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Bible Studies

Matthew, Mark and Luke
Lesson 14
The Greatest Commandment; the Good Samaritan

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Reading assignment for this lesson: Matthew 7:7-11, 8:18-22, 11:25-27, 13:16-17, 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-31, Luke 9:51-62, 10:17-42, 11:5-23

Jesus completed his ministry in Galilee and started making the long journey toward Jerusalem, His final destination. Along the way He continued to teach publicly and to prepare His disciples for the rejection, suffering and death that awaited Him in Jerusalem. Lessons 14 -18 follow the outline of Luke Chapters 9 - 18 and contain many of Jesus' sayings, teachings and parables that are found only in Luke. This lesson includes two of Jesus' most famous teachings: The Greatest Commandment and the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

1. How did Jesus' attitude toward the rejection in the Samaritan village differ from that of His disciples James and John? (See Luke 9:51-56.)

2. What were the costs and benefits of being a disciple of Jesus? (See Matthew 8:18-22, 10:37-39, Luke 9:57-62, 1 Kings 19:19-21, Mark 10:28-30.)

3. Why would Jesus want to hide the truth from the "wise and the intelligent" and reveal it to "infants?" (See Matthew 11:25-27, 18:2-4, Luke 10:21-22, 1 Corinthians 3:18-20, 1 Timothy 6:20-21.)

4. When a lawyer asked Jesus which was he greatest of the commandments, Jesus replied, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,' and 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-31, Luke 10:25-28).
a) What does it mean to love God with all your heart, soul and mind?
b) What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself? (See Exodus 20:1-7, Leviticus 19:18, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Psalms 130:1-2, Matthew 5:43-45, 7:21, Romans 13:8-10, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Galatians 5:13-15, 1 John 4:16-21.)

5. The Jews and Samaritans had been enemies for hundreds of years. The Jews of Jesus' society considered the Samaritans to be ceremonially unclean, socially outcast, religious heretics. In Jesus' Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37), a Jewish man had been beaten by robbers and left bleeding beside the road. Two Jewish religious leaders, who might have been expected to help the man, passed by but did nothing to help. Finally, a Samaritan man came by and took pity on the injured man, even though he was an enemy. He gave him water, patched up his wounds, put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn where he could rest and recover.

What group of people do you despise most? Conservatives?, Liberals?, Blacks?, Whites?, Asians?, Hispanics?, Communists?, Socialists?, Capitalists?, Homosexuals?, Foreigners?, Christians?, Muslims?, Jews?, Buddhists?, Hindus?, Catholics?, Protestants?, Atheists?, Pro-abortion activists?, Anti-abortion activists?, The rich?, The poor? Some other group? As you read the parable, substitute the name of that group for "Samaritan" in the parable, and you will see the impact the parable had on the lawyer who asked, "Who is my neighbor?"

a) Who is our "neighbor" according to this parable?
b) What is our duty to our neighbors?

6. In the story of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42), Mary sat and listened to Jesus while Martha was busy being a good hostess. This scene is unusual for first-century Palestine because learning from a rabbi was a privilege reserved for men; a woman would be taught only by her father or husband. Yet, Mary appears here in the role of a disciple of Jesus.
a) Why did Jesus reject Martha's seemingly reasonable request to have Mary help with household preparations for Jesus' visit?
b) What does this story say about Jesus' attitude toward women?

7. Jesus talks about prayer in Luke 11:1-13. What is the main lesson of the Parable of the Friend at Midnight in Luke 11:5-8? (See Luke 18:1-7.)

8. How is God's response to our prayers like a parent's response to a child's request? (See Matthew 7:7-11, Luke 11:9-13.)

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