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Bible Studies

Matthew, Mark and Luke
Lesson 13
Teachings on Humility and Forgiveness

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Reading assignment for this lesson: Matthew 5:13, 17:24-27, 18:6-35, Mark 9:33-50, Luke 9:46-50, 14:34-35, 15:1-10, 17:1-4

Jesus continues teaching in the region of Galilee, but the disputes with the Pharisees and other religious leaders appear to have quieted now. Jesus teaches about humility, religious tolerance, sin, church discipline and forgiveness. Jesus' parables of the Lost Sheep and Unmerciful Servant are included in this lesson.

1. All Jewish men were expected to pay an annual temple tax equivalent to about two days wages.
a) Why did Jesus think He did not owe the temple tax?
b) How does this story demonstrate Jesus' humility?
c) How does this story demonstrate Jesus' divinity? (See Matthew 17:24-27.)

2. At this point in time, the disciples still thought Jesus would set up an earthly kingdom to restore Israel's glory. They argued about which of them would be greatest in that kingdom.
a) According to Jesus, what are the qualities of someone who is actually greatest in the kingdom of God? (See Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-37, Luke 9:46-48.)
b) Do you strive for those qualities?

3. What attitude should we take toward Christians of different denominations or beliefs? (See Mark 9:38-41, Luke 9:49-50, 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, Philippians 1:15-18, Galatians 3:27-28)

4. It would be a horrible death to have a millstone tied around one's neck and be drowned in the sea. But Jesus said an even worse eternal fate awaits people who tempt others into sin. (See Matthew 18:6-7, Mark 9:42, Luke 17:1-2.)
a) What organizations, businesses or individuals can you think of that lead people astray or tempt them to sin?
b) Do you have any past transgressions of this type that need to be forgiven? What do you plan to do about it?

5. Is self-mutilation a cure for sin? Why? (See Matthew 18:8-9, Mark 9:43-48.)

6. a) What do the Parable of the Lost Sheep and Parable of the Lost Coin (Matthew 18:10-14, Luke 15:1-10) tell about God's attitude toward sinners?
b) What do these two parables tell about the attitude we should take toward sinners? (See Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:37, John 8:7, Romans 2:1, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.)

7. Jesus recognized the need for discipline within the Church, but focused on bringing an offender back into the good graces of church members. Excommunication should be reserved as a last resort. What are the four steps of church discipline outlined by Jesus? (See Matthew 18:15-20, Luke 17:3.)

8. Questions 8 - 12 refer to Jesus' Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:23-35). How did the king in the parable respond to the servant who owed him a very large sum of money?

9. How did that servant respond to his fellow servant who owed him a rather small amount of money?

10. How did the king respond to the hard-heartedness of his servant?

11. Who does the king in the parable represent? (See Matthew 18:34-35.)

12. What is the lesson of the parable? (See Matthew 6:14-15, 18:21-22, Mark 11:25, Ephesians 4:32.)

13. Is there anyone you hold a grudge against or have not forgiven? What do you plan to do about it?

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