalted the lowly. 
53 He has filled the hungry with good things, 
And the rich He has sent away empty. 
54 He has helped His servant Israel, 
In remembrance of His mercy, 
55 As He spoke to our fathers, 
To Abraham and to his seed forever.” 

56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house. 

Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. 58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her. 

Reading 3, Luke 1:59 – 2:20

Circumcision of John the Baptist

59 So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. 60 His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.” 

61 But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called. 

63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.”So they all marveled. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. 65 Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him. 

Zacharias’ Prophecy

67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: 

68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, 
For He has visited and redeemed His people, 
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us 
In the house of His servant David, 
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, 
Who have been since the world began, 
71 That we should be saved from our enemies 
And from the hand of all who hate us, 
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers 
And to remember His holy covenant, 
73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: 
74 To grant us that we, 
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, 
Might serve Him without fear, 
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. 

76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; 
For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 
77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people 
By the remission of their sins, 
78 Through the tender mercy of our God, 
With which the [j]Dayspring from on high [k]has visited us; 
79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, 
To guide our feet into the way of peace.” 

80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel. 

Christ Born of Mary

Luke 2  

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the houseand lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed [l]wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a [m]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 

Glory in the Highest

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And [n]behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a [o]manger.” 

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 

14 “Glory to God in the highest, 
And on earth peace, goodwill[p] toward men!” 

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made [q]widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. 

Reading 4, Luke 2:21 – 58

Circumcision of Jesus

21 And when eight days were completed [r]for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. 

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” 

Simeon Sees God’s Salvation

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, 
According to Your word; 
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, 
And the glory of Your people Israel.” 

33 [s]And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” 

5. Question: Why do you think it matters that the “thoughts of many be revealed?”  Why does that matter to us (35)? 

Anna Bears Witness to the Redeemer

36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow [t]of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to [u]theLord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 

The Family Returns to Nazareth

39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the Child grew and became strong [v]in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. 

The Boy Jesus Amazes the Religious Scholars

41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And [w]Joseph and His mother did not know it;44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” 

49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. 

6. Question:  What was His Father’s business, and how did Jesus know what His business was (49)?  How do we know what our Heavenly Father’s business is for us? 

Jesus Advances in Wisdom and Favor 

51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was [x]subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. 

Reading 5, Luke 3:1-38

Luke 3 

John the Baptist Prepares the Way 

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 [y]while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission (forgiveness) of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: 

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 
‘Prepare the way of the Lord; 
Make His paths straight. 
5 Every valley shall be filled 
And every mountain and hill brought low; 
The crooked places shall be made straight 
And the rough ways smooth; 
6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ” 

John Preaches to the People

7 Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood[z] of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 

10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?” 

11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” 

12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 

13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.” 

14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” 

So he said to them, “Do not [aa]intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” 

7. Question:  From what you have learned so far in the Gospels, what is repentance and what do you think fruits of repentance look like (or should look like) in your life?  What were the examples that John gave of walking in repentance (10-15)? 

15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, 16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” 

18 And with many other exhortations he preached to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his [ab]brotherPhilip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison. 

John Baptizes Jesus

21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” 

8. Question:  How do you think Jesus pleased His Father prior to His ministry beginning (see also Luke 2:46-49)? 

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son ofMattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son ofNaggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son ofMattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son ofAmminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son ofTerah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. 

Week 15, Mark 13 – 16

Reading 1, Mark 13:1-37

Mark 13  

Jesus Foretells the Destruction of the Temple  

Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” 

2 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” 

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age 

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?” 

Study notes: In Jesus’ response below to the disciple’s two questions above, He foretold a summary of what would happen from His ascension in heaven to His return.  This included the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD, persecution they and the church would suffer going forward, some future events and signs that would happen in the last days before His return, and His return. Also note that the word for “Generation” can be interpreted as a period of time (biblically about 40 years) and the human race. The temple would both be destroyed in the 40 years (time period) and the human race will not disappear before all of Christ’s words are fulfilled and He comes back as promised (heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away (verses 30-31). 

5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines[u]and troubles. These are the beginnings of [v]sorrows. 

9 “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will [w]be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the good news must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, [x]or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who [y]endures to the end shall be saved. 

The Great Tribulation 

14 “So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ [z]spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.15 Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 17 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18 And pray that your flight may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. 20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days. 

21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the [aa]elect.23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand. 

The Coming of the Son of Man 

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His [ab]elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven. 

The Parable of the Fig Tree 

28 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that [ac]it is near—at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. 

No One Knows the Day or Hour 

32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” 

  1. Question:  What do you think Jesus means by, “watch therefore” …“lest, coming suddenly, He find you sleeping” when He returns and “watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming…”? How do you practice watching rather than sleeping? 

Reading 2, Mark 14: 1-42

The Plot to Kill Jesus 

Mark 14 

After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by [ad]trickery and put Him to death. 2 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.” 

The Anointing at Bethany 

3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly [ae]oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized[af] her sharply. 

6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this good news is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” 

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus 

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him. 

Jesus Celebrates the Passover with His Disciples 

12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they [ag]killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?” 

2. Question: The Passover Lamb was instituted by God so that the plague he brought on Egypt by the death angel of killing the first born would pass over them (Exodus 12).  You will find that this was God’s judgment on all the gods of Egypt (Ex 12:12).  The Israelites were to put it’s blood on the door post and roast the lamb, and eat it.  Also note that they were not only spared from the death angel, but this was the last plague by which they were set free from Egypt.  How do you think the Passover is a picture of us and Christ?  

13 And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him.14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.” 

16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover. 

17 In the evening He came with the twelve. 18 Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” 

19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” [ah]And another said, “Is it I?” 

20 He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish. 21 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.” 

Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper 

22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, [ai]eat; this is My body.” 

23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the [aj]new covenant, which is shed for many. 25 Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 

26 And when they had sung [ak]a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial 

27 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble[al]because of Me this night, for it is written: 

‘I will strike the Shepherd, 
And the sheep will be scattered.’ 

28 “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” 

29 Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to [am]stumble, yet I will not be.” 

30 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” 

31 But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” 

And they all said likewise. 

The Prayer in the Garden 

32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” 

35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” 

37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 
 

3. Question: What important things stand out to you in verse 38? 

39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 

41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” 

Reading 3: Mark 14:43 – 15:5

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane 

43 And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.” 

45 As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 

46 Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him. 47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 

48 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? 49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 

50 Then they all forsook Him and fled. 

51 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, 52 and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked. 

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin 

53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes. 54 But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire. 

55 Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. 56 For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies [an]did not agree. 

57 Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, 58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ” 59 But not even then did their testimony agree. 

60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 61 But He kept silent and answered nothing. 

Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 

62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 

63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” 

And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. 

65 Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers [ao]struck Him with the palms of their hands. 

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps 

66 Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came. 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.” 

68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.” And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed. 

69 And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, “This is one of them.” 70 But he denied it again. 

And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, “Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, [ap]and your [aq]speech shows it.” 

71 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!” 

72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept. 

Mark 15 

Jesus Faces Pilate 

Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate. 2 Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 

He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.” 

3 And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. 4 Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things [ar]they testify against You!” 5 But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled. 

Note: See also Isaiah 53:7 

Reading 4, Mark 15:6-41

Taking the Place of Barabbas 

6 Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. 7 And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. 8 Then the multitude, [as]crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. 9 But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. 

11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 12 Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” 

13 So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” 

14 Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” 

But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!” 

15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified. 

The Soldiers Mock Jesus 

16 Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called [at]Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. 17 And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head,18 and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. 20 And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. 

The King on a Cross 

21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. 22 And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23 Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.24 And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take. 

25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. 26 And the inscription of His [au]accusation was written above: 

THE KING OF THE JEWS. 

27 With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. 28 [av]So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.”  (Isaiah 53:12) 

29 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” 

31 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and [aw]believe.” 

Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him. 

4. Question: Why do you think God reveals and foretold so much about Christ through Old Testament prophesy (Isa 53:1-12)? 

Jesus Dies on the Cross 

33 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 

35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” 36 Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.” 

37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. 

38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that [ax]He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” 

40 There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, 41 who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem. 

5. Question:  What was the significance of the veil being torn, and being torn from top to bottom?  Why do you think the centurion, who would have participated in countless crucifixions, testified of Jesus, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” 

Reading 5, Mark 15:42-16:20 

Jesus Buried in Joseph’s Tomb 

42 Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time. 45 So when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid. 

6. Question:  Why do you think Pilot marveled that Jesus was already dead (see also John 10:17-18, John 19:30)?  

Mark 16 

He Is Risen 

Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 

6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going [ay]before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” 

8 So they went out [az]quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. 

Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord 

9 [ba]Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. 

Jesus Appears to Two Disciples 

12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. 

7. Question: Why do you think they did not believe Jesus was alive? 

The Great Commission 

14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to every creature.16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who[bb]believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[bc] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 

Christ Ascends to God’s Right Hand 

19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. 

8. Question:  In the context of Jesus’ final words to His disciples, why do you think we do not see more of the miraculous signs He spoke of in verses 17-18?  What is the significance of Jesus sitting at the right hand of God in verses 15-20 (See also Matthew 28:18)? 

Optional: Read Isaiah 53:1-12 below and highlight everything you can find that Christ did for us. 

Isaiah 53: Who has believed our message 
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, 
    and like a root out of dry ground. 
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, 
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, 
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. 
Like one from whom people hide their faces 
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 

Surely he took up our pain 
    and bore our suffering, 
yet we considered him punished by God, 
    stricken by him, and afflicted. 
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
    he was crushed for our iniquities; 
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, 
    and by his wounds we are healed. 
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, 
    each of us has turned to our own way; 
and the Lord has laid on him 
    the iniquity of us all. 

He was oppressed and afflicted, 
    yet he did not open his mouth; 
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, 
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, 
    so he did not open his mouth. 
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away. 
    Yet who of his generation protested? 
For he was cut off from the land of the living; 
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, 
    and with the rich in his death, 
though he had done no violence, 
    nor was any deceit in his mouth. 

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, 
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin, 
he will see his offspring and prolong his days, 
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 
11 After he has suffered, 
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e]; 
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many, 
    and he will bear their iniquities. 
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h
because he poured out his life unto death, 
    and was numbered with the transgressors. 
For he bore the sin of many, 
    and made intercession for the transgressors. 

Week 14, Mark 10-12

Reading 1, Mark 10:1-24 

Mark 10  

Marriage and Divorce  

Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again. 

2 The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him. 

3 And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” 

4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” 

5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this [cf]precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 

10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter.11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” 

  1. Question: Where does adultery begin? 

Jesus Blesses Little Children 

13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. 

  • Question: What do you think Jesus meant by saying, “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”  How do we receive the kingdom of God like a little child? 

Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler 

17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 

18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” 

20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” 

21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 

22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 

With God All Things Are Possible 

23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is [cg]for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 

26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” 

27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” 

  • Question: Why did Jesus tell the rich young ruler to sell everything he had and follow Jesus? 

Reading 2, Mark 10:28-52 

28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” 

29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother [ch]or wife or children or [ci]lands, for My sake and the good news’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” 

Jesus a Third Time Foretells His Death and Resurrection 

32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and [cj]scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” 

Greatness Through Serving

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” 

36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 

37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” 

38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 

39 They said to Him, “We are able.” 

So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.” 

41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. 42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” 

  • Question:  How do we keep proper perspective between serving the Lord and serving others (I.e., some “needy” people can wear you out at times)? 

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus 

46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. 

Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 

50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 

51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 

The blind man said to Him, [ck]“Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 

52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has [cl]made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. 

  • Question:  How did Bartimaeus demonstrate his faith that Jesus could and would heal him?  How essential was his faith that Jesus would heal him for him to receive his sight? 

Reading 3, Mark 11:1-24 

Mark 11  

The Triumphal Entry  

Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to [a]Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; 2 and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it.3 And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.” 

4 So they went their way, and found [b]the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it. 5 But some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the colt?” 

6 And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. 8 And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: 

“Hosanna! 
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ 
10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David 
That comes [c]in the name of the Lord! 
Hosanna in the highest!” 

11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve. 

  • Question: Why did Jesus give His disciples a word of knowledge regarding the donkey? 

The Fig Tree Withered 

12 Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” 

And His disciples heard it. 

Jesus Cleanses the Temple 

15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” 

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city. 

The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree 

20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” 

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 

  • Question: Why do you think Jesus did the miracle of the fig tree?  What did Jesus teach them from this? 

Reading 4, Mark 11:25 – 12:17 

Forgiveness and Prayer 

25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 [d]But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” 

Question: How does this compare with, 1 John 1:9, if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 

Jesus’ Authority Questioned 

27 Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. 28 And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?” 

29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: 30 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.” 

31 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From men’ ”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. 33 So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” 

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” 
 

  • Question: How did the way Jesus handled the request for evidence of authority for His actions tell you about Jesus’ approach in dealing with people that have hard hearts?

Mark 12  

The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers  

Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to [e]vinedressers and went into a far country. 2 Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent them another servant, [f]and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. 5 And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating some and killing some. 6 Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those [g]vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard. 

9 “Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture: 

‘The stone which the builders rejected 
Has become the chief cornerstone. 
11 This was the Lord’s doing, 
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?” 

12 And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away. 

  • Question: How do you think the parable of the wicked vinedressers related to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders? 

The Pharisees Questioned: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar? 

13 Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. 14 When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and [h]care about no one; for You do not [i]regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?” 

But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” 16 So they brought it. 

And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 

17 And Jesus answered and said to them, [j]“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 

And they marveled at Him. 

10. Question: In what ways can we apply this truth to our lives today, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”? 

Reading 5: Mark 12:11-44 

The Sadducees Questioned: What About the Resurrection? 

18 Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise. 22 So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also. 23 Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.” 

24 Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore [k]mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly [l]mistaken.” 

The Scribes Questioned: Which Is the First Commandment of All?

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, [m]perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the [n]first commandment of all?” 

29 Jesus answered him, “The [o]first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ [p]This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 

32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, [q]with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 

34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” 

But after that no one dared question Him. 

11. Question:  How is the second commandment like the first commandment, and how is it different? Why do you think that later on Jesus said to His disciples, “34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35? 

Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord? 
 

35 Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? 36 For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 

‘The Lord said to my Lord, 
“Sit at My right hand, 
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’ 

37 Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?” 

And the common people heard Him gladly. 

Beware of the Scribes 

38 Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces,39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses, and [r]for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.” 

12. Question: What stands out to you in this warning against the scribes? 

The Widow’s Two Mites 

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two [s]mites, which make a [t]quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” 

13. Question: What does this situation in the giving of the rich and the poor widow speak to you about the way God looks at things we do? 

Week 13, Mark 7 – 9

Reading 1, Mark 7:1-23

Mark 7  

Defilement Comes from Within  

Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. 2 Now [ay]when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, [az]they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands [ba]in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. 

5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” 

6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 

‘This people honors Me with their lips, 
But their heart is far from Me. 
7 And in vain they worship Me, 
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—[bb]the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” 

9 He said to them, “All too well you [bc]reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” 

  1. Question (1-13): How do we prevent living like the Pharisees, who honored God with their lips while their hearts were far from Him (verses 6 and 7)?  How do we prevent worshipping God in vain? 

What defiles a person 

14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 If[bd] anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” 

17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. 18 So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, [be]thus purifying all foods?”20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” 

  • Question (14-23): How can we continuously eliminate defilement that comes from the heart? 

Reading 2, Mark 7:24 – 8:12 

A Gentile Shows Her Faith 

24 From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre [bf]and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden. 25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. 26 The woman was a [bg]Greek, a [bh]Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept [bi]asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 

28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.” 

29 Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” 

30 And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed. 

  • Question (24-30): How do you see the demonstration of this woman’s faith in Jesus to heal her daughter? What does this speak to you personally? 

Jesus Heals a Deaf-Mute 

31 Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee. 32 Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. 33 And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 

35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the [bj]impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” 

  • Question (31-37): Compare the way they asked Jesus to heal the deaf man that also had a speech impediment and the way Jesus healed him.  Can you think of times when you have asked God for things and then told Him how to do it? 

Mark 8  

Feeding the Four Thousand  

In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.” 

4 Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?” 

5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” 

And they said, “Seven.” 

6 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. 7 They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them.8 So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. 9 Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, 10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha. 

The Pharisees Seek a Sign 

11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. 12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” 

Reading 3, Mark 8:13-38 

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod 

13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side. 14 Now [bk]the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the [bl]leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 

16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” 

17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart [bm]still hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?” 

They said to Him, “Twelve.” 

20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?” 

And they said, “Seven.” 

21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?” 

  • Question (1-21): What does a hardness of heart look like and how can it impact us?  How do we eliminate hardness of heart in ourselves? 

A Blind Man Healed at Bethsaida 

22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. 

24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” 

25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, [bn]“Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.” 

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ 

27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?” 

28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 

29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 

Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” 

30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him. 

  • Question (22-30): Why did Jesus, “strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.” 

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not [bo]mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him 

34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the good news’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” 

  • Question (31-38): In our present day where Jesus is not physically walking from town to town preaching and healing, how do we apply what Jesus said that, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”  See this statement in the context of verses 34-38. 

Reading 4, Mark 9:1-29 

Mark 9  

Jesus Transfigured on the Mount 

And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God[bp]present with power.” 

2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— 6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. 

7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves. 

9 Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. 

11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 

12 Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.” 

  • Question (1-13): What connection do you see between verse 1 and 2-4? 

A Boy Is Delivered and Healed 

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?” 

17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.” 

19 He answered him and said, “O faithless[bq] generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I [br]bear with you? Bring him to Me.”20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. 

21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” 

And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 

23 Jesus said to him, “If[bs] you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” 

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 

28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 

29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer[bt]and fasting.” 

  • Question (14-29): What do you get out of Jesus saying this type of demon can only come out by prayer and fasting? 

Reading 5, Mark 10:30-50 

Jesus Again foretells His Death and Resurrection 

30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it.31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.” 32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him. 

Who Is the Greatest? 

33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you [bu]disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.” 

10. Question (30-37): What can you apply in your life Jesus’ teaching about who would be greatest? 

Jesus Forbids Sectarianism 

38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” 

39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against [bv]us is on [bw]our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. 

11. Question (38-41): How do you think verse 41 is connected to verses 38-40? 

Jesus Warns of Offenses 

42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me [bx]to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life [by]maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to [bz]hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 [ca]where 

‘Their worm does not die 
And the fire is not quenched.’ 

45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into [cb]hell,[cc]into the fire that shall never be quenched— 46 where 

‘Their worm does not die 
And the fire is not quenched.’ 

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into [cd]hell fire— 48 where 

‘Their worm does not die 
And the fire is not quenched.’ 

12. Question (42-48): What do you think Jesus was teaching about in verses 42- 47, and why? 

Tasteless Salt Is Worthless

49 “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and[ce] every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.” 

13. Question (49-50): What do you think Jesus means by, “Have salt in yourselves”? 

Week 12, Mark 4-6

Reading 1, Mark 4: 1-25 

Mark 4  

The Parable of the Sower 

And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. 2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: 

3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds [y]of the air came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no [z]crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” 

9 And He said [aa]to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” 

The Purpose of Parables 

10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the [ab]mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that 

‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, 
And hearing they may hear and not understand; 
Lest they should turn, 
And their sins be forgiven them.’ ” 

The Parable of the Sower Explained 

13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. 18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, [ac]accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” 

  1. Question (1-20): What was the purpose of planting seeds in the parable?  What do the seeds and the soil represent? What is required of us to bear the fruit of the kingdom of God, and what does that mean? 

Light Under a Basket 

21 Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 

24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” 

2. Question (21-25): What important principle stands out to you in verse 24?  What do you think verse 25 is taking about? 

Reading 2, Mark 4:26 

The Parable of the Growing Seed 

26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should [ad]scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” 

3. Question (26-29):  What do you think this parable tells us about the kingdom of God? 

The Parable of the Mustard Seed 

30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” 

Jesus’ Use of Parables 

33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it.34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples. 

Wind and Wave Obey Jesus 

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 

39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace,[ae]be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How[af]is it that you have no faith?”41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” 

4. Question (30-41):  How do you think this would have gone differently if they had faith? 

A Demon-Possessed Man Healed 

Mark 5  

Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the [ag]Gadarenes. 2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind [ah]him, not even with chains, 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. 

6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore[ai] You by God that You do not torment me.” 

8 For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” 9 Then He asked him, “What is your name?” 

And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. 

11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” 13 And [aj]at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea. 

14 So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. 15 Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 16 And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. 17 Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region. 

18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in [ak]Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled. 

5. Question (1-20):  What was this man’s testimony to his friends once Jesus set him free? 

Reading 3 

A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed 

21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him. 

6. Question (21-24): What was the evidence that Jairus had faith that Jesus would heal his daughter who was at the point of death? 

25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” 

7. Question (25-28): What was the evidence of this woman’s faith that Jesus would heal her? 

29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the [al]affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” 

8. Question (29-30): Why do you think Jesus asked, “Who touched My clothes?” 

31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” 

32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” 

35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 

36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw [am]a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” 

40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat. 

9. Question (31-43): Why do you think Jesus put out the unbelieving people before healing the little girl? 

Reading 4 

Mark 6  

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth 

Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. 2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! 3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him. 

4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. 

10. Question (1-6): Why do you think that because of their unbelief “He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them”? What can we learn from this? 

Sending Out the Twelve 

7 And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. 8 He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts— 9 but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics. 

10 Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. 11 And [an]whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. [ao]Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!” 

12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them. 

11. Question (7-13): Why did Jesus send out the 12, why do you think Christ limited what they could take on their journey, and why cast out demons and heal the sick?  

John the Baptist Beheaded 

14 Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” 

15 Others said, “It is Elijah.” 

And others said, “It is [ap]the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.” 

16 But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!” 17 For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. 18 Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 

19 Therefore Herodias [aq]held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he [ar]did many things, and heard him gladly. 

21 Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 22 And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 23 He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” 

24 So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” 

And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!” 

25 Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 

26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb. 

12. Question (14-29): Why do bad things happen to “good” people? What is the difference between saying “God is in control” and saying “God is Lord of heaven and earth”?  Which of these does the bible teach?  A short article on this if you are interested:

   https://www.redletterchristians.org/mean-say-god-is-in-control/ 

Reading 5 

Feeding the Five Thousand 

30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. 

33 But [as]the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. 34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. 35 When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves [at]bread; for they have nothing to eat.” 

37 But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.” 

And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?” 

38 But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” 

And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.” 

39 Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. 42 So they all ate and were filled. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. 44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were [au]about five thousand men. 

13. Question (30-44):  Why do you think Jesus told the disciples “You give them something to eat” knowing they were unable to do this by the natural man?  How might this relate to your everyday life? 

Jesus Walks on the Sea 

45 Immediately He [av]made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be[aw] of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened. 

14. Question (45-52):  1) Why do you think it says when Jesus had walked on the water and climbed into the boat followed by the wind stopping that, “they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened” and 2) what do you think might be i the significance of this for us? 

Many Touch Him and Are Made Well 

53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately [ax]the people recognized Him, 55 ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. 56 Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well. 

15. Question (53-56): Did Jesus teach that if people would touch the hem of His garment that they would be made well?  Why do you think it happened that when people did touch the hem of His garment they were healed? How might this apply to you? 

Week 11, Mark 1-3

Reading 1, Mark 1:1-20 

John the Baptist Prepares the Way 

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in [a]the Prophets: 

“Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, 
Who will prepare Your way before You.” 
3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 
‘Prepare the way of the Lord; 
Make His paths straight.’ ” 

4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance [b]for the remission of sins. 5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 

1. Question: What are some sins you think are a barriers to people receiving Christ as Lord and savior? 

6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 

John Baptizes Jesus 

9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up [c]from the water, He saw the heavens [d]parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 

2. Question:  How do you think Jesus pleased His Father up to this point in time, before He began His ministry? 

Satan Tempts Jesus 

12 Immediately the Spirit [e]drove Him into the wilderness. 13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. 

3. Question: Why was it necessary that Jesus was tempted (Hebrews 4:14-16)? 

Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry 

14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the good news [f]of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God [g]is at hand. Repent, and believe in the good news.” 

4. Question: Based on what you have read in the Gospels so far, what do you recall were some of the things Jesus told them to repent of, and believe in, as part of the good news of the kingdom/rule of God? 

Four Fishermen Called as Disciples 

16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. 

19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him. 

Reading 2, Mark 1:21-4 

Jesus Casts Out an Unclean Spirit 

21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. 22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 

23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 

25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, [h]“Be quiet, and come out of him!”26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, [i]“What is this? What new [j]doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee. 

Peter’s Mother-in-Law Healed 

29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them. 

Many Healed After Sabbath Sunset 

32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him. 

 Preaching in Galilee 

35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a [k]solitary place; and there He prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. 37 When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” 

38 But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” 

39 And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons. 

Jesus Cleanses a Leper 

40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 

41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. 

5. Question: Does anything stand out to you in these healings by Jesus?

43 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 

45 However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction. 

6. Question: Why do you think Jesus told demons to not say who He was and for people to not tell everyone about being healed by Jesus? 

Reading 3, Mark 2:1-17 

Mark 2  

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic 

And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 [l]Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. 

5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” 

6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 

8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has [m]power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” 

7. Question: What do you think it means, “when Jesus saw their faith?” (See also James 2:14-17)?  Why do you also think Jesus first said, “sins are forgiven you” when he healed the paralytic? 

Matthew the Tax Collector 

13 Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. 14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. 

15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes [n]and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” 

17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, [o]to repentance.” 

8. Question: In the context of these verses, what do you think Jesus meant by, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, [o]to repentance”(see also Matthew 5: 3) 

 
Reading 4, Mark 2: 18-3:13 

Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting 

18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” 

19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the [p]friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.” 

Question:  What do you think the parable of the new wine and new wineskins is about?  See also John 3:3-8. 

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath 

23 Now it happened that He went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 

25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?” 

27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” 

Question: What evidence do you see of the religious spirit at work in verses 23-26?  What was the spirit of the law regarding the Sabbath, or why was the sabbath made (see also Exodus 20:8-11)?  What was Jesus saying about Himself in verse 28? 

Healing on the Sabbath 

Mark 3  

And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might [q]accuse Him. 3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, [r]“Step forward.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored [s]as whole as the other. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him. 

9. Question: What opposites do you see at work here in verses 1-6? 

A Great Multitude Follows Jesus 

7 But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. 9 So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. 10 For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. 11 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known. 

Reading 5, Mark 3:13-35 

The Twelve Apostles 

13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. 14 Then He appointed twelve, [t]that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have [u]power [v]to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: 16 [w]Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”; 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house. 

A House Divided Cannot Stand 

20 Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.” 

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.” 

23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house. 

28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— 30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” 

10. Question: Based on what you find here in Jesus’ words and dialogue with those accusing Jesus of casting out demons by the ruler of demons, what is the sin that is not forgiven? 

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Send for Him 

31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers [x]are outside seeking You.” 

33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?”34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” 

11. Question: Why do you think Jesus taught that, “whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”(See also John 3:5-6)? 

Week 10, Matthew 26 – 28

Reading 1, Matthew 26:1-30 

Matthew 26  

The Plot to Kill Jesus 

Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, 2 “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” 

3 Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.” 

The Anointing at Bethany 

6 And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.8 But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” 

10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. 12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this good news is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” 

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus 

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. 

Jesus Celebrates Passover with His Disciples 

17 Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 

18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.” ’ ” 

19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover. 

20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” 

22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?” 

23 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” 

25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” 

He said to him, “You have said it.” 

  1. Question:  What role did Judas’ betrayal of Jesus play in religious ruler’s plan to put Jesus to death?  How did God turn all of this hate and evil against Christ into our good (Genesis 50:20)?  Are all those involved still responsible for their rejection of Christ, hatred, and evil actions? 

Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper 

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, [at]blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 

27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the [au]new covenant, which is shed for many for the [av]remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” 

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 

2. Question: Why do you think Jesus wants us to engage in the Lord’s supper today, remembering His body that was broken for us and His blood that was shed for us (see also Luke 22:19)? 

Reading 2, Matthew 26:31-56 

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial 

31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be [aw]made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 

‘I will strike the Shepherd, 
And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 

32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” 

33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are [ax]made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” 

34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 

35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” 

And so said all the disciples. 

The Prayer in the Garden 

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” 

39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” 

40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 

3. Question: What is prayer, and how do you think being in ongoing prayer would protect you from temptation (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Ephesians 6:16-18)? 

42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, [ay]if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. 

44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour [az]is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” 

4. Question: Why do you think Jesus referred to the religious leaders as sinners in verse 45?  How does this shed light on what God considers righteousness vs. man (Matthew 6:33)? 

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane 

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. 

48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 

50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” 

5. Question: Why do you think Jesus asked Judas, “Friend, why have you come?” when He already knew the answer? 

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. 51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 

52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will [ba]perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” 

55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. 56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” 

Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled. 

Reading 3, Matthew 26: 57 – Matthew 27:14 

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin 

57 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end. 

59 Now the chief priests, [bb]the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 [bc]but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two [bd]false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ” 

62 And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” 

64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 

65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?” 

They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” 

67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with [be]the palms of their hands, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?” 

6. Question: From a human perspective, what was at the root of this unfair trial and Jesus being condemned to torture and death?  Could this have ever been a fair trial since His accusers were also His judge?  How can we practice in our lives 1 Corinthians 13:6, “it (love) does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” in our current time and culture? 

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly 

69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” 

70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.” 

71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 

72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!” 

73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.” 

74 Then he began to [bf]curse and [bg]swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” 

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly. 

Jesus Handed Over to Pontius Pilate 

Matthew 27  

When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. 2 And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to [bh]Pontius Pilate the governor. 

Judas Hangs Himself 

3 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” 

And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” 

5 Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. 

6 But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” 7 And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 

9 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, 10 and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.” 

Note: The religious spirit is concerned with external appearances of doing right while remaining corrupt on the inside.  It is self-righteous, likes to judge and condemn others, even to death.  It cares not about the people that Jesus loves, only that the rules are being kept.   

7. Question: What evidence to you see of the religious spirit in operation through the pharisees in verses 3 – 8?  Can you think of instances where you have seen this spirit in operation today, or even in your own life?  How do you think we can combat the religious spirit’s influence in our own lives? 

Jesus Faces Pilate 

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 

Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” 12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. 

13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” 14 But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly. 

Reading 4, Matthew 27:15-44 

Taking the Place of Barabbas 

15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. 16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called [bi]Barabbas. 17 Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy. 

19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.” 

20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” 

They said, “Barabbas!” 

22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” 

They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” 

23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” 

But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” 

24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a [bj]tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this [bk]just Person. You see to it.” 

25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” 

26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had [bl]scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. 

8. Question: Did these people know they were crucifying an innocent man?  How do you think that with all the miracles Jesus did including raising Lazarus from the dead, that they still did not believe He was the son of God?  John 12:9-11 

The Soldiers Mock Jesus 

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the [bm]Praetorium and gathered the whole [bn]garrison around Him. 28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 When they had [bo]twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. 

The King on a Cross 

32 Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. 33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, 34 they gave Him [bp]sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. 

35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, [bq]that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: 

“They divided My garments among them, 
And for My clothing they cast lots.” 

9. Question: List of all the reasons you can think of from what you have learned in the bible that indicate why Jesus surrendered Himself to go through all of this torture and the crucifixion? How should this impact our response and change how we live?  

36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. 37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: 

THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 

38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. 

39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 

41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the [br]scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. [bs]If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe [bt]Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 

44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. 

Reading 5, Matthew 27:45 – Matthew 28:20 

Jesus Dies on the Cross 

45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 

47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” 48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. 

49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” 

50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 

51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 

10. Question: What is the significance of Jesus yielding up His Spirit (John 10:17-19, 1 John 3:16)?  What do you think is the significance of the veil of the temple being torn, and it being torn from top to bottom (Hebrews 9:6-8)? 

54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” 

55 And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and [bu]Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 

Jesus Buried in Joseph’s Tomb 

57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting [bv]opposite the tomb. 

Pilate Sets a Guard 

62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come [bw]by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” 

65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard. 

Matthew 28  

He Is Risen 

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolle3d back the stone [bx]from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 

5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” 

8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 

The Women Worship the Risen Lord 

9 And [by]as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” 

The Soldiers Are Bribed 

11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. 

The Great Commission 

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go [bz]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [ca]Amen. 

11. Question: What important things do you think Jesus is communicating to His disciples in verses 18-20 just before He left them and ascended to heaven?   What do we learn from what Jesus says here about what a disciple is, what they should be doing, and how the get their ability to accomplish` this (John 15:4-5)? 

Week 9, Matthew 23-25

Reading 1, Matthew 23:1-28


Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

  1. Question (1-12): What does Jesus teach the multitudes to not do like the Pharisees in the above verses?

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

  • Question (13-22): What do you think was the cause of the blindness of these religious leaders (see also Luke 7:29-30)?

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

  • Question (23-28): What three takeaways do you get from these verses that we need to apply to our everyday lives?

Reading 2, Matthew 23:29 – Matthew 24:14

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’

31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Jesus Laments over Jerusalem

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

  • Question (29-39): From what you have read in this chapter, what do you think is the underlying issue behind all the evil of the Scribes and Pharisees, and how do we prevent being like them?

Matthew 24 

Jesus Foretells the Destruction of the Temple

Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

  • Question: Why do you think the good news of the kingdom has to be preached in all the world before the end will come?    (See also Genesis 22:18, Galatians 3:16, Revelation 7:9-10)

Reading 3, Matthew 24: 15-44

The Great Tribulation

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together Hiselect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Parable of the Fig Tree

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

No One Knows the Day or Hour

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels ofheaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

  • Question (15-44): How do you think Jesus expects us to watch and be ready for His return?

Reading 4, Matthew 24: 45 – Matthew 24:13

The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant

45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  • Question (45-51): What might passage have to say about grace without repentance?

Matthew 25 

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom [an]is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

  • Question (1-13):  Why do you think the Lord said to the 5 virgins who were not ready that He did not know them (remember, parables usually have a main point)?  How can we be ready for His return?

Reading 5, Matthew 25:14-46

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

  • Question (14-30):  How can we be like the servants who put to use what the master has given them?  What other parable of Jesus’ does this remind you of?

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

  1. Question (31-46): Why do you think that in this parable, those that were compassionate to others were received into His Kingdom and those that were not compassionate were not?  What does this have to do with being a real “Christian?”

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