Luke Bible Study – Week 3 – Part 2 (Chapters 13-18)

 
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Below are my thoughts for each of the chapters we studied this week (chapters 13-18) along with the answers to the questions I posted in the study guide.

Note: My thoughts on chapter 18 will be posted later this weekend. 

Make sure that you get a copy of the coloring page I have pasted below. Have a great weekend!

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Luke 13

My thoughts on this chapter…

As Jesus is getting closer to His time of suffering, He’s bringing a message of repentance.

The chapter starts out with the false conception that terrible sinners die in horrific ways, as though some are less righteous than others. The self-righteousness of these Jews was evident, which is why Jesus took this opportunity to humble them and preach a message of repentance.

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:3

Many Israelites took their salvation for granted assuming their bloodline would save them, which is why Jesus immediately went on to share the parable of the fig tree.

Questions and Answers…

What does the parable of the vineyard (fig tree) mean?

In this parable, the fig tree represents both Israel as a nation, and individual believers.

In order to gain a better understanding, let’s look back at the words of John the Baptist to see how Jesus is reinforcing this message:

“Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”

God has patience for sinners, but His patience has a limit. If we don’t bear the fruit of repentance, we will face judgment. We can’t rely on our church affiliation or our heritage to save us, as we must all come to repentance.

What is He teaching through the parables of the mustard seed and the yeast?

That the church would grow from a small seed to an enormous size. And like a tree where birds hide within the branches, many unrepentant sinners falsely professing their faith, will sit alongside repentant and sincere believers.

What does it mean to enter the narrow gate? Why are so many shut out?
(the answer can be found at the beginning of this chapter)

Unless you repent, you will perish. Unfortunately, many people believe that going church or reciting a prayer guarantees them a place in heaven. Many in those days believed that their Jewish heritage was enough to save them. Here Jesus is stressing the importance of repentance.

Matthew 7:13-14 also reads, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat, because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Many will find religion, but they won’t put their faith in Jesus Christ. Many will look at church as a social club, but unfortunately they won’t look at Christ as their Savior.
The Bible tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10
The word “Lord” isn’t simply a title. It means, master, ruler, or an authoritative figure.
We can say that we believe, and that we follow the Savior, but the fruit of repentance is evident in those who truly believe. If you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord, He is your master, your ruler, and the ultimate authority in your life.
That’s not a popular mindset unfortunately, which is why the path is wide that leads to destruction.

What does it mean to repent?

The greek word for repent is met-an-o-eh’-o (Strong’s G3340) which means to change your mind.

To repent is to be remorseful of sin, causing a change in both your mind and your actions. Those who are truly remorseful, turn away from their sin and turn to the Lord for forgiveness.

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Luke 14

My thoughts on this chapter…

What stood out to me most in this chapter was Christ’s call to be faithful. He compares believers to salt that is seasoned. It’s good to the taste but salt that loses its flavor is worthless.

If we’re going to follow Christ, our commitment needs to be more than lip service. He desires a heart change that moves us to to pick up our cross and follow Him at all costs.

He’s calling us to the banquet. Those who respond to the call drop everything that they have—including those they love dearly–to be in attendance.

Questions and Answers…

What can the wedding feast teach us about our attitude?

The parable of the banquet illustrates the Jewish nation rejecting Christ, and God opening the door to all who would come.

It teaches us that God’s grace extends to each and every one of us. It teaches us to humbly extend that same grace to others.

Verses 13-14 say, “when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”

There’s a hidden treasure in reaching out to the lame, the poor, and the blind. What is it?

A compensation at the resurrection of the just. (v. 14)

In the parable of the banquet, what does the banquet symbolize? Who does the host represent? Who is the servant?

The banquet is the kingdom of heaven. The host is God the Father. The servant is Jesus Christ who calls all men to salvation.

What is the cost of being a disciple?

We must be willing to choose God above anything else in our life, including the people we love dearly, and we must be willing to carry our cross.

What does it mean to “carry a cross?”

To carry or to take up our cross means to die to ourselves. It’s trading our own passions and sinful desires for His will in our lives. Our bodies become a living sacrifice that dies to the flesh and is risen with Him. Some days sin is hard to let go of, and so it feels like a death to ourselves in a way.

What does verse 34 mean?

Salt is the purity of our Christian faith. It represents a life devoted to God. If we aren’t living a life that is pleasing to God we are as bland as salt that has lost it’s savor.

 

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Luke 15

My thoughts on this chapter…

God loves us deeply. In this chapter we see how He goes to great lengths to save us. We see a glimpse of His immeasurable compassion and grace. Regardless of where we have been and what we have done, He welcomes us home. His mission is to seek and to save the lost, which is why it’s important that we allow God to work through us, as He reaches out to His people.

Questions and Answers…

What does the lost sheep symbolize?

As I was reading this parable, I had more questions than answers. I got to wondering why the shepherd would leave 99 sheep in the wilderness to find one. Wouldn’t those sheep be at risk? I also wondered why it said that the 99, “need no repentance.”

And so I read and I dug, and I dug, and I realized that the meaning of the parable is simply this: the lost sheep represents one sinner that is of great importance to the Shepherd. He cares for him deeply and so He sets off to find him.

The 99 that “need no repentance” isn’t literal, for we know that all have sinned and are in need of repentance. I believe that the 99 are those who stick close to the Shepherd. They are solid believers who haven’t lost their way. The Shepherd knows they are safe and secure, but He longs for that one sheep who has lost His way.

Three parables in this chapter have one common thread. What is it?

Seeking that which is lost. Later on in chapter 19 we’ll see where He states that His mission is “to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

How would you describe the father of the prodigal son?

He was compassionate, and abounding in grace. He was generous and loving and kind.

What part or parts of this chapter signify that the prodigal son had repented?

He was aware of his sin, and ready to turn away from it:

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee. (v. 18)

He was humble:

And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. (v. 19)

He sought forgiveness from his father:

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. (v. 21)

In what ways does the father in this chapter excel our expectations?

He doesn’t simply offer an open door. He is so happy to see his son return that the father runs out to greet him with open arms. He goes on to further welcome him home with gifts and a great celebration.

Why was the older brother angry? What was the root of his anger?

The elder son, as good as he was, failed to understand grace. He saw the love and respect of his father as something to be earned, which stems from a self-righteous attitude. “And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.” (Luke 15:29)

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Luke 16

My thoughts on this chapter…

Jesus teaches some important lessons in this chapter on financial management. He warns us of the dangers of money, and our possible enslavement to it. He shows us where to place our focus and why.

Another lesson that Jesus teaches in this chapter is shrewdness. He gets us thinking about the ways we’re using our resources, and the many ways we are wasting them. He gets me thinking about missed opportunities, and ways to seize upon new ones. The parable of the shrewd manager reminds us to wisely invest in the kingdom.

Questions and Answers…

What does the parable of the shrewd manager mean? (This might be a tough one perhaps Matthew Henry’s commentary can help you.)

John Piper writes, “The possession of money in this world is a test run for eternity. Can you pass the test of faithfulness with your money? Do you use it as a means of proving the worth of God and the joy you have in supporting his cause? Or does the way you use it prove that what you really enjoy is things, not God?”

The people of this world are cunning. They know how to use their money to gain riches. They seize opportunities win friends and influence people. This parable poses the question; do we use our resources wisely? Are we faithful stewards? Are we using the riches at our disposal to build the kingdom of heaven? Can we use the opportunities we have to win others to Christ?

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Luke 12:32-34

What does this mean, “You cannot serve God and mammon (money)”?

The word serve in this verse (13) is translated from the Greek word, “douleuo” (Strong’s G1398), which means “to be a slave to.” You’ll find the same word translated as “bondage” in other passages of the Bible.

If we’re not in control of our money, it will control us.

Greed, gluttony, self-indulgence, and envy are just a few of the lures that draw people in. They take our attention off of the Lord, and turn us onto this world.

Jesus warns us in Matthew 6, to turn our back on the things of this world, and to set our affections on heavenly things.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Matthew 6:19-21

Why did this anger the Pharisees?

Because they were covetous, and His words convicted them.

What did Abraham mean when he said, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.”?

The rich man believed that Lazarus could make a difference. If only God would send him back to warn, Lazarus’ family, they would heed the warning and turn their hearts back to God.

Here Abraham is saying that they did have a warning. God sent His prophets over and over again to warn the people, but they didn’t listen. And if they didn’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they wouldn’t listen to Lazarus either.

Why do you suppose the rich man wasn’t in heaven? Refer back to The Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21.

In Luke 12:15, Jesus says, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness.” For riches are the downfall of many. There’s nothing wrong with money in and of itself, but if we become a slave to that money we’re drawn away from the Lord.

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Luke 17

My thoughts on this chapter…

This chapter taught me about humility and what it means to serve the Master. If we’re always focused on the things that we want, and the things that make us feel good, we not focused on Him.

Living a life that is pleasing to God is the least we can do as believers. Humility doesn’t come easy. It moves us to take a back seat to the Master, which goes against everything our society stands for. We live in a self-centered world where people are too busy eating and drinking, and fulfilling their lust, that they don’t have time for the Lord.

Jesus warns us that He will return for us, and when He does, we must be willing to leave everything behind in that moment. Without hesitation, we must be ready to answer His call.

 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. – Luke 17:31

Questions and Answers…

What does Jesus say about those who cause others to stumble?

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea. (v. 2)

How many times should we forgive people who come to us in repentance?

In this chapter, Jesus says that if your brother comes to you asking for forgiveness 7 times a day, you should forgive him those seven times.

In Matthew chapter 18, Peter asked, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” – Matthew 18:21-22

This is to say that we should always be ready to forgive others. Whether it be 7 times or 70 times, we must be willing to forgive.

What do we learn about pride in verse 7-10?

The good things we do for the sake of our faith are the least we should do as believers. It’s dangerous when pride gets in the way of our faith. That’s when people take their eyes off of the master and the work that’s set before us.

We don’t move or breathe by our merit. We don’t toil for the Master by our power and strength. Everything we do and everything we have is a gift of grace, including the opportunity to serve.

Rewards will come in God’s time. Not because we deserve them, but because He is a gracious and loving Master.

What can verses 15-17 teach us about our faith?

That humility changes our focus from a self-centered life to Christ-centered one.

We must learn to glorify God for the things that we have, and to be just as thankful as we are dependent upon His grace.

What historic events is the second coming of Christ compared to in this chapter?

The days of Noah, and the days of Lot, when people were self-focused, and obsessed with pleasing themselves that they didn’t have time for God.

What does this verse mean to you? “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” V. 33

We need to take the focus off of ourselves—what we need, what we want, what makes us feel good, what makes us happy in the moment… so that we can focus on Him—what He wants, what makes Him happy, and what His will is for our lives.

 

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Luke 18

My thoughts on this chapter…

This chapter is a good reminder to be persistent in prayer. It’s also a good reminder to hold onto hope when life brings us down. Unlike the judge in this chapter, God is caring, and thoughtful, and kind, but He wants us to understand that life isn’t always that way. Some trials are tough, and some days it feels like there isn’t an answer in sight. Jesus encourages us to press on in prayer, and to hold on to our hope.

Questions and Answers…

What does this chapter teach us about prayer?

It teaches us two things: First that we should pray often (v. 1). Second, that regardless of what struggle we face, we must be persistent in prayer.

He we see a widow up against an unjust judge, but her persistence made a difference, as it persuaded him to listen.

As long as we’re in this world, we’ll experience trials that make us feel hopeless at times. Jesus is telling us here to hold onto that hope with persistence and prayer.

What does the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector teach us about our attitudes toward God and our service to Him?

The key to this parable is found in verse 9:

“And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.”

This the heart of the gospel. Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost. Ephesians 8:2 says, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

The two men in this parable are a publican and a pharisee. One was despised by the Jews (we’ll read more about that in the next chapter), and the other was devoutly religious. The bottom line however, was that one recognized his need for salvation, and the other one didn’t.

If we despise sinners, than we must also despise ourselves, for each and everyone of us is guilty of sin and in need of salvation. It’s only through faith in Christ that righteousness is imputed to us. There is nothing we can do to earn that salvation. Therefore he who exalts himself before God shall be taken down, and he who comes to the Lord in humility will be lifted up. We’re not justified by the works that we do. We justified by our faith.

What does is mean to become like a child? And why is that important?

Children are the least prideful among us. God calls us to be like them as they are humble, submissive, gentle, lowly and meek. Children are ready to listen and follow as we must also be ready to follow the Lord.

What does verse 23 reveal about the rich man’s heart?

He wasn’t ready to give up the things he treasured most.

How does his attitude compare to Peter’s in verse 28?

Peter left everything to follow Jesus, unlike the rich man who wasn’t ready to walk away from the things that he loved.

Can you find some of the scriptures in the Old Testament that foretold the death and resurrection of Christ?

These are the ones that I found:

Isaiah 25:8

Several passages in Isaiah 53, like: Isaiah 53:3-6

Psalm 16:10

Psalm 22:1

Psalm 22:16-18

 

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Written by Darlene Schacht

I'm an Evangelical Christian whose number one priority is to serve Jesus Christ in every area of my life. My husband Michael and I live in Manitoba Canada. Married 25 years, we have four children (three still at home), a bird and two pugs who are everyone's babies, especially mine! Our lives are basically surrounded with three things: our faith, music and everything books. I’m an award winning and New York Times best-selling author who is nothing without the grace of God. Facebook: timewarpwife Twitter: timewarpwife Pinterest: timewarpwife

12 Comments

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