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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 42: Parables of the Kingdom

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Week 42: Parables of the Kingdom

Weekly memory verse:

Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Weekly hymn:

“Come, Christians, Join to Sing” (free download)

Weekly catechism:

What is baptism?
Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, instituted by Jesus Christ, to be a sign of the believer’s fellowship with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection.

Day 206: Traveling to Jerusalem

Reading: Luke 17:11–18:14

Notes

Chapter 17, Verse 14. Priests. The lepers would have had to be declared ceremonially clean by priests before rejoining society.

Verse 37. Corpse. Jesus’s point in this passage is that the final judgment will come quickly and will be clearly evident to all when it comes.

Chapter 18, Verse 14. Justified. This is a legal term that means to be declared righteous. Those who believe in Christ are declared righteous by God because of Christ’s righteousness imputed to them.

Summary

On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus both taught and illustrated the necessity of faith for forgiveness of sin and the fact that judgement would one day come upon those who did not believe. His deliverance of his people was not presently coming through political revolt, as many of the Jews believed. Rather, his suffering provided the means for spiritual deliverance, and one day he would return to bring judgement for those who failed to believe and full deliverance for his people.

Discussion Questions

  1. What was significant about the fact that the thankful leper was a Samaritan?
  2. Why did Jesus need to suffer in order to bring complete deliverance for his people?
  3. What was Jesus’s point in the parable of the unjust judge?

Day 207: The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Reading: Luke 10:25–42

Notes

Verse 27. He answered. The lawyer summarized the Law exactly as Jesus had done on a previous occasion (Matt 22:37-40).

READ
Christmas, the Face of Jesus, and the Story of the Gospel

Verse 35. Two denarii. Two days’ wages.

Verse 38. Village. This was Bethany, two miles east of Jerusalem, near the Mount of Olives.

Summary

Jesus emphasized that love for God and love for others was the core of our responsibility. Jesus turned the lawyer’s self-righteous question on its head by insisting that perfect obedience to the Law meant showing kindness to anyone in need, even those normally considered enemies. He also taught, however, that while serving others is important, worship at Jesus’s feet was even greater.

Discussion Questions

  1. Is it possible to perfectly keep all of God’s Law?
  2. Why were the Samaritan’s actions so remarkable?
  3. Does focus upon loving Christ mean we do not need to serve others?

Day 208: Invitation to Christ’s Banquet

Reading: Luke 14:1–35, Psalm 135

Notes

Luke 14, Verse 2. Dropsy. An illness where fluid is retained in the body, sometimes caused by kidney failure or even cancer.

Verse 15. Eat bread. This man had a commonly held believe that only Jews would be at the heavenly feast. Jesus responded by illustrating that Gentiles would also be invited.

Verse 24. My banquet. Jesus’s point was that Israel, which had been previously invited, largely rejected him, and so the invitation would be extended to those who Jews normally considered unclean and unworthy.

Verse 26. Hate. Jesus is speaking with hyperbole. He does not mean that his followers must literally hate their family members, but rather that in comparison to their love and devotion for him, their love for family members would seem like hatred.

Summary

The Jews thought that by virtue of their heritage, they would automatically be given honor and exclusive rights to God’s blessings. Jesus insisted, however, that those who rejected him, despite their ethnicity, would be left to judgment. Rather, only those who gave up everything to follow him would receive eternal blessing, even including Gentiles.

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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 20: David Becomes King

Discussion Questions

  1. Why were the Pharisees watching Jesus closely?
  2. Why did the Jews think that they alone would enjoy God’s blessings?
  3. What did Jesus say was required to receive God’s blessings?

Day 209: Parables of the Lost Sheep, Coin, and Son

Reading: Luke 15:1–32, Psalm 136

Notes

Luke 15, Verse 8. Coin. Literally, “drachma,” a typical day’s wage.

Verse 11. Two sons. This parable has general applicability to any sinner who repents, but it also applies more generally to the Pharisees’ self-righteousness, represented by the elder son.

Psalm 136. For his steadfast love endures forever. This repeated refrain indicates that this psalm was likely sung responsively or antiphonally.

Summary

God eagerly desires to forgive repentant sinners, and in fact, Christ specifically came to seek and to save those who are lost. In contrast to the self-righteous Pharisees, those who recognize their own sin and come to God in repentance receive a welcome reception into God’s arms.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do the parables of the lost sheep and coin reveal about God’s desire to save lost sinners?
  2. What does the parable of the lost son reveal about what is necessary in order to receive salvation?
  3. What does the illustration of the elder son reveal about the Pharisees?

Day 210: Parables about the Kingdom

Reading: Matthew 13:44-52; 25:1-46

Notes

Matthew 13: 44. Hidden. These two parables both teach that the Kingdom is hidden from most people, but those to whom it is revealed are willing to give up everything to possess it.

Verse 52. What is new and what is old. Jesus is saying that the disciples should not reject old truths just because he has given them new revelation; rather, they should understand the new revelation in light of the old, and the old in light of the new truth they have been given.

READ
Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 46: The Persecution of the Early Church and Spread of the Gospel

Chapter 25, Verse 15. Talents. A talent is a measure of weight, not a particular currency.

Verse 31. His Glorious Throne. This refers to Christ’s earthly reign, and the judgment in view here precedes that reign and involves those still alive at his coming.

Summary

The promised Kingdom of God is something hidden from those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, but to those who do believe, it is the greatest possible treasure. When Christ comes again to rule his Kingdom, he will separate those who believe from those who don’t. Those who believe will inherit the Kingdom, but those who do not will receive eternal punishment.

Discussion Questions

  1. How valuable is the Kingdom of God?
  2. Does God judge based on how much we have or how faithful we are with what he has given us?
  3. What determines who will inherit Christ’s Kingdom?
Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

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