Month: January 2018

January 31, 2018

Luke 2018-01-31

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 9:46–62 (ESV)

    46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

    49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

    51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53 But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to another village.

    57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “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 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Reflection Questions

Luke 9:46-48

  • In what ways am I preoccupied with the same argument that broke out among the disciples?
  • What kind of person would welcome a child?

Luke 9:49-55

  • What can we learn from this passage about how the disciples viewed themselves and their association with Jesus?

Luke 9:57-62

  • None of these three men ended up following Jesus.  What did they value more than following Jesus?  How does this passage apply to me?



January 30, 2018

Luke 2018-01-30

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 9:28–45 (ESV)

    28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

    37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at 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 shatters him, and will hardly leave him. 40 And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

    But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Reflection Questions

Luke 9:28-36

  • What is the significance of Jesus talking to Moses and Elijah, two figures representing Old Testament prophecies, about his departure?
  • What is the problem with Peter’s response in this passage?
  • In what ways am I like Peter?

Luke 9:37-45

  • In what ways does sin “seize” people and cause them to do things that they had not intended, leaving them powerless over their own lives?
  • What is the significance of Jesus telling the disciples about his impending death while everyone was marveling at what he had done?



January 29, 2018

Luke 2018-01-29

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 9:10–27 (ESV)

    10 On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. 12 Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.

    18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

    21 And he strictly charged 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 on the third day be raised.”

    23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Reflection Questions

Luke 9:10-17

  • What can I learn about love from the following phrases?
    • “You give them something to eat.”
    • “He gave thanks and broke them…”
    • “They all ate and were satisfied.”
  • What are my five loaves and two fish?

Luke 9:18-27

  • “But who do you say that I am?” is the same question that Jesus asks of me today.  Who is Jesus to me?

Luke 9:22-25

  • Why does Jesus begin talking about the cross upon Peter’s confession?
  • Jesus clearly commands those who made the same confession as Peter to follow him to the cross.  How can Jesus be so confident to invite us to die with him?  



January 26, 2018

Luke 2018-01-26

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 9:1–9 (ESV)

    1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. 4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.  5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

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

  • Reflection Questions

    Luke 9:1-9

    • Who are the people in my life to whom I need to be sent in order to preach and heal?
    • How might the disciples have felt when Jesus told them to take nothing for their journey, including no food, money, or extra clothes? 
    • Why do you think the disciples were told to “stay” in one house until they leave that town? 
    • Who are the people that God is asking me to “stay” with?



January 25, 2018

Luke 2018-01-25

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 8:40–56 (ESV)

    40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

    As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

    49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.”

    53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

  • Reflection Questions

    Luke 8:40-48

    • Why does Jesus want to know who touched him?  
    • What is the significance of the fact that Jesus stopped for this woman while Jairus’s daughter was dying?
    • In this large crowd of people, it was only this woman who had meaningful contact with Jesus that day.  What was the crucial difference between the crowd and this woman?

    Luke 8:49-56

    • Think about how Jairus might have felt when Jesus was delaying to listen to this woman, and then finally when he heard the news that his daughter is dead.     
    • What is Jairus’s response when Jesus tells him to not be afraid and just believe?  
    • What did Jairus experience as a result of the delay caused by the bleeding woman?  
    • What should be my attitude when God seems to be “delaying”?


January 24, 2018

Luke 2018-01-24

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 8:22–39 (ESV)

    22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

    26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, 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 many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) 30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.

    34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36 And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

  • Reflection Questions

    Luke 8:22-25

    • Picture Jesus sleeping in the midst of a storm.  What is the significance of this picture?  

    Luke 8:31

    • What is the significance of the man’s response to Jesus asking his name?  [A Roman legion was composed of 5,000 men.]
    • What are some ways in which there are a legion of voices, desires, and compulsions inside of people today, and what are their sources? 

    Luke 8:35

    • Reflect on the description of the man after his healing.
    • How would the demon-possessed man have answered the question “What is your name” after his healing?

    Luke 8:32-37

    • Consider the fact that the townspeople did not welcome Jesus, nor the healing. Many feel threatened by the radical change that Jesus makes possible, and they think that following Jesus is fine as long as it stays within certain tame boundaries.  What are some situations today in which someone’s transformation in Christ might not be welcomed?

January 23, 2018

Luke 2018-01-23

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 8:16–21 (ESV)

    16 “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. 18 Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”

    19 Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. 20 And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” 21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

  • Reflection Questions

    Luke 8:16-18 

    • If the lamp stands for the word of God, what lesson and warning does this passage contain about how I should listen and apply what I hear?  

    Luke 8:19-21

    • How does Jesus’ response challenge the world’s view of family? 
    • What does Jesus’ redefinition of human closeness reveal about God’s vision for Christian community? 
    • Who or what kind of people would be threatened by Jesus’ view of relational closeness, and who would be encouraged and comforted?
    • What is the basis upon which I feel kinship and closeness to someone?

January 22, 2018

Luke 2018-01-22

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 8:1–15 (ESV)

    1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

    4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

    9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

  • Reflection Questions

    Luke 8:11-15

    • What is the same for all four soils?
    • What is the primary difference between the good soil and the three bad soils? 
    • According to v. 13, what was needed for the seed to bear fruit?
    • In what ways would “the cares and riches and pleasures of life” choke out the word?  In other words, what does this tell me about the nature of the gospel and the nature of our world?
    • Which of the four soils can I identify with?
    • How can I move toward becoming the good soil?

January 19, 2018

Luke 2018-01-19

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 7:36–50 (ESV)

    36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

    41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

  • Reflection Questions

    Luke 7:39 

    • While Simon was quick to notice this woman’s sinful past, what did he fail to take notice of (in himself, in her, in Jesus)?  
    • What is my response when others around me show an extravagant devotion and zeal toward God that far outstrips my own?

    Luke 7:41-42  

    • Why would the one who had a smaller debt love the merciful moneylender less?  
    • In what ways do I feel that my sins are “not that bad”?  What are some obstacles that I have in understanding the depth of mercy and grace that I have received?   

    Luke 7:43  

    “If our lives have been changed by an experience of God’s grace, we can never get over the fact that we have been forgiven. God’s love, experienced in forgiveness, becomes the controlling force in our lives. The gratitude of the forgiven is also the source of new life.”[1]

    • How has my experience of God’s forgiveness become a controlling factor in my life?  
    • Are there areas in my life that I have kept away from God’s forgiveness and grace?

    [1] R. Alan Culpepper, “Luke,” New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. IX (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1995), 173.

January 18, 2018

Luke 2018-01-18

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  • Bible Text

    Luke 7:18–35 (ESV) 

    18 The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, 19 calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 20 And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” 21 In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

    24 When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. 26 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell 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 I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29 (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, 30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

    31 “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,

    “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

    we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’

    33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

  • Reflection Questions

    Luke 7:18  

    • Compare John the Baptist’s expectation of what Christ would do (Luke 3:7-9) with what Jesus ends up doing (Luke 7:21-22).  What might have caused John to question whether Jesus was the “one to come”?  
    • What can I learn from John’s approach to dealing with such doubts?  

    Luke 7:28 

    • Consider the implication of this statement: every Christian in this generation is greater than John the Baptist because we now “have clearer knowledge of the purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection.” Thank God for bringing me the privilege of knowing such truth.

    Luke 7:31-34 

    • Consider the words by which the religious leaders rejected John and Jesus: “he has a demon” and “a glutton and a drunkard.”  What were the real reasons they rejected John and later Jesus, about whom John had testified?
    • What kind of rhetoric and reasoning did the religious leaders engage in?  Is this something I need to be careful about?
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