Luke Chapter 18: Advent

Luke 18 begins with a parable about persistent prayer. Jesus followed that parable with another one to challenge those who were overconfident in their own righteousness. Jesus used this to instruct about what is required for one to be made right in God’s eyes. After that, Luke shows us how Jesus loved being around little children and tied a connection to a life of faith. Before Jesus predicts His death again, we get Luke’s account of the exchange between Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler. At the heart of this encounter is God’s offer of salvation and how everything is possible with God. Chapter 18 concludes with another miracle showing God’s mercy. This encounter also draws a very important connection between Jesus and the Messiah as one who would come in the lineage of King David. Take note that it is a blind man who made this statement, meaning he “saw” something in Jesus that even the disciples missed.

As you read, pay attention to what Jesus wants us to know about following Him. From the little children to those who put their trust in wealth, Jesus wants you to live by faith and not just sight.

You can read today’s chapter by clicking here.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Why does Jesus want us to be persistent in prayer? Why would persistence be necessary?
  2. What do you think Jesus’ audience thought about the two characters in His parable about the tax collector and the Pharisee? Remember that tax collectors were hated, and the Pharisees were seen as the religious experts of the day. Who better represented what Jesus wants from His followers?
  3. What did the Pharisees think about the parents bringing their children to Jesus? Why would they try to stop them? What did this communicate to the parents? The children? The Pharisees?
  4. Jesus’ encounter with the Rich Young Ruler exhibits some irony; what is it? What is Jesus trying to convey?
  5. Jesus does not ask everyone to sell what they have and give to the poor before following Him. Still, we see from previous teachings (particularly from chapter 16) that Jesus wants us to use our resources to point people to Him. Why would Jesus ask the young man to sell everything and give it away before following Him?
  6. What do you have in your life that in reality has you? What gets in the way of your total surrender to the Lord?
  7. Why did the disciples again misunderstand Jesus’ prediction of His death? We see Jesus be very specific about what was to happen to Him in Jerusalem. Why do you think the disciples were unable to make sense of what Jesus was telling them?
  8. What was the blind man able to see in Jesus without the gift of sight that the disciples could not see with it?
  9. What did the beggar do after receiving his sight? What happened as a result?

Prayer:  Dear Lord, how often do I see and hear without understanding? Forgive me. Help me to live with faith as my primary sense so I can make sense of the things that seemingly don’t make sense. I know I want my life to glorify you, so I must be willing to release the things that I glorify apart from you. It feels scary and impossible, so I call upon you for whom all things are possible. I ask this in the power and with help of your Holy Spirit. Amen.