Month: March 2018

March 21, 2018

Luke 2018-03-21

  • Journal
  • Bible Text

    Luke 22:1-6 (ESV)

    1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.

    3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 22:1-6
    • How did Judas become a target for Satan? (See John 12:4-6; James 1:14 -15.)

    John 12:4–6 (ESV) 

    4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.

    James 1:14–15 (ESV) 

    14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

    • List all the words that describe the progression from “seeking how” to the final conspiracy. What can this teach me about the progression of “desire when it has conceived giv[ing] birth to sin”?
    • What did fear of people, and a desire to get rid of Jesus, cause the religious leaders to do?  Is there some parallel between what the religious leaders did and what I do to get what I want?
    • What are some ways in which I am making myself vulnerable to sin?
March 20, 2018

Luke 2018-03-20

  • Journal
  • Bible Text

    Luke 21:1-38 (ESV)

    1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

    5 And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, 6 “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” 7 And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” 8 And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. 9 And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”

    10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

    20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23 Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

    25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

    29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

    34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

    37 And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. 38 And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 21:1-4
    • How does this story free me from taking pride in or feeling insecure about my “gifts” compared to others?  From God’s perspective, what is the crucial element in giving?

    Luke 21:5-6

    • The disciples were impressed by the temple with its “noble stones.” How do I evaluate the many works of human hands around me today (i.e., buildings, cities, corporations, institutions, etc.)?  What impresses me about them?  How does this also relate to how I view people?
    • Think about Jesus’ words: “the days will come when …” (v. 6).  What perspective do these words give on my life, my pursuits, and the things that seem impressive?

    Luke 21:33-38

    • What are the similarities between “dissipation,” “drunkenness,” and “cares of this life”?
    • What are the things that weigh down my heart?
March 19, 2018

Luke 2018-03-19

  • Journal
  • Bible Text

    Luke 20:20-47 (ESV)

    20 So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.

    27 There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, 28 and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second 31 and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. 32 Afterward the woman also died. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”

    34 And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” 39 Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” 40 For they no longer dared to ask him any question. 41 But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son? 42 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms,

    “‘The Lord said to my Lord,

    “Sit at my right hand,

    43     until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

    44 David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?”

    45 And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 20:20-33
    • Think about the act of asking questions that spring from a desire to make a point or embarrass the other party.  What does such a fault-finding approach cause a person to miss?

    Luke 20:22-25

    • The denarius coin had the “likeness and inscription” of Caesar on it. Given that Scriptures teach that every person has been created in the image of God, what does Jesus’ answer mean regarding his view of human obligations?
    • What application does v.25 have on my life?

    Luke 20:27-36

    • C.S. Lewis said we often conceive of heaven chiefly in terms of negatives because any higher reality will often seem to lack things we experience in this life (i.e., fish thinking that “walking” must chiefly consist of the lack of floating).  In what ways is this illustrated by the Sadducees’ question?  What implication does this have on our ability to form a detailed picture of heaven?
March 16, 2018

Luke 2018-03-16

  • Journal
  • Bible Text

    Luke 20:9-19 (ESV)

    9 And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 10 When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

    “‘The stone that the builders rejected

    has become the cornerstone’?

    18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

    19 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 20:9-16
    • What is surprising about the tenants’ response?  What truths are they determined to deny?
    • What relationship between God, man, and Jesus is illustrated in this parable?
    • What does it mean for me to be the tenant farmer for God’s vineyard?



March 15, 2018

Luke 2018-03-15

  • Journal
  • Bible Text

    Luke 19:45-20:8 (ESV)

    45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”

    47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.

    20 1 One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up 2 and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” 3 He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, 4 was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” 5 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 19:45-46
    • Why was it so offensive to Jesus that the people were selling within the temple?
    • In what ways can the church today be turned into a marketplace where people come to “sell” their goods?

    Luke 19:47-20:8

    • Consider the response of the religious leaders to Jesus’ sharp rebuke of what the temple had become.  How do I typically respond when my behaviors are challenged?
    • What do the religious leaders’ calculations in vv. 5-7 reveal about their stance toward truth?

March 14, 2018

Luke 2018-03-14

  • Journal
  • Bible Text

    Luke 19:28-44 (ESV)

    28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

    41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 19:32
    • How might the disciples have felt when they found things just as Jesus had told them?

    Luke 19:33-34

    • What should my response be to “The Lord has need of it”?
    • What are some things God is asking me to release for his use?

    Luke 19:42 

    • Reflect on Jesus’ lament, “would that you … had known on this day the things that make for peace!”  In what ways do people of our day misunderstand their true need?
    • Do I understand what will bring me peace?

March 13, 2018

Luke 2018-03-13

  • Journal
  • Bible Text

    Luke 19:11-27 (ESV)

    11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow?       23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 19:11-15
    • Jesus told a parable in response to the people’s belief that the “kingdom of God was to appear immediately.”  What lesson was Jesus trying to convey through the parable?

    Luke 19:16-21

    • What are the “very little” matters I have not been faithful in, and what are the reasons for my lack of faithfulness?
    • The reward of work well done was to be entrusted with more responsibilities.  What view of rewards does this challenge?
    • Consider the actions and excuses of the third servant (vv. 20-23).  What lessons can I learn from the third servant regarding blame, responsibility and laziness?

March 12, 2018

Luke 2018-03-12

  • Journal
  • Bible Text

    Luke 19:1-10 (ESV)

    1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”


  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 19:2-4
    • How is Zacchaeus described? In Jesus’ day, tax collectors were considered traitors who often overtaxed their own people for personal gain. In attempting to see Jesus, what obstacles—internal and external—did Zacchaeus have to overcome? What does this reveal about his heart?
    • What internal and external obstacles get in my way of “see[ing] Jesus”?

    Luke 19:5-7

    • What can I learn about the heart of God through Jesus’ response to Zacchaeus?
    • Contrast this to the crowd’s view of Zacchaeus.  What does their response in v. 7 reveal about how they saw themselves?

    Luke 19:8

    • Contrast Zacchaeus’ response to Jesus with the rich ruler’s response in Luke 18. How was Zacchaeus able to so decisively give up his wealth?

March 9, 2018

Luke 2018-03-09

  • Journal
  • Bible Text

    Luke 18:31-43 (ESV)

    31 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” 34 But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

    35 As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 18:31-33
    • The crucifixion was a fulfillment of “everything that is written … by the prophets.” How does this affect my view of the cross?

    Luke 18:35-39

    • Think about the mindset of “those who were in front” who “rebuked” the blind man, “telling him to be silent.” What is behind this kind of response?
    • What can I learn from the blind man’s refusal to be quiet?

    Luke 18:40-41

    • What would I answer if Jesus were to ask me, “What do you want me to do for you?”

March 8, 2018

Luke 2018-03-08

  • Journal
  • Bible Text

    Luke 18:18-30 (ESV)

    18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” 28 And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

  • Reflection Questions
  • Luke 18:18-23
    • How might wealth have affected the man’s ability to keep some of the commandments?
    • Contrast the perspective reflected in the rich ruler’s words (“what must I do”) to Jesus’ response (“come, follow me”).Why did the rich ruler focus on what he could do?  How is the gospel different from his approach?

    Luke 18:23

    • Why did the rich ruler walk away sad?  What does this say about the effects of wealth?

    Luke 18:28-30

    • How have I experienced some of the blessings of discipleship in my life?

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