Questions on Luke 9:51 – 14:35

Welcome to this series of Questions for studying Luke 9:51 – 14 35.

Introduction: (The recommended process if you are part of a group): volunteers read a section of the text, then the group works together, starting with these questions, but paying attention to what comes up from members asking “What does this mean?” and “What difference does this make?” At the end of the session (not more than 90 minutes) we pause for prayer, silence to consider what we personally take away to think and pray about, and the Grace.

You might like to begin with a visit to the Bible Project for an overview:

Click here for an overview of the second part of Luke.

and here for the overview of the earlier chapters.

Session 1.

1 We are going to read together some chapters of Luke’s gospel. What do you already know about Luke’s gospel? What do you want to find out? How would you explain the different characters of the 4 gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

2. Read Luke 9:51-56. Why is this the start of a new section? What has already happened, and what is still to happen?

3. Why is there no welcome in a Samaritan village for travellers to Jerusalem? How does this section compare with 2 Kings 1? Why does Jesus have a different reaction?

4. Read Luke 9:57-62. 3 sayings examine the cost (and benefits) of being Jesus disciple

  1. vv57,58. What is the cost? Where in today’s world do Christians pay this most heavily? What is the benefit?
  2. Vv59,60 What is the cost? Where in today’s world do Christians pay this most heavily? What is the benefit?
  3. Vv61,62 What is the cost? Where in today’s world do Christians pay this most heavily? What is the benefit?

5. Read Luke 10:1-12. Why send them (compare Luke 9:1-6) ? Why send them like this, with these instructions (compare Luke 22:35,36)? What do you learn about “ministry”?

6. Read Luke 10:13-16. Why are these towns in danger? Where might that danger apply today? (you might want to consider James 3)

7 Read Luke 10:17-24. Why are the 72 so excited? What does Jesus say (v20) is more important?

8. Can you summarise v21-22?

Session 2.

1. If you were here last week (or read through the questions) what stands out about Luke’s gospel and this central section?

2. Read Luke 10:25-37. This is a familiar story, but look at the structure. Who asks the first question? Can you identify the following questions and answers in order? What does this tell you about Jesus teaching? What was the instruction to the lawyer? Was this new information to him?

3. Which love comes first, God or neighbour? How is the lawyer to improve his love?

4. What conflicts of duty did the priest and Levite face? What characteristics of the Samaritan would Jesus hearers have identified? What does that tell us about who we must love?

5. Read Luke 10:38-42. Whose house is this that Jesus enters? Who is behaving like a disciple? What is remarkable about both?

6. What is preventing the reception of the gospel in this incident? How different are the instructions to Martha and the lawyer? Does this say something about how Jesus deals with people individually?

Does this story make silent reflection more important than practical action?

7. Read Luke 11:1. Why did the disciples need to learn prayer? Do you think prayer is something that needs to be learnt, or just done?

8. Read Luke 11:1-4. (You may want to compare the more familiar Matthew 6:9-13, but we are looking at Luke!). Jesus says “When you pray . .” Why does he assume they / we will?

9. What is covered in this prayer, what comes first, how many things are included? Even as a summary, how does this compare with our prayers?

Session 3.

1. Last week we ended thinking about prayer, the need to learn prayer, the assumption Christians will pray. Have you had any more thoughts on this? (We need to keep our comments short, so that everybody gets a chance to speak without interrupting.)

2. Read Luke 11:1-13. What are vv5-8 saying? Is God really like a lazy friend?

3. How would you explain vv9-10 to a child?

4. vv11-13. So, why do we not have more of the Holy Spirit? Matthew 7:7-13 speaks of “good things” rather than “Holy Spirit”; what difference does that make? Does Romans 8:28 help explain?

5. Read Luke 11:14-28. In v14-20, what is Jesus accused of? Can you identify his 3 arguments against this accusation?

6. vv21-23. Who is the “strong man”? Why do we find v23 difficult? How does it fit with Luke 9:49?

7. vv24-26. We tend to focus on the healing or exorcism – is Jesus more concerned with the use of health, energy or freedom? How should this affect our praying for ourselves and others?

8. v27-28. What does Jesus response tell us about the family of believers?

9. We have looked at lots of detail. Viewing all the verses of this chapter we have read so far, how would you summarise them in a sentence? What is that telling you?

Session 4.

1. There were some comments last week that the questions were hard, so I’ll see if I can make them more straightforward – no promises! Luke is not a simple story-teller! Read Luke 11:29-32. You may want to look back at the argument (Luke 11:14 on) behind this. What is it in the story of Jonah that is a sign?

2. The story of the queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10 and 2 Chronicles 9) is remembered. What is its relevance here?

3. Read Luke 11:33-36. The picture of the lamp is used elsewhere about being a witness, but v34,35 show a different meaning here. What is Jesus saying? How does it fit in with the chapter?

4. How does faith relate to ignorance and to stubborn unbelief? What might answer each condition? Which is more relevant to this chapter?

5. Read Luke 11:37-54. The invitation seems genuine – Jesus had more in common with the Pharisees than with the Sadducees, Herodians, Zealots or secularists. But there are warnings for them! Vv37-41 are about observing ceremonial – what is more important?

6. Six denunciations follow – strong warnings, but delivered in hope (we might think of “speaking the truth in love” – but our own grasp on truth is less firm than Jesus’)

  1. v42 What was the “tithe”, and why is something else more important?
  2. V43 What is the danger of being proud?
  3. V44 contact with a corpse made a person “unclean”, so graves were whitewashed before pilgrims arrived for festivals to avoid accidental defilement. Jesus compares the Pharisees (teaching) to something contagious. Why? (Would Matthew 15:1-6 be an example?)
  4. v45,46 The lawyers (or scribes) were not solicitors, but experts in the OT Law – the first five books of our Old Testament. Their study had produced a complicated set of rules impractical, if not impossible, for ordinary working people to follow. What do we do in Church that makes faith seem difficult for “ordinary” people? Is this a danger for all faith traditions?
  5. V47-51. To honour God’s messengers is not to build memorials, but to act on their words. What is Jesus accusing the lawyers of? Is it fair to charge one generation with the guilt of all, if they have a record of their warnings and have not acted on them? How might this relate to COP 26?
  6. v52-54. What is more dangerous that making your own mistakes?

Session 5.

1. Looking back over 2 chapters and 4 sessions, what have you learned from Luke?

2. Read Luke 12:1-3. What is hypocrisy, and why is it dangerous? How do you feel about all your secrets coming out?

3. Read Luke 12:4-12. How do you react to v4? What do you think most people in our community are afraid of more? How does v6 affect this?

4. vv8-12. Why is it so important to “acknowledge the Son of Man”? How do we do this in practice, and what might tempt us not to?

5. Read Luke 12:13-34. Since rabbis sometimes arbitrated cases, why do you think Jesus refused the request of v13? The following parable makes no suggestion of theft, exploitation or immoral earning – so what is the mistake of the rich man? How do we teach this and apply it in our lives?

6. vv22-31. Who are most likely to worry, and why? What reasons does Jesus give to support his command? How do vv32-34 add to this?

7. Read Luke 12:35-40. What attitudes are commended, and who is involved?

8. Read Luke 12:41-48. What does this add to vv35-40? Who might Luke have been thinking of?

Session 6.

1. Read Luke 12:41-48. Use this “leftover” question to look back. What does this add to vv35-40? Who might Luke have been thinking of?

2. Read Luke 12:49-53. How do you react to this? How would you apply this to the church of today – what is still true, and has anything changed?

3. Read Luke 12:54-56. So, how do you “interpret the present day”? What was Jesus saying then? How would you apply it now?

4. Read Luke 12:57-59. What is Jesus wanting people to do urgently? This introduces a theme which will continue!

5. Read Luke 13:1-5. What do you understand from these two incidents? Would you agree that v 5 puts the emphasis, not on guilt, but on – well, what exactly?

6. Read Luke 13:6-9. What does the fig tree represent? The tree has another chance – but what event do you think Jesus has in mind as the end of the opportunity to fruit?

7. Read Luke 13:10-17. What link can you see with the paragraph before? Who, like the fig tree, is in danger here? To whom would you compare them in today’s world?

8. Read Luke 13:18-21. This seems to be more positive. What is offered?

9. Read Luke 13:22-30. We are used to “limited time offers” (Black Friday?). Is that what Jesus is saying? Can you see a link back to Luke 13:5, and perhaps the whole section from 12:57 or even 12:49?

Session 6.

1. What did you learn about judgement from last week’s reading?

2. (Last week’s last question). Read Luke 13:22-30. We are used to “limited time offers” (Black Friday?). Is that what Jesus is saying? Can you see a link back to Luke 13:5, and perhaps the whole section from 12:57 or even 12:49?

3. Read Luke 13:31-35. What is behind Jesus reaction in vv31-33? What do we learn from vv34,35?

4. Read Luke 14:1-14. What failures do you find in vv1-4?

5. vv1-6. So, what would be a Christian attitude to the Sabbath?

6. vv7-11. What is the point of humility? What benefits does it bring? Why is it not popular?

7. vv12-14. How would we set about doing this?

8. Read Luke 14: 15-24. This is a “silly” story – but in what ways is it true? In what ways does it exaggerate for dramatic effect?

9. Read Luke 14:25-35. What is Jesus saying about discipleship? What happens to unsalty salt – and why does it matter?