This study focuses on three of the Lord’s teachings, two of which involved the use of parables. Although each took place in quite a different setting, the truths in these teachings all served as important lessons for the disciples.
Did You Know...?
1. Jerusalem to Jericho (10:30): A distance of 17 miles and a descent from about 2,500 feet above sea level to about 800 feet below seal level. The road ran through rocky, desert country, which provided places for robbers to waylay defenseless travelers.
2. Two denarii (10:35): Two day’s wages, which would keep a man up to two months in an inn. [ref]
3. A village (10:38): Bethany (cf. Jn 11:1), about two miles from Jerusalem.
- Parable of the Good Samaritan (10:25-37)
- Martha and Mary (10:38-42)
- Teachings on Prayer (11:1-13)
- What to pray for (11:1-4)
- Persistence in prayer (11:5-13)
According to the Lord, how can we inherit eternal life?Hide Answer
Obey the commandments, the sum of which is to love God wholeheartedly and to love our neighbors as ourselves (cf. Mt 19:16-17; 22:34-40; Mk 12:28-34; Lev 18:5). While this is God’s requirement for inheriting eternal life, it does not mean that we can be justified by our works. In fact, no one can be justified by keeping the law because all have sinned (Rom 3:19-20). While we must carry out God’s commandments, we are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10).
What is the intention of the lawyer’s question in 29?Hide Answer
The lawyer, thinking that he had observed God’s law perfectly and deserved eternal life, tried to justify himself. In response, the Lord gave the parable in order to correct such self justification.
Why do you think Jesus used a priest and a Levite as characters in the story?Hide Answer
The use of a priest and a Levite in the parable was most likely directed at the common misconception of the religious class of Jesus’ time who kept the details of the law but neglected the spirit of love behind God’s commandments (cf. Mt 12:7; 23:23).
In contrast, why did He use a Samaritan man to illustrate a good neighbor?Hide Answer
1. To humble the self-righteous Jews who despised the Samaritans as religiously impure. 2. To show that God looks at a person’s heart rather than his religious or social standing.
Describe the love of the Samaritan. What can you learn from Him about loving others?
How does this parable answer the lawyer’s question in 29 and correct his mentality? Compare the meaning of “neighbor” in 29 and 36.Hide Answer
The lawyer’s question, “And who is my neighbor?” indicates that he understood the command to love our neighbors in a passive sense. He thought that he needed to love only those who came to him for help. But Jesus corrected him by pointing out that he has to take the active role of being a good neighbor by initiating acts of mercy and compassion toward everyone who is in need.
What does Jesus’ definition of a good neighbor teach you about whom you should love?
How were Martha and Mary different?
What was wrong with Martha’s service? Have you been through the same experience in your service?Hide Answer
She was distracted (40), worried, and troubled (41). Consequently, she complained to the Lord and accused her sister.
What “good part” has Mary chosen? Apply this to your relationship with the Lord.Hide Answer
Sitting at Jesus’ feet and hearing His word. Learning and doing the Lord’s words takes priority even over zealous service.
Compare “many things” (41) and “one thing” (42). Why is that in worrying and being troubled about many things, Martha forgot about the one thing? What lesson can we gather from this?Hide Answer
Martha tried to take on too many tasks of service and lost sight of the one thing that was most important. As disciples, we need to regard learning and doing God’s word as of first importance. The Lord’s commendation of Mary, however, does not suggest that we should neglect our duties. Rather, it teaches us that it is better to hold on to the most important thing than to be upset by many things and overlook our priorities.
What led the disciple to ask the Lord to teach them to pray?Hide Answer
The Lord set a personal example by leading a life of prayer (1). This motivated the disciple’s desire to learn more about prayer.
What can you learn from the Lord’s prayer about a. Our relationship with God? b. God’s rightful place in our lives? c. Our daily bread? d. Forgiveness? e. Temptation and the evil one? f. Praying for all men (cf. 1Tim 2:1)?Hide Answer
a. He is our Father (cf. 13).
b. We need to honor God’s authority by
carrying out His will in our lives.
c. We should depend on God daily for our day-to-day needs, both material and spiritual.
d. 1. We need to ask forgiveness because we often fall short of God’s command. 2. Before we ask God for forgiveness, we need to first forgive everyone who has sinned against us (cf. Mt 18:21-35).
e. It is by God’s power, not our own strengths, that we can withstand trials and temptations (Lk 22:31-34; 1Cor 10:12-13; 2Tim 4:18; 1Pet 5:10).
f. As royal priests (1Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6; 5:10), we ought to offer petitions on behalf of the community of believers as well as all mankind.
What do you usually pray for? What can you learn from the Lord’s prayer about your priorities in prayer?Hide Answer
The Lord’s prayer exemplifies His teaching that we should seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Mt 6:33). God’s glory is always our first concern, and spiritual needs come before physical ones.
How is prayer like “asking,” “seeking,” and “knocking”? What attitude is involved?Hide Answer
Prayer involves humility, patience, and importunity.
How do verses 11-13 motivate our prayers? Do you have such motivation in your prayers?Hide Answer
God’s loving kindness, which greatly surpasses that of our earthly fathers, assures us that He would listen to our prayers and give us the best gifts (Rom 8:32).
What does the Lord teach about receiving the Holy Spirit?Hide Answer
1. Receiving the Holy Spirit involves asking in prayer. 2. The Holy Spirit is a precious gift that God wants to give us and that we should ask for earnestly.
Based on the Lord’s teachings on prayer, what makes an effective prayer?Hide Answer
Seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first. Persistence. Patience. Importunity.