Showing posts from October, 2018

Family, Friend and Foe on the Galilee Roads

Jesus' ministry in Galilee is just beginning to take off in our New Testament studies. But it's interesting how different a picture we get when we follow the story slowly week by week. Bearing in mind that the real story must have taken one to three years, maybe following slowly is a good thing. We're glad you're joining us! (28) Friends, Enemies and Family Luke gives an often-ignored picture of how Jesus travels the countryside. Read Luke 8:1-3. 1.        Is Jesus opposed to the rich, or to money? Are women poor? And is this the picture you expected? 2.        Is Jesus opposed to women in ministry? 3.        What sort of women are following him? Why might poor women not be numbered among them? 4.        Why might family members (Mary for example) not be numbered among them? Proclaiming the kingdom of God… in Galilee… is a pretty big deal and provokes a prompt, not always positive, response. 1.        Read Matthew 12:22-23, Luke 11:14, Mark 3:20-21. Ho

If he was really a good guy, he wouldn't.... would he?

John the Baptist wasn't the only one wondering if Jesus was the one. Many people still wonder today, and this week's Coffee Break takes us to the home of a rich, well-educated, spiritually aware gentleman who's asking the same question in his mind. I'm looking forward to hearing how everyone else in our group responds to the passage... and how we respond to that question of how a "good person" should behave. (27) Who is Jesus? John’s not the only one wondering if Jesus is the one.   We’re encouraged to believe the Pharisees were intractably opposed to Jesus, but sometimes questions come out of curiosity rather than opposition. Are there any times when you’ve assumed people to be opposing you when they might really just have been curious? Are there times today when we’re encouraged to avoid a group of people, perhaps unjustifiably, without first engaging with them? In Luke’s account, a Pharisee called Simon invites Jesus to a meal, and modern readers ad

When the faith of others' doesn't live up to our expectations...

According to Luke, Jesus raises the widow's son in Nain and is then challenged by John's disciples with the question, "Are you the one?" So that's what our study group will look at this week. What convinces us that Jesus is the one? And... what makes us doubt if our fellow believers are really following him? (26) Tell John What? Jesus traveled north when John was arrested (John 3:22, Mathew 4:12 ). Now John, in jail, hears news of Jesus’ continuing ministry— Read Matthew 11:2. 1.        Why was John jailed? ( Read Matthew 14:3-5 )? 2.        Why wasn’t Jesus jailed for the same crime? (Read John 2:17 – who is more zealous?) 3.        How might John have felt about Jesus not speaking out against Herod? Might this be part of why he sends the messengers? 4.        How do we feel about Christians not speaking out against things we consider important? a.        What about politicians who uphold Christian values but fail to legislate against abort

In Sickness and in Health?

If Jesus' ministry really did last three years, I suppose we shouldn't be embarrassed that we only got as far as the Sermon on the Mount last year. So now, here we are; the sermon told, and the disciples returning with Jesus to whatever "real life" has become. I'm looking forward to the journey! (25) Sickness, Death and Resurrection Following the sermon on the mount, the crowd disperses and Jesus and the disciples head back for where they’ve been staying, probably in Capernaum, probably occupying several houses. Matthew and Luke describe several miracles. John describes some of these as well, listing them among the “signs” that Jesus did. What were John’s “signs” meant to signify?  (The answer we had before: The words might refer to a lost book of signs, to part two of John’s gospel, (prolog, signs, exaltation & epilogue), to some tradition of Messianic signs, or to the first public miracle. But what do you think?) Read Luke 7:1-9 1.        Read Ma