Questions to ask of the text:
- Why is this Genealogy included?
- Why is it included in this specific part of Luke's Gospel?
- What are Luke's unique purposes including it (i.e. how is it different than Matthew's list and purposes)?
Conclusion: Luke's main point is to show his audience that Jesus is both the son of Mary and Joseph AND the son of God. He is both God and Man.
Discussion Questions & Further Study
- What are some other parts of the Bible that are hard for you to get through when reading?
- How can slowing down and asking questions of hard texts help you find meaning from them?
- Why was it important that Jesus was born in the lineage of David? Why was it also important that Jesus not be born of "ordinary generation"?
- Why is it important that Jesus was fully Divine? Why was it also important that Jesus was fully Human?
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:21–22. How does being born of Adam bring death? How does being "in" Christ bring life?
- Do any of these questions mean anything (or matter) to you? (Read Hebrews Chapter 2 for help)
- The Mightier One, vv. 15–18
- The Meek One, vv. 19–20
- The Beloved Son, vv. 21–22
- John said he was unworthy to do the work of the lowliest servant (untying someone’s sandals) for Jesus, who was far greater than John. What emotions do you feel when you realize that Jesus did a similar, lowly task for his disciples, by washing their feet? (cf. Phil 2:3–8; John 13)
- John’s hellfire and brimstone preaching is called “good news” in Luke 3:18. Is news of judgment good news to you? Is judgment the sum-total of the good news? What other blessings are included in the gospel/good news?
- Why was Jesus baptized if He was sinless? (Consider 2 Cor. 5:21)
Repentance Changes Us: Through Reconciliation
- Reconciled to God (Saved from his wrath by Repentance: v.7–9, 17)
- Reconciled to Others (The Fruit of Repentance is loving others: v.10–14)
Repentance Changes the World: Through us being Salt and Light
- Salt to the World (What a repentant life looks like at work: v.12–14)
- Light to the World (How a repentant life affects our witness: v.7, 12–14)
Questions for Reflection
Do you think of God more in terms of his love or his wrath? How are both true of him?
How would full, honest repentance (open acknowledgment of our sin) lead us to trust more in the work of Christ?
What is an example where you can be outwardly obedient, but inwardly you have the wrong (perhaps selfish) motives?
John the Baptist doesn't call people out of the service of Rome, instead, he tells them to stay and to do their work ethically. As Christians, we have multiple areas of "work" (in our home, with our children, at our church, at our employment). For your particular responsibilities, what would it look like to serve un-ethically? What would it look like to serve sacrificially for the good of others in that area?
Why should Christians be people who are the most comfortable with receiving criticism?
Further Thought: John the Baptist preaches a message of Repentance, that others needed to be honest about admitting their sin, even publicly through baptism. God uses others to reveal to us our sin. Being scared to receive criticism can sometimes reveal we don't fully believe that we are completely forgiven in Christ. If you are willing, ask someone you trust to be honest about your sin, and how it has hurt them. As those feelings of condemnation, guilt, and defensiveness come, remember that, if you are in Christ, you don't need to defend, you're free to acknowledge the sin, safely resting in Christ's record and not your own.
- A new prophet for a turbulent time, vv. 1–2
- A new way of life for a wayward people, v.3, 7–9
- A new highway for The King to come and save His people, vv. 4–6
- Why does God send a prophet (John) and then another prophet (and priest and king - Jesus) to save God’s people? Why doesn’t he send someone to overthrow the oppressive government ruling over Israel? Compare this story to Judges 6:1–12. Why do you think God waited to send a deliverer, and why did he first send a prophet to Israel? How do these stories tell us what we as God’s people need most?
- Reflecting upon John’s calling as a prophet (see v2), JC Ryle writes: “Let it be a part of our daily prayers, that our churches may have no ministers excepting those who are really called of God.”1 Why is that an important prayer? What is the nature of their work, and what is one of the difficulties of their work? (See Hebrews 13:17)
- Read Luke 3:4–6 – What obstacle is keeping you from living the way that God has called you to live? What “mountains of pride need to be broken down” and what “valleys of self-pity need to be raised”2 so that you can prepare your heart for the King’s arrival?
Jesus came to:
- Fulfill the Law (v. 21–24)
- Save (vv. 21, 30)
- Give consolation and comfort (v. 25)
- Be a light to the Gentiles (v. 32)
- Be the glory to Israel (vv. 26, 32)
- Cause the rise and fall of many (v.34)
- Die (v. 35)
- To reveal the hearts of mankind (v. 35)
- What are some common misconceptions and wrong beliefs about who Jesus was and what he came to do?
- What are some different names and titles for Jesus Christ? (A quick google search can help you out here) How do their meanings help us understand what Jesus came to do?
- If you were to summarize the mission of Jesus, what would you say it was? What steps were taken in his life to accomplish it? How does it connect/apply to us?
- Our text said Jesus was appointed for the rise and fall of many, and the scriptures describe Jesus as either a cornerstone or a stumbling block. Why is this? Some people seem to be rather unaffected Jesus, but how does a proper understanding of him prevent us from being “neutral” about Jesus?
10 Christmas Cards from Bethlehem
- a census, vv.1–2
- a hometown, vv.3–5
- a manger, vv. 6–7a
- a full house, v.7
- a curious choice, vv. 8–9
- a multitude, but not at first, vv. 9–10, 13–14
- an awesome sight, vv.9–12
- a particular peace, vv. 11–12, 14
- a missing wise man (or three?), vv. 15–18
- a reflective mother, v. 19
- Why is it important to know that Jesus was born in humble, shameful circumstances and that the first witnesses to his birth were a despised group of shepherds? Compare this to what Jesus says in Luke 5:31–32.
- How is the birth of Jesus good news of great joy to you?
- How much time have you spent pondering the Christmas story and its impact upon you and upon the world?
5 Blessings that the birth of John the Baptist brings to God’s people. It is:
- A sign of God’s salvation, vv. 67–71
- A confirmation of God’s covenant, vv. 72–73
- A freedom to worship God fearlessly, vv. 73–75
- A prophet to prepare the Lord’s way, vv. 76–78
- A lesser light pointing to the Greatest Light, vv. 78–80
- What did first–century Israel most want to be delivered from? What do you most want deliverance from? What do you think God most wants to deliver you from?
- Why did God deliver His people? (See Lk. 1:74–75) Also read Psalm 67 and compare this passage to the first line of our church’s mission statement (see the front of your bulletin).
- Why does God use poetry to teach truth to us? Why doesn’t he just tell us the facts in a more straightforward way? (Try summarizing vv. .78–79 without poetry and see which version is more memorable. Try the same thing with Psalm 23:1 and 2 Samuel 23:1–5.)
- God has removed our Shame (vv.57–58)
- God has changed our Faith (vv.59–64)
- God draws a response from Us (vv.65–66)
Questions for Reflection
- What are some traditions you have that make this time of year feel like “Christmas?”
- How does the “messaging” of Christmas (from commercials, signs, radio) distract us from the center of the reason for celebrating this holiday?
- What are some things you are commonly asking God for in prayer? Are you looking more often for comfort and therapy from God or healing of our core problem of sin?
- Why do we become complacent or afraid of sharing this good news that Jesus came to earth to save us from our sin?
- What are some challenges you have faced in your evangelism?