John the Baptist and the Beginnings of Jesus’ Ministry: Luke 3-5
As we discussed at our first meeting, the events described in Luke’s gospel occur against a background of oppression and misery. After long years of increasingly stressful Roman rule, Jews were growing desperate at being ruled by fear and oppression. Something needed to happen, but what that might be wasn’t clear.
Here are some questions to consider after reading Chapter 3.
In moments of crisis such as a hurricane, authorities issue warnings and directions to people. Urgent action is called for. What was the emergency John was declaring in vv. 3-9?
In what ways is John living out the quote that he uses from the book of Isaiah in 3:4-6?
If John were to come down Government Street in Mobile with a megaphone, what would he be saying?
How has the sometimes-quiet voice of the Holy Spirit reminded you of God’s affirming love while also calling you forward to what lies ahead?
Here are some questions to consider after reading Chapter 4.
Think about a time when God was calling you to a new phase of life or ministry. What obstacles or temptations did you face?
What echoes of the story of Adam and Eve can you see in the temptation story in 4:1-13?
What does Jesus say in 4:25-27 that makes the crowd so upset that they kick Jesus out of the synagogue and run him out of town to try and push him off a cliff?
Why is the idea of grace for all people, including those we disagree with or fight against, so challenging for us?
In 4:31-44, what astonished people about Jesus?
Here are some questions to consider after reading Chapter 5.
What do we learn about Jesus’ priorities in 5:15-16?
Considering this, how would you assess your own schedule and the demands on your time?
In what ways are vv. 31-32 a “mission statement for Jesus?”
Luke 5:34 describes a party—one of many in Luke’s gospel—and like all of Jesus’ parties it is a sign of a new age, a little messianic banquet. How do the string of short sayings in vv. 36-39 reflect what his new kingdom message actually is?
The whole of chapter 5 is a challenge to those of us living in the old age. The new life of the gospel is about to burst in among us. Where in your life do you still live in the old age? What would it look like for you to live in the promise of the new kingdom?