JESUS MEETS ZACCHAEUS
How do you think Jesus knew Zacchaeus’s name? What else do you think he knew about Zacchaeus? What does Jesus know about you? What would you talk about with Jesus if he came to stay at your house? Would you welcome him gladly?
What must it have been like to see Zacchaeus up the tree? Do you think this was normal for chief tax-collectors, (and otherwise wealthy people)? Why do you think he was so desperate to see Jesus?
What do you think made Zacchaeus give half his possessions to the poor? How rich would you have to be to give away half of your possessions? What challenges you about this?
What do you make of the Jesus statement, “this man too is a son of Abraham?” What does it mean/imply? In what ways are Christians, “sons of Abraham”?
How does verse 10 match the life of Jesus? Describe how Jesus saved the lost. (Who were the lost?) Who does Jesus save today? (How are people “lost” today?) What does this mean for our own discipleship?
Jesus Heals Blind Men
Compare this episode with the one above. What is it saying about the place of people with disabilities in the days of Jesus? How have things have changed since then? How have they remained the same?
What does this episode tell us about Jesus’ attitude to those asking for healing? Does he ever qualify his healing? Does he ever hold it back in any way?
What is the response of the two men? (What do you think they were doing by the roadside in the first place?) How would their lives have changed, apart from their sight being restored?
Can you remember a time when you were so impacted by Jesus that you couldn’t help but follow him? (Maybe with deeper faith). What happened? If you were going to tell someone about it, what would you say?
How does trusting in Jesus and following him make a difference in your life? Why might you recommend to someone else that it’s worth following Jesus? How do you actually follow Jesus?
Jesus Blesses the Children
(Compare with Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15-17)
Why do you think this episode gets included in the gospels? Why do you think the disciples tried to prevent the children from being brought to Jesus?
What do you know of the place of children in 1st century Jewish/Roman society? How have things changed since then? How have they remained the same? In what ways could/should we improve access for children in our church activities / lives?
What could we say about children and their approach to Jesus? How do they get there in the first place? What is our responsibility towards children in this regard?
What can we learn about how adults approach Jesus? What does this say about our power in approaching the Kingdom?
Carolyn Kitto shares with us her insights on this passage.
Jesus Heals Ten men of Leprosy
Why do you think Luke includes this episode in his Gospel about Jesus?
What must it have been like to be: outcast? Isolated? Sick without hope of cure? Dependant on scraps to survive?
Why do you think the other nine lepers failed to return and thank Jesus? What do you think were the consequences of this failure? Is there anything you have failed to thank Jesus for? Does God ever remove or reverse blessing? Why or why not?
Why does he make a point of mentioning Samaria? What other stories from the gospels mention Samaria or Samaritans? In each case, what is the surprise? What is significant about the Samaritan in this episode?
Spend some time in prayer . . . let God fill your heart with compassion for those in our society who are outcast in some way . . . turn your compassion in to prayers of thankfulness and prayers of willingness to act.
What is God saying to you? What are you going to do about it?
Jesus raises Lazarus from the Dead
What do you remember about the location of Bethany in relation to Jerusalem? Why do you then think the disciples were concerned about going to visit Mary, Martha & Lazarus? What do you make of Thomas’s remarks in v16?
What do you believe about life after death? How does this passage help and/or inform your view? Do you think Jesus means resurrection physically or just spiritually? What do you think happened eventually to Lazarus? And then what?
Do you relate best to Mary or Martha in this passage? How do their actions compare to the other well-known story of Jesus interacting with the sisters in their home? (Luke 10:38-42)
Take a sneak peek into vv45-47. What are the positive and negative results of this miracle? How do your people of peace react to the concept of life after death? What might you say to help them?
The lost Son
Why do you think Jesus tells a third parable about something that was lost? What differences and similarities can you notice?
Who do you think the father is in this parable? Why? Who do you think the older brother is? Why? Who do you think the younger brother is? Why?
Why do you think the younger brother wants to go his own way? What is so significant about asking for his share of the father’s estate? How much would that leave? How would it make the father feel? How would that make the older brother feel?
What do you see as significant in the younger brother ending up feeding pigs? What does this represent in terms of his heritage?
How would you describe the father’s attitude toward his lost son? What does this tell us about God’s attitude toward sinners?
How would you describe the father’s attitude toward his eldest son? What does this tell us about God’s attitude towards people already in the Kingdom?
Given all three parables above, what can we say about: God; Jesus; People in the Kingdom; People outside the Kingdom? As people who follow (try to imitate) Jesus, what do you think God is saying to us? What are we going to do about it?
The lost Sheep and the lost Coin
Why do you think the “tax-collectors and sinners” were gathering around to hear from Jesus? What stories from the gospels support your theory? Does Jesus think sin is a problem or not? Why or why not?
Why is Jesus’ welcome for sinners a problem for “the Pharisees and teachers of the law”? What passages from the bible support the Pharisees view?
What do these two parables tell us about sin? What do these two parables tell us about sinners? What does “finding” (what was lost) represent in relation to sin?
What do these two parables tell us about God’s stance towards sinners? What action has God taken towards all sinners?
If you were to place yourself in one of these two parables, where would it be? What should you do now? What should our church do to “find” the lost?
Jesus claims to be God’s son
Which parts of the bible to you find hardest to believe? Why? What would it take for you to be really convinced about them?
What do you find hardest to believe about this passage? Why?
Why do you think Jesus’ opponents were having such trouble believing in him? Is that something that worries you? Why or why not?
What is Jesus’ defence against the blasphemy charges? Does that defence convince you? Compare with Jesus’ response to John the Baptist’s query. What are the similarities?
What would you say to people who say that Jesus never claimed to be God?
What would you say to someone who denies that Jesus was God? How might you convince them? How can we know that what we read in the bible is accurate? Do you think that’s enough to convince some people? How does this passage illustrate that problem?
What do you think the next step is for people who don’t believe Jesus is God? In what ways can we help that process?