Confidence in Our Weakness
The Lord of the Sabbath
- Jesus doesn’t call the great, he calls the ordinary (v.12–16)
- And not based on their qualifications, but on his calling (v.12–19)
- It’s not our ability that makes us useful to him but instead our dependency (v.17–19)
- Do you fear that your weaknesses are too great and that the get in the way of being best used by God?
- In what ways does current church culture in America give special attention to the “great”?
- How could an emphasis on “the greatest of these” in the church steal glory from God?
- Have you ever felt disqualified to serve God?
- How does this self-disqualification run in contradiction to God calling all of us to serve him (Romans 12, Eph. 4, 1 Cor. 12)?
- How could self-confidence keep us away from being dependent on God?
- If your prayer life was a measurement of your reliance on God, would you say you were more God-dependent or more self-sufficient?
- Explain to someone how your weakness could actually be an asset to God?
- How might a tendency to boast in our weakness affect our witness to not-yet- Christians?
What do fasting, patches, and wineskins have to do with Jesus?
- What necessities are lawful on the Sabbath? vv. 1–5
- What Lord can restore and purify Sabbath laws? v.5
- What mercies are lawful on the Sabbath? vv. 6–10
- What will we do with this Lord of the Sabbath? v. 11
- Isn’t it a good thing that we aren’t like the Pharisees? See what God says about that idea in Luke 18:9–14 and 1 Cor. 10:12.
- Read Luke 14:1–6. Why does Jesus mention the son and the ox? Read Matthew 12:11–12, as well. Is Jesus upset at what the Pharisees regularly did on the Sabbath (saving an ox, a sheep, a son)? Or is He encouraging them to let others do the same? See Matthew 12:7; what did Jesus want them to do more of?
- Read Isaiah 58:1–8, 13–14 (esp. v.3). What does Jesus want to teach us about fasting and the Sabbath in this passage? Also see Romans 13:8–10.
Who Needs a Doctor?
3 Lessons from Jesus
- The old is gone, the new has come, and it’s time to party, vv. 33–35
- The old is incompatible with the new, vv. 36–38
- If you like the old, you may never even consider the new, v. 39
- If you fast, how should you fast? How should you pray? See Matthew 6:1–8, 16–18.
- Read Philippians 3:2–10. How would Paul have described the old way and the new way? Which one did he prefer (cf. Luke 5:39)? Name some good things you do which you might mistakenly think make you less needy of God’s grace.
- Why should we be grateful that Christ is our Bridegroom? Is that image only supposed to bring positive and happy memories to our minds? What kind of Bride are the people of God? (Consider Hosea 1:2 and Revelation 19:6–9a.)
Blasphemy or Bare Facts?
- The One Who Follows Jesus, vv. 27–28
- The Ones Who Feast with Jesus, v. 29
- The Ones Who Frown at Jesus, v.30
- The Ones Who Need a Physician Like Jesus, vv. 31–32
- Compare vv.30–32 to Luke 18:9–14. What attitude does Jesus condemn in both stories? Should we be on the lookout for this attitude in our own hearts? (See 1 Cor. 10:12) Should we only have a negative view of ourselves; is this glorifying to God? Consider I Cor. 15:9–10a.
- Read vv. 28–29. What attitude did Levi have towards his wealth? What else does the Bible say about our relationship to our money in this life? See 1 Tim. 6:17–19.
- How would you react if your son had wasted your money, lived a wild life and then came home, penniless, and asked for your help? Would you grumble (Lk 5:30) or throw a party? Read Luke 15:1–2, 11–32 and ask how you think Jesus would want us to react?
Peter’s Come to Jesus Moment
- A great compassion and a crowd avoidance, vv. 12–16
- A great crowd and a great controversy, vv. 17–21
- A convincing proof and a consuming awe, vv. 22–27
- Would your instinct have been the same as Jesus in vv. 14–16? Would you have withdrawn from the crowds who wanted more of what you had to offer (in Jesus’s case it was the ability to heal) in order to restore yourself through prayer and meditation? Do our actions sometimes indicate that we think we don’t need regular prayer?
- Compare the determination of the friends (and the paralytic) to see Jesus (see vv. 18–20) with the story of Matthew 13:44–46? What does the determination of these friends (as well as the men who sell all that they have) tell us about what we should seek in this life? (Also see Matthew 6:32–33)
- What is this passage trying to show us when Jesus chose to touch the leper? Some other passages to consider: Ps 22:24; Isaiah 52:13–53:12 (especially 52:14; 53:2–3, 5, 7, 10); Leviticus 13:45–46; Hebrews 13:11–13.
Messianic Healing, Messianic Secret, Messianic Mission
- The Mission Jesus Displays, vv. 1–3
- The Wisdom Jesus Challenges, vv. 4–7
- The Sin Jesus Exposes, vv. 8–10a
- The Comfort AS Jesus Calls, v10b
- The Freedom Jesus Provides, v.11
- Whether you can’t remember when you weren’t a Christian or whether you have a dramatic conversion story, how is God’s gift of salvation an act of rescuing you from your sin? Consider the following passages: 2 Tim 2:24–26; Gal 6:1–2; Eph 2:1- 5; Col. 1:13–14.
- Read Isaiah 6:1–8; what parallels do you see to Peter’s experience in Luke 5:1–11?
- Read 2 Tim. 4:1–5; focus especially on v.2. Compare this passage to Jesus’s actions in Luke 4:42–5:3. Now ask yourself: Are you ready “in season and out of season”? Are you “always prepared” (1 Peter 3:15–16) to testify about what God has done in your life? If not, think of at least one way to share with others about how God has given you hope.
Messianic Power: The Word Spreads
- The Messianic Healing, vv. 38–39
- The Messianic Secret, vv. 40–41
- The Messianic Mission, vv. 42–44
- Read vv.38–39; also read Revelation 21:4–5. Now consider – How should we consider Jesus’s miracles in light of our future resurrection and eternal home? And what do you think of the following statement? “They [the miracles] are all intended to fasten in our minds the great truth that Christ is the appointed Healer of every evil which sin has brought into the world.” (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thought on the Gospels: Luke, 1:97)
- Why did Jesus not want the demons to tell others about His identity? Compare John 6:15.
- What was Jesus’s mission? What is our mission? (Consider Matthew 28:18–20) How can did Jesus stay focused on His mission (v.42; compare Mark 1:35ff)? How did He avoid distractions? Was Jesus afraid to say, “No,” to the expectations and requests of others that interfered with His mission? What lessons can we learn from His practices?
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
The word is:
- Astonishing, vv. 31–32
- Authoritative, vv. 32–36
- Alive, vv. 36–37
- When is the last time you read something in God’s Word that astonished you? When is the last time you prayed the words of Psalm 139:23-24? Should there be any connection between those two questions?
- Have you ever experienced a time in life where your knowledge of God was increasing but your love for God and others did not? Read 1 Cor. 13:1-7 (esp. v.2). In which aspect of love (from I Cor. 13) do you need to grow the most right now?
- We often focus on evangelism as an act of obedience (as it should be), but do we also make it a regular item of prayer? Consider Paul’s prayer requests in Ephesians 6:18-20 and Colossians 4:3-4.
By Every Word
- The Year of the Lord’s Favor, vv. 14–19
- The Focus on the Lord’s Sermon, vv. 20–24
- The Anger over the Lord’s Rebuke, vv. 23–30
- Jesus’s ministry was both widely acclaimed and angrily rejected. What kind of lesson should that be to us about how our words will be received? (See John 15:18–25)
- Does it surprise you that Jesus tells the people he realizes that they don’t believe in Him? Can you think of another time He does this? See John 6:26–29, esp. v.26; notice what story occurs in 6:1–15, as well.
- Read Dt. 8:7–8 and Psalm 67:1–5. Why did God bless His people? Was it because of something inherent in them? What was God trying to the world through His chosen people? What was God’s purpose for His chosen people? And what remains the same about that purpose for His people (see Mt. 28:18–20)?