Study of Luke 13:31-35
We are very far away now from the lovely Christmas story that is usually told at this time of year. We are deep into the mud and mire of Jesus’ life and the sadness and darkness is building. The baby, kings, sheep and cosy stable are far away but this is the reality of Jesus’ life and our lives too. Christmas is great, but it doesn’t last forever. We have work to do and it won’t be happy, jolly, fun all the time – sometimes, it requires sacrifice and pain too.
- In previous passages, the Pharisees have tried to trick or even endanger Jesus. Why are they warning Him about Herod now?
- Why does Jesus refer to Herod as a fox?
- What is the importance of Jerusalem here? Why does Jesus say He cannot be killed outside of Jerusalem?
- Who was Jesus greatest enemy at this point? Herod? The religious leaders? The general public?
- Does Jesus let the adversity affect Him or what He decides to do going forward?
Study of Luke 12:1-7
It’s busy. So busy that the crowd are standing on each other’s toes. They have gathered to see and hear Jesus and what does He decide to talk to this very large, eager crowd about? Love? Grace? Forgiveness? Nope. He tells them not the be like the Pharisees, who are hypocrites! Not a nice message to hear – especially if you are a Pharisee!
- Why do you think Jesus decided to talk about hypocrisy at this moment? Was it because He knew He could reach lots of people with a lesson important to Him? Maybe it was because He knew there were Pharisees in the crowd who would hear the message too? What do you think?
- Why does Jesus tell the people to ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees…’ What does He mean by that?
- Jesus starts by talking about hypocrisy, then about fearing the devil and finally, about how much God knows about and cares for us – more than the sparrows. Why do you think Jesus combined these stories in one session?
Study of Luke 11:45-54
As someone leading an online community of Christians (a Church?), this passage in Luke 11:45-54 spoke to me in a big way! Jesus is forced to converse with a group of experts of the law after one of them said they were insulted by what Jesus had been teaching. Jesus was not often on their side, or in favour of what they were teaching the people.
- Why do you think the law experts felt insulted by Jesus?
- What were they doing that Jesus didn’t like?
- Why were the experts of the law enforcing rules on the people but not keeping them themselves? Were they above them? Unaware of them? Did they not really believe they were required to be kept, but wanted control over the people?
- When Jesus said, “You have taken away the key to learning about God’, what does He mean?
- The passages ends with, ‘When Jesus left, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees began to give him trouble, asking him questions about many things, trying to catch him saying something wrong.’ Why did the experts of the law want to catch Jesus out?
In Luke 6:1-5, we that once again, Jesus and His disciples are being rebellious by being different and doing things that were not permitted. Doing any work on the Sabbath was viewed as wrong by the authorities. Even drawing water from the well or cooking were too much for the people of the day to do on a Sabbath, so when the disciples were picking and crushing grains, they knew they were doing wrong in the eyes of the law.
- Remembering Jesus was with them, why do you think the disciples chose to carry out this act? What does it say about their view of the Jewish rules/ rulers of the time?
- Why do you think Jesus told the Pharisees ‘The Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath’? What do you think He meant and how do you think the Pharisees understood it?
- What do you think the purpose of the retelling of this event is for us today, and what do you take away from it personally?