You can also download the questions or use the reading plan on the Bible App.
- Using as much detail as you can, picture this scene in the temple.
- Compare and contrast Zechariah and Elizabeth's response.
- Are there promises of God you find hard to trust? Talk to God about them, and ask for hope.
- How is Mary's encounter with the angel similar and different than Zechariah's?
- How might bearing this child make Mary's life difficult? What would it take for her to embrace this from God?
- Use Mary's words of submission as you pray about God's will for your life.
- About what do Elizabeth and Mary each rejoice?
- What does Mary know about the character of God?
- Write your own song of rejoicing.
- How does Zechariah react to John's birth?
- How does Zechariah interpret John's birth?
- How do you react to God's blessings? What can you praise God for today?
- Identify and describe the various characters in this passage.
- How do each of the characters react to Jesus' birth?
- Which of them would you most like to be like? Why?
- What new information about Jesus comes from Mary and Joseph's encounter with Simeon and Anna?
- How would Simeon's words sound to Mary and Joseph?
- How can Christ's presence bring you hope during trial or longing?
- How does Jesus interact with the various authority figures in his life?
- What does this passage show about Jesus' spiritual, mental, and relational growth?
- What relationships and/or communities of faith do you have that help you grow spiritually, mentally, and relationally?
- What was the content and tone of John the Baptist's message?
- In what ways does repentance prepare the way for the Lord?
- If you asked John, "What should I do?" what do you think he would say?
- How is Jesus' identity affirmed and attacked throughout this passage?
- What enables Jesus to withstand being tempted in the wilderness?
- To what extent is your identity rooted in knowledge of God's love and of his Word?
- List the various elements of Jesus' message in the synagogue.
- How do the people of Nazareth respond to Jesus? How do their responses change?
- Where have you experienced being provoked by Jesus? How have you responded?
- How do the different characters react to Jesus' power?
- Why do you think Jesus interacts with the demons the way he does?
- What is one way that you have experienced Jesus' power this past week?
- Trace the progression of Jesus' interaction with Peter.
- Why is the catch of fish so significant?
- How have you seen Jesus invite himself into your boat? What has been the result?
- Compare and contrast Jesus' interaction with the leper and the paralytic.
- What do we learn about what is important to Jesus?
- If you boldly come to Jesus with your or another's need, what might he do?
- In this string of stories, how does Jesus rattle the religious leaders' sense of what a holy man should be like?
- What are the various ways Jesus responds to their criticism?
- How is Jesus inviting you to see him differently?
- Compare and contrast the types of people Jesus says are blessed with those who receive woes.
- How might Jesus’ message resonate with the crowd? With the disciples?
- As you reflect on your own neediness, where do you need God to meet you or provide for you? Ask him to meet you.
- List the various images and metaphors used by Jesus.
- What do these different images reveal about what is important to Jesus?
- What specifically can you do today to put Jesus' words into practice?
- In what ways does Jesus demonstrate authority in these stories?
- Why does Jesus respond as he does to the centurion and to the widow?
- What are ways that you personally struggle with believing that Jesus uses his authority in your life for your benefit?
- What does Jesus say about John the Baptist?
- What do you think the Pharisees and "this generation" were expecting from John the Baptist?
- When have you judged God's messengers because they have not fit your expectations? Confess it to God and pray that you will not "reject God's purpose" for yourself (v. 30).
- Imagine being a guest at this dinner party. What would you see, smell, hear, taste, and feel?
- How does his parable about the two debtors shed light on Jesus' experience at the dinner party?
- Do you feel like you've been forgiven $100 or $1,000,000? Why? How does your self-perception impact how you relate to Jesus?
- Count the number of times the word hear or listen is used in this passage.
- Why is it important to consider carefully how you listen?
- What is something you have heard from God this week that you could put into practice today?
- List the different ways Jesus demonstrates his power and the different responses to his power.
- Why are the disciples and the people of the region of the Gerasenes frightened?
- To what extent does Jesus' power frighten you? Are there any ways you've withdrawn from him or asked him to leave?
- In what ways might Jairus think of himself as totally different than the bleeding woman?
- How could the bleeding woman serve as an encouragement for Jairus?
- Why is it easy to become impatient with Jesus when he brings other people into our story? Look for ways he's weaving others' stories into yours today.
- In what ways are the disciples put into positions of need in these two stories?
- What do we see here about God's provision?
- Where is Jesus inviting you to serve dependent on his resources and authority instead of your own?
- What are the various things Jesus reveals about himself?
- How does Jesus' Transfiguration shed light on his words about losing life to save it?
- What are some ways Jesus is trying to reveal more of himself to you? Pray that God would continue to deepen your understanding of who he is.
- Describe the disciples in these scenes.
- What don't they understand about Jesus and his mission?
- In what ways are you like the disciples?
- What are the priorities of the various people Jesus interacts with in these verses?
- What does Jesus communicate about his priorities in each of his responses?
- How is Jesus currently challenging you to have more Kingdom-centric priorities? How are you responding to his challenge?
- What are the specific challenges and encouragements Jesus gives to the group when he sends them out and receives them back?
- What points do you think Jesus is trying to make through these challenges and encouragements?
- Which of these is most helpful to you as you interact with the world today?
- Compare and contrast the two stories.
- Why do you think Luke put the story of "Martha's activism vs. Mary sitting at Jesus' feet" right after the story of the Good Samaritan?
- While obediently and actively helping others, how can you also sit at the Lord's feet listening to his words?
- Note all the things Jesus says about prayer.
- How does the parable of the midnight request shed light on the Lord's prayer (vv. 2-4)?
- What specific teaching about prayer can you apply to your own prayer life?
- Summarize Jesus' responses to those who say he is casting out demons by the Prince of demons and to those who ask Him for a sign.
- What is the significance of Jesus' claim to be "stronger than the strong man" (v. 22), "greater than Solomon" (v. 31), and "greater than Jonah" (v. 32)?
- If Jesus has all power, even more power than Satan and his demons (vv. 21-22), what does that mean for you in a practical way? In what area of your life do you need Jesus' power today?
- In this encounter with religious leaders, what specific wrong-doings does Jesus point out?
- What is the underlying problem with the Pharisees and teachers of the Law?
- In what ways are you like these religious leaders? Practically, what will repentance look like?
- List all the commands in Jesus' speech.
- How does Jesus address the disciples' fears and concerns?
- How can Jesus' words give you courage when you are afraid to publicly identify yourself as a Christian?
- What different attitudes toward the future are highlighted here?
- What does Jesus expect from his followers? What does he promise?
- What would it look like for you to entrust one aspect of your material world to God's care today?
- What picture of the future do these passages paint?
- What are the consequences of being ready? Of not being ready?
- Pray that Jesus would enable you to be ready for him to show up in your world today and to follow him wherever he leads.
- List the negative situations mentioned in these passages.
- What is Jesus' perspective on each of them?
- What would it look like today for you to respond to Jesus' invitation to repent and his offer of healing?
- List all the images Jesus uses in this passage, and do your best to identify what each represents.
- In v. 23, Jesus' disciples ask him "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" Briefly sum up Jesus' answer in your own words.
- Take a moment to seriously consider your life. Is it going in the direction of God's final feast, or moving away from the narrow door?
- Describe the dynamics between guests and hosts, both at the Pharisee's dinner party and in the parable of the great banquet (vv. 16-24).
- How do both stories illustrate the truth that "all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted" (v. 11)?
- Which character do you most identify with? What is Jesus' challenge or encouragement to you today?
- What are the various images Jesus uses while addressing the large crowd.
- Why do you think Jesus chooses these images? How do you think those listening might feel?
- When you consider the cost, what prevents you from following Jesus more closely? Ask Jesus to help you to be willing to follow despite the cost.
- Look for similar words, repeated phrases, and common themes in all three of these parables.
- What message is Jesus communicating to the Pharisees who muttered, "this man welcomes sinners and eats with them"?
- Across all three parables, which character or object do you most relate to? Think and pray about why you feel that way, and what God wants to say to you in this moment.
- What might the wasteful manager be thinking and feeling during the beginning, middle, and end of this story (vv. 1-8a)?
- What point does Jesus draw from the story (vv. 8b-13)?
- Examine your attitude towards money and material things. What practical actions can you take to be a trustworthy steward of God's resources?
- Compare and contrast the two main characters in the parable.
- How is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus an apt response to the Pharisees' sneering at Jesus' teaching about money?
- Who is ‘Lazarus’ in your life? What can you do this week to reach out and show compassion to this person or group?
- What are the different requests made in these stories? Who makes them?
- What does Jesus expect from his followers? What does he expect from those he heals?
- Do you need to grow in forgiveness? What about gratitude? What specifically can you do today to grow in that?
- List similarities between "the days of Noah" (v. 26), "the days of Lot" (v. 28), and "the day of the Son of Man" (vv. 22, 24,26, 30).
- Why is it important to be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
- If you knew that the Son of Man were to return in a week, how would you live differently?
- As you read, notice the attitudes of the different characters.
- What do these stories teach us about how to come to God in prayer?
- Read through it again, slowly, asking Jesus how he is inviting you to come to him and pray in a new kind of way.
- How does Jesus handle the rulers request?
- What do we learn about what it means to follow Jesus?
- Talk to Jesus about what you are willing to give up for the sake of the kingdom of God.
- Compare and contrast the stories of the blind man and of Zacchaeus.
- Why does Jesus respond to each the way he does?
- Both the blind man and Zacchaeus took initiative to encounter Jesus, despite people's reactions. What risks could you take today to relate to Jesus?
- What is the relationship between the various characters and the man of noble birth?
- What do the servants’ different responses tell the king about them?
- Which servant are you most like? Why?
- Describe the scene as Jesus enters Jerusalem.
- Why does Jesus weep during a joyful parade?
- How often do you weep over those who don't recognize Jesus drawing near to them? Ask God to help you see what he sees.
- List the various questions, noting who asks each one.
- How does Jesus handle the aggression of the religious leaders?
- Where might you encounter hostility towards Jesus' authority? How can you respond, using Jesus as a model?
- Compare and contrast the Sadducees' and the widow's posture in the temple.
- What is Jesus warning against in vv. 46-47?
- Which character in these stories are you most like? How might God be inviting you to change?
- What are the markers of the end times?
- What advice does Jesus give to those who would be faithful to the end?
- What of that advice can you put into practice today, as we await Jesus' return?
- What is each character looking for?
- What does it say about Jesus that Peter and John found everything as he had told them?
- When have you experienced Jesus arranging circumstances in such a way that you know he is at work? How did it affect you?
- What topics are covered during Jesus' final meal with the disciples?
- Compare Jesus' motives and goals with the disciples' motives and goals.
- In your current context, how can you serve like Jesus?
- How does Jesus prepare himself and his disciples for his impending death?
- What role does prayer play in withstanding temptation and enduring suffering?
- When is the last time you prayed, "not my will but yours be done"? Pray it again today.
- Jesus says that this is the hour when “darkness reigns” (v. 53). How does darkness have the upper hand here?
- How does the darkness impact Peter? Why?
- What are ways you encounter darkness? Ask Jesus for the ability to not give into it.
- Compare and contrast Jesus' trial under Pilate (Roman government) and his trial under Herod (Jewish government).
- What role do the Jewish religious leaders play in Jesus' trial? What is their motive?
- Who do you identify with most in this story? Spend some time responding to Jesus (for example, with thanksgiving, repentance, etc.).
- Compare and contrast the attitudes and actions of the people with those of Jesus.
- What do Jesus’ responses tell us about God’s heart?
- Do you have doubts about God’s attitude toward you? Spend some time asking God to reassure you of his forgiveness and love for you, and thank him.
- How do various people and even the natural world react to Jesus’ crucifixion?
- What does Jesus’ statement, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” tell us about Jesus’ attitude towards his crucifixion?
- Take a few minutes to reflect on Jesus’ death. Then respond by telling him how you feel.
- How was the scene at the tomb different from what the women and the others expected?
- How do the angels and their message impact the women?
- How can you actively rejoice in Jesus' resurrection today?
- How do the feelings of the two men walking and talking with Jesus change throughout the day?
- How does Jesus handle their discouragement and disappointment?
- How do you respond to other people’s disappointment? How could you use Scripture in comforting others?
- Close your eyes and play this scene out in your imagination, from the coming of Jesus into the room until he is lifted to heaven before the disciples’ eyes.
- How are the fulfillment of scripture, the resurrection of Christ, and the idea of being a witness related to each other?
- This week, to whom can you give witness about Jesus' resurrection and your experience of his work in your life?