Gospel Reading Guide – October 17-23, 2011

How do I use this guide?

Matthew 10:5-15

Upon first glance it seems a little odd that Jesus does not allow his disciples to minister among the Gentiles and Samaritans. Paul tells us in Romans 1:16 that Christ came first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. God chose the Jewish people as his holy nation to tell the whole world about him.

Notice what Jesus commands his disciples to do. According to verses 7 and 8 what does Jesus command? Why? Notice he gives the power and the authority to do the same things he had been doing. There is a pattern of discipleship going on here. Can you see it? I do it, you watch me, now go do it is the pattern that Jesus gives to his disciples.

What does Jesus ask his disciples to upon entering a town or village? What does he tell his disciples to do if they are not well received? What will befall those who do not accept the disciples?

Matthew 10:16-23

As the disciples of Christ ministered what kind of opposition were they up against? What would be the outcome for those who stand against this persecution? Standing firm is is not the way to become saved, but the evidence of being saved. What does this passage tell us about God’s Spirit? Once again we see the Son of Man imagery in verse 23. This is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14 where Daniel describes the Son of Man as one who will be given everlasting dominion of the kingdom by the Ancient of Days. Here we notice that Jesus is telling his disciples to flee if persecuted. Why should they flee?

Matthew 10:24-33

Jesus has sent out his disciples. He explains to his followers the cost of discipleship and is explaining the persecutions that are to come. What does this passage say about God’s message to his disciples? What does this passage say about fear? Why shouldn’t we be afraid? What does this passage say about the Father? Look at verses 32-33. What does this say about Jesus?

Matthew 10:34-42

Why does Jesus say he “did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”? What does that mean? Who should our priority be according to Jesus? According to Jesus, what does it take to find one’s life? Jesus is flipping the traditional understanding of life upside down. What kind of commitment does it take to become a disciple?

Matthew 11:1-6

Doubt had crept into John the Baptist’s heart. If Jesus is the Messiah, why were they losing?  He had been imprisoned for publicly rebuking Herod for marrying Herod’s own sister in law. John’s doubt was answered by a simple response from Jesus. What does Jesus tell John’s disciples? What do these miracles point to? Notice that Jesus simply tells the followers of John the Baptist what has been happening. Verse 6 is a mild rebuke. John and his disciples must be open to God’s unfolding plan, even though Jesus’ ministry did not exactly match their messianic expectations.

Matthew 11:7-15

This is a continuation from yesterdays lesson. See Matthew 11:1-6 notes for background information. Here Jesus addresses the crowd about John. How does Jesus evaluate John even in John’s despair?

Jesus here declares John to be a prophet, the greatest prophet ever. But what does Jesus mean when he says “Yet the one who is least in the kingdom is greater than he.”? 

Luke 10:1-12; 17-20

After spending some significant time watching, 72 of Jesus’ disciples are now ready to be sent out to do what Jesus had been doing.

Notice verse 3 where Jesus states, “Go your way; behold I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” Here lambs implies that the disciples should not attempt to gain converts by force. The spread of the gospel is to come through the preaching of the “good news” of Jesus Christ and inviting hearers to respond willingly (ESV Study Bible Notes).

Why do you think Jesus sent the disciples out this way? Why do you think Jesus commanded them to be dependent upon the kindness of strangers?

In verse 9 we see Jesus give the disciple charge to heal the sick. This assumes that Jesus has given the same authority he gave to the apostles in Matthew 9:1. Notice has Jesus then charges the disciples to preach the kingdom of God has come near. What is the kingdom of God in which Jesus is speaking of?

Who are the disciples representing? If the disciples are being rejected, who is ultimately being rejected?

Notice how the 72 come back to Jesus. Why are they so thrilled? What does Jesus ask them to rejoice over instead?

Where is Satan according to this passage? Considering Satan was the prosecutor in heaven accusing followers of God, how does this give the disciples hope? Does it give you hope knowing that Jesus has overcome Satan?


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