Showing posts from March, 2018

Here Comes the Taxman

It seems oddly appropriate to be looking at how Jesus called a taxman while my husband works on our taxes. But it's also odd to find that Jesus still didn't have twelve disciples, even this far into the story. Kind of changes my perspective a little. Anyway, I'm still enjoying working my way through the gospels, meeting the characters, and learning the lessons. I hope you are too. And here's our next study. (16) What Sort of Believers? Healing the paralytic (and getting the roof fixed), dealing with streets so crowded that no one can get to the door… it’s not surprising Jesus and his disciples move out of Peter’s house again and head for the open spaces/open countryside. Of course, to get there, they’ve got to pass through the city walls and confirm all their taxes have been paid. No surprise that Jesus meets a taxman there, but perhaps it’s a little surprising that the taxman follows him. 1.        Read Matthew 9:9-10 Most readers believe Matthew is Levi   (as

Who Made that Hole in the Roof?

Moving on with our chronological study of the Gospels, we find Jesus with just a few disciples, setting up a ministry in Capernaum, driven out by the crowds, wandering the countryside and returning, probably to Simon Peter's house. Then people make a hole in the roof. Great crowds! (15) The Messianic Secret Do you remember that Jesus wouldn’t let the demons speak ( Mark 1:34 )? Why might it have been important for Jesus to control who was spreading his good news? Why might it be important for churches to train leaders today, rather than just accepting anyone who claims to have been called ? How does this feed into   denominations and traditions? We left the story with Jesus and his followers (who have finally left their day-jobs) heading out into the countryside. What has driven them out of town? ( Read Mark 1:33 ) 1.        Read Mark 1:40-45 Jesus is telling someone not to talk about him again. Why? a.        What other types of “healing” were available to the people?

How do you know where to stay and when to leave?

We left last week with Jesus heading for Galilee and being rejected by his hometown of Nazareth. I'm really quite enjoying reading the stories as they're pieced together in a chronology, even if no-one's sure what the real chronology is. I'm also enjoying finding where different stories fit into the ministry - we read these passages in isolation so often. So, where will Jesus stay when he reaches Capernaum? (14) Where to Stay and When to Leave Jesus arrives in Capernaum, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It’s unclear whether he headed straight there from Jerusalem when John was imprisoned, or if he moved on from Nazareth/Cana, but it’s likely that trouble surrounding John is part of what prompted Jesus to go North, to the hometown of those earliest disciples. What sort of thing has God used to prompt you to take action? 1.        Read Matthew 4:12-17, Mark 1:14-15, Isaiah 9:1-2 Why does Matthew quote Isaiah? 2.        How were people in Galilee viewed by t