A. Jesus Teaches and Is Confronted by Some Pharisees
Scripture: Luke 13:23-35
Notes: Perea is close to and accessible from Judea, but much safer for Jesus because Herod was not liable to manipulation by the Jewish leadership anxious to be rid of Jesus.
Note carefully the ploy of Jesus's enemies in Luke 13:31. They are trying to trick Jesus into returning to Judea where they can get the Roman authorities to move against Him. (Understand that it is because of the popularity which Jesus still enjoys with the common man - superficial to be sure, but wild-eyed nonetheless and thus crippling to Jesus's enemies - that His Jewish enemies cannot simply spirit Him away; they must get the Roman authorities involved, and they cannot do that in Perea.)
Jesus's answer to that ploy is remarkable. In the concluding lament, He claims that Jerusalem will not see Him until they welcome Him as Messiah. Understand the source and significance of that which Jesus says the city will cry out when they see Him: "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."
Jesus's prediction here is fulfilled some weeks later when He rides into the city of Jerusalem in His triumphal entry and is welcomed with the words He foretells here. When Jesus made this prophecy, it was almost unimaginable that it would come to pass; the men to whom He made the prediction were representatives of the most powerful body in Judea, and they were committed not to let it happen. The means Jesus employs to cause it to happen are fascinating; be careful to trace those means as the narrative moves toward the Passion Week.
B. Jesus Dines with a Pharisee on the Sabbath and Heals a Diseased Man
Scripture: Luke 14:1-24
Note the intent of the Pharisee in inviting Jesus to his home (Luke 14:1).
The two parables - a. the feast at which a guest is moved from a seat of honor and b. the man who gave a great banquet and the invited guests refused to come - are spoken in response to the attempt to trap Jesus.
C. Great Crowds Follow Jesus
Scripture: Luke 14:25-35
Questions/Observations: Understand the specific Old Testament ethic that Jesus is imposing upon His followers when He demands that they "hate" mother/father/brother/sister.
D. Parables of the Lost Sheep, Coin, and Prodigal Son
Scripture: Luke 15
Questions/Observations: Notice carefully what precipitated these parables: the Pharisees and scribes were offended because among the great crowds following Jesus were sinners and publicans.
E. Three Lessons on Stewardship
Scripture: Luke 16
Notes: The three lessons: 1) the parable of the unjust steward; 2) to the Pharisees, the rich man and Lazarus; and 3) to the disciples, the servant who is faithful has only done his duty.
Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).
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