5c Five

Restoration and Responsibility

In this week’s study we examine the last words and actions of Jesus before he enters Jerusalem for the final time. This is the close of Phase 5c. Like Zacchaeus, we would be blessed if in our desire to accept God’s grace through Christ and follow him we were ready to make amends and do well. Similarly we would do well to heed the warning in Jesus’ parable – choosing to honor his reign rather than rebel or resist.

Audio: Coming Soon

Section 127a | Salvation of Zacchaeus

Luke 19:1-10
He entered and was passing through Jericho.1 There was a man named Zacchaeus2. He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, and couldn’t because of the crowd, because he was short. He ran on ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” He hurried, came down, and received him joyfully. When they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “He has gone in to lodge with a man who is a sinner.”4 Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor. If I have wrongfully exacted anything of anyone, I restore four times as much.” Jesus said to him,“Today, salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Section 127b | Parable to Teach Responsibility while the Kingdom is Delayed

Jericho and on toward Jerusalem
Luke 19:11-28
11 As they5 heard these things, he went on and told a parable,6 because he was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that God’s Kingdom would be revealed immediately.7 12 He said therefore, “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.8 13 He called ten servants9 of his and gave them ten mina coins,10 and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.’11 14 But his citizens hated him,12 and sent an envoy after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to reign over us.’ 15 “When he had come back again, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by conducting business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina13 has made ten more minas.’ 17 “He said to him, ‘Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful with very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 “The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, Lord, has made five minas.’ 19 “So he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Another came, saying, ‘Lord, behold, your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief, 21 for I feared you, because you are an exacting man. You take up that which you didn’t lay down, and reap that which you didn’t sow.’ 22 “He said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant! You knew that I am an exacting man, taking up that which I didn’t lay down, and reaping that which I didn’t sow. 23 Then why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank, and at my coming, I might have earned interest on it?’ 24 He said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to him who has the ten minas.’ 25 “They said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘For I tell you that to everyone who has, will more be given14; but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away from him.15 27 But bring those enemies of mine who didn’t want me to reign over them here, and kill them before me.’ ” 28 Having said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

Group Dialog:

  1. Where do people in your community turn for help, change or transformation?
  2. How might the salvation Zacchaeus have surprised those who knew him and those who first heard the story?
  3. What hope does today’s story offer you and those you love?
  4. In your own life, how have you felt/experienced Jesus seeking or reaching out to you?
  5. What are some ways Jesus presence, teaching and love has changed you?
  6. Welcoming Zacchaeus as a disciple, Jesus pin-pointed the issue that would catapult his faith. Why is that important among the people you are discipling?
  7. What has been given to you and how are you putting that to use for the Kingdom of God?

Learning Objectives: Jesus Christ came to save sinners. His sacrifice onward in Jerusalem saved believers and disciples then and now.  No one is too small, insignificant, mighty, poor, or too great a sinner to be saved. Jesus calls us all to repent from our sins, revere his sacrifice, and honor him accepting his forgiveness of sins, to a life of service, and eternal life.


5c Five

Good Time of Day

Our study today is a lesson of honor, respect, faith and value. In today’s reading Jesus attends to the cries of a blind beggar from amidst the crowd.  Though he was on his final journey to Jerusalem, Jesus was happy to give him the time of day, recognize his faith, his need, and heal him immediately restoring his sense of value, love, freedom and dignity. Moreover, the story was shared to impress on the listeners that Jesus is the Son of David, the Christ.

Audio: Coming soon

Section 126 | Healing of Blind Bartimaeus and his Companion

[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Matthew 20:29-34
29 As they went out from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 


30 Behold, two blind men1 sitting by the road,

when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!” 31 The multitude rebuked them, telling them that they should be quiet, but they cried out even more, “Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!” 32 Jesus stood still, and called them, and asked,



“What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They told him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” 34 Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him.2[/one_third]
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Mark 10:46-52
46 They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus,3 a blind beggar, was sitting by the road.


47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, “Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, “You son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 Jesus stood still, and said, “Call him.” They called the blind man, saying to him, “Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!” 50 He, casting away his cloak,4 sprang up, and came to Jesus. 51 Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “Rabboni, that I may see again.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go your way. Your faith has made you well.”Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus on the way.5[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Luke 18:35-43
35 As he came near Jericho,6 


a certain blind man sat by the road, begging. 36 Hearing a multitude going by, he asked what this meant. 37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 He cried out, “Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him, that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “You son of David, have mercy on me!”

40 Standing still, Jesus commanded him to be brought to him. When he had come near, he asked him, 


41  “What do you want me to do?” He said, “Lord, that I may see again.” 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight. Your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God. All the people, when they saw it, praised God.[/one_third]

Group Dialog:


5c Five

Come Labor On

As we study this parable about grace its important to see it in the context of our lesson last week in §124a when Jesus first answered the rich young rulers question about how he might live eternally, and Peter’s question about their own future life, role1 and reward. It is in that context that Jesus offers his disciples another parable – a stern lesson. This is a suitable lesson for today as so many struggle to understand the justice and grace of God, and the responsibility of every disciple.

Audio: coming soon

Section 124b | Parable of the Landowner’s Sovereignty

Matthew 20:1-16
1 “For the Kingdom of Heaven2  is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning3 to hire laborers for his vineyard.4 2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day5, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 He went out about the third hour,6 and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.7 4 He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour,8 and did likewise. 6 About the eleventh hour9 he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’ 7 “They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’“He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’ 8 When evening10 had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’11 9 “When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. 10 When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius.12 11 When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household, 12 saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong.13 Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. 15 Isn’t it lawful 14 for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil,15 because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”16¯17

Group Dialog:

  1. What was the circumstances around the time that you first began to follow Jesus? Was it always a part of your life like the rich young ruler, as a child? Was it late in life after many sins and other priorities?
  2. How have you labored for Christ?
  3. What is it that you feel you deserve from God? What have you received? What will you receive?
  4. In what ways have you seen envy, strife and ego within the church?  What is its effect?
  5. To what specific ministry are you called? How are you living out that vocation recently?

Media: Come Labor On, Hymn, (lyrics, St. Thomas Choir, ritesong)


5c Five

Who can be saved?

It can be disturbing to see the holiness of God. In today’s lesson we learn of a man who was wealthy, young, religious, and moral yet he knew something was missing in his life.  His habits may have resulted in his success but he knew that his soul was vulnerable and had not reached its potential. In our study today we will examine the condition of our own soul, our mindset and, and devotion.

Audio: Coming soon

Section 124a | Riches and the Kingdom

[one_third last=”no”]Matthew 19:16-30
16 Behold, one came to him1  and said, “Good teacher,2 what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” 17 He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”3  18 He said to him, “Which ones?” Jesus said,4  “ ‘You shall not murder.’ ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ‘You shall not steal.’ ‘You shall not offer false testimony.’19 ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ And, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 The young man said to him, “All these things I have observed from my youth.5 What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”6  22 But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions.7 23 Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty.8


24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye,9  than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.” 25 When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”10  27 Then Peter answered, “Behold, we have left everything, and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration11 when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.12  29 Everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive13 one hundred times, and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many will be last who are first; and first who are last.14[/one_third]
[one_third last=”no”]Mark 10:17-31
17 As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one—God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not give false testimony,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and mother.’”


20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth.”15 21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.”16 22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions. 23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, “How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into God’s Kingdom!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches17 to enter into God’s Kingdom! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.” 26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, “Then who can be saved?”18 27 Jesus, looking at them, said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God.”19  28 Peter began to tell him, “Behold, we have left all,20 and have followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, 30 but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time: houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life.

31 But many who are first will be last; and the last first.”[/one_third]

[one_third last=”yes”]Luke 18:18-30
18 A certain ruler asked him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do21 to inherit22 eternal life?”

19 Jesus asked him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good, except one: God. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Don’t commit adultery,’ ‘Don’t murder,’ ‘Don’t steal,’ ‘Don’t give false testimony,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”



21 He said, “I have observed all these things from my youth up.” 22 When Jesus heard these things, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have, and distribute it to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. Come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was very rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he became very sad, said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into God’s Kingdom!



25 For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

28 Peter said, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.”

29 He said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children, for God’s Kingdom’s sake,

30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the world to come, eternal life.”[/one_third]

Group Dialog:

  1. What are your talents, the attributes that an employer or others value?
  2. What has offered you the most satisfaction and joy in your life?
  3. Read Ps 139:23 and ask yourself if you feel anything lacking in life, your eternal purpose and value? What is it that keeps you from God? What is it that has taken the place of our first love (first commandment)?
  4. What action of others, with whatever amount of wealth and money they have, for the purposes and glory of God?
  5. What do you think God wants you to do with the amount of money and assets you have acquired thus far?
  6. On an AB scale (merit/godliness and grace) where would you put the fulcrum that determines one’s salvation? If you rely on the blood of Christ (grace), what do you really lack to have eternal life?
  7. What’s our attitude toward the power of grace and who can be saved?

Study notes:

5c Five

Jesus and the Children

Interesting that after 3 years of traveling with Jesus that it would be the disciples themselves who would try to prevent the children of the village from approaching Jesus. Sometimes its difficult for us to shift gears, He had just finished teaching them more about love, marriage, divorce and forgiveness.  Though Jesus is still intent on reaching Jerusalem he’s not about to pass up an opportunity to pass reach out to the children and impart a blessing to each one.

Audio: Coming Soon

 Section 123 | Example of Little Children in Relation to the Kingdom

[one_third last=”no”]Matthew 19:13-15
13 Then little children were brought to him, that he should lay his hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Allow the little children, and don’t forbid them to come to me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these.”


15 He laid his hands on them, and departed from there.[/one_third]
[one_third last=”no”]Mark 10:13-16
13 They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them,1 but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation,2 and said to them, “Allow the little children to come to me! Don’t forbid them, for God’s Kingdom belongs to such as these.3 15 Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive God’s Kingdom like a little child,4 he will in no way enter into it.”

16 He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes”]Luke 18:15-17
15 They were also bringing their babies to him, that he might touch them. But when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 Jesus summoned them, saying, “Allow the little children to come to me, and don’t hinder them, for God’s Kingdom belongs to such as these. 17 Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive God’s Kingdom like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.”[/one_third]

Group Dialog:

  1. The Jewish tradition of blessing children on the Sabbath probably
  2. What blessing We can’t physically present our children to Jesus, so we how can present Jesus to our children?
  3. What age can discipleship begin?
  4. Why do you think the disciples not catch the error of their error of their priorities, motivation and actions when trying to prevent the children from coming to Jesus? – Have you ever found yourself in such a predicament? What did you do when you realized you were out of step with the Spirit?
  5. What should be the role and responsibility of spiritual leaders?
  6. What can you learn from the instances in which Jesus rebuked his disciples?
  7. What is it to come to Jesus as a little child?
  8. How might Jesus’ blessing of these children further the multiplication of disciples?

Learning Objectives: keeping in step with the spirit, passing the mantle, blessings, discipleship of children and all people,


5c Five

Persevering in Prayer

Today’s lesson is designed to embolden Jesus’ disciples and each of us as we face trials, delays and persecution. Jesus affirms the action and attitudes of prayer and humility as essentials to victory, justice and peace. God doesn’t require us to clean ourselves up or pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps before we come to him, but instead to come humbly to him, reliant on his grace, confident of his faithfulness not our own. This section helps us to see God’s grace, his sense of justice, goodness and love.

Audio: Podcast coming soon

Section 121 | Two Parables on Prayer: The Persistent Widow, and the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

In Samaria
Luke 18:1-14
1 He also spoke a parable to them that they must always pray, and not give up,1   2 saying, “There was a judge2 in a certain city who didn’t fear God, and didn’t respect man.3 3 A widow was in that city, and she often came to him, saying, ‘Defend me from my adversary!’4 4 He wouldn’t for a while, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God, nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will defend her, or else she will wear me out by her continual coming.’ ” 6 The Lord said,“Listen to what the unrighteous judge says. 7 Won’t God avenge5 his chosen ones who are crying out to him day and night, and yet he exercises patience with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”6 9 He spoke also this parable to certain people7 who were convinced of their own righteousness,8 and who despised all others. 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men, extortionists, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”9 

Group Dialog:

  • What is the process of prayer? The essentials of prayer?
  • What have you found to be the value and effect of prayer?
  • Invite the group to describe or define: Humility and Perfection.
  • How do the things we do well and the things we do poorly make us feel? Proud and foolish; happy and sad; pleased and disappointed.
  • How do you think God would feel about the attitude of the Pharisee in this parable? Proud because he is following the law or saddened because of his pride and lack of love for others?
  • How has your perspective of God’s character influenced your actions and attitude to Him and others?
  • Have you imagined God would never love you (or someone you love) because of something you did in the past? How does today’s second parable challenge your thinking?
  • What in your thinking is holding you back from coming to God and asking him to change your heart (mind, actions) and let you live a life that honors God’s grace at work in you?


5c Five

Instructions Provided

Jesus still committed to his mission is most certainly aware of the crucifixion he will endure – and also the victory he will secure.  While He taught the disciples that we can not know in advance the day He’ll return, He also gave clear instructions as to what we should be doing until that day and the Holy Spirit to empower every believer in that endeavor. Don’t let fear drive our away from today’s message but let the love of Christ and for others compel you to faithfully fulfill your calling in step with the spirit and others.

Podcast: Coming soon

Section 120b | Instructions regarding the Son of Man’s Coming

Traveling through Samaria and Galilee
Luke 17:22-37
22 He said to the disciples,1  “The days will come,2 when you will desire to see one of the days3 of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 They will tell you, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘Look, there!’ Don’t go away, nor follow after them,4 24 for as the lightning, when it flashes out of the one part under the sky, shines to the other part under the sky; so will the Son of Man be in his day.5   25 But first, he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 As it was in the days of Noah, even so will it be also in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, even as it was in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from the sky, and destroyed them all.6 30 It will be the same way in the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 In that day, he who will be on the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not go down to take them away. Let him who is in the field likewise not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife!7 33 Whoever seeks to save his life loses it, but whoever loses his life preserves it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two people in one bed. The one will be taken, and the other will be left. 35 There will be two grinding grain together. One will be taken, and the other will be left.” 36 “Two will be in the field: the one taken, and the other left.”8 37 They, answering, asked him, “Where, Lord?”9 He said to them, “Where the body is, there will the vultures also be gathered together.”10

Group Dialog:

  1. What question was asked of Jesus in vs 20? How is this teaching similar/different from His answer to the Pharisee?
  2. To what natural phenomena, timing, and past events in Biblical history does Jesus’ compare His Second Coming?
  3. What happened in Noah’s day? Lot’s day?
  4. How good are you at holding on to hope? Are character and promises enough? Share a time when you held out in hope and rejoiced after a long period of waiting, or even suffering.

Study Notes:

5c Five

Where Are The Other Nine?

You’d think that gratitude would come naturally to most, especially to those who have no hope or other recourse, but the human heart and mind is at times fickle.  In today’s study we will consider our own readiness for gratitude and what preoccupies our mind.

Podcast: Coming soon

Section 120a | Healing of ten Lepers while passing through Samaria and Galilee

Traveling through Samaria and Galilee
Luke 17:11-21
11 As he was on his way to Jerusalem,1 he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered into a certain village,2 ten men who were lepers3 met him, who stood at a distance.4 13 They lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”5  14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” As they went, they were cleansed.6  15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying God7 with a loud voice. 16 He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet,8 giving him thanks; and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus answered, “Weren’t the ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there none found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”9 19 Then he said to him, “Get up, and go your way. Your faith has healed you.”10 20 Being asked by the Pharisees when God’s Kingdom would come, he answered them, “God’s Kingdom doesn’t come with observation; 21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, God’s Kingdom is within you.”11 

Group Dialog:

  1. Refer to Harmony’s Map to locate Perea, Jerusalem and the boarder of Galilee and Samaria. Use the menu to navigate to section 120a and the likely region where this took place. Why is it significant that Jesus took such a route “on his way to Jerusalem”?
  2. What illnesses and other social ills cause people in your community to be cast away and kept at a distance?
  3. How are we to treat people who are outcasts and foreigners (Luke 14:13; Galatians 2:10; James 2:5-6)?
  4. Did Jesus always require that those he healed have faith? (See: Jesus the Healer and His Miracles)
  5. Why didn’t the other 9 return? We can’t know. Perhaps the better question is why have you not returned to show God gratitude, worship and service after you’ve experienced his mercy?
  6. How does gratitude transform your own disposition and subsequent actions?
  7. To whom do you owe your gratitude? What have you done to express that?
  8. For what reasons do you feel you owe your gratitude and worship of God?
  9. When have felt the need to take a ‘step of faith’ and then experienced a miracle or blessing of God?

Media: “Where are the other nine?” song by Geoff Moore

Study Notes:


Life out of Death

In today’s study we see different perspectives and reactions to Jesus who had raised Lazarus from the dead. Though many believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the religious leaders decided that he must die. Meanwhile John saw the handiwork of God as we too can catch a glimpse of the most wonderful fact, “He who was dead is alive again forevermore”. We must remember that despite our free will and even our sin, there is still the will and work of God.

Audio: Coming soon

Map: Bethany and Ephraim

Section 119 | Decision of the Sanhedrin to put Jesus to Death

John 11:45-54
45 Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in him.1 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees2 and told them the things which Jesus had done.3 47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council,4 and said, “What are we doing?5 For this man does many signs.6 48 If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him,7 and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”8  49 But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year,9 said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.”10 51 Now he didn’t say this of himself,11 but being high priest that year, he prophesied12 that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.13 53 So from that day forward they took counsel14 that they might put him to death.15  54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim.16He stayed there with his disciples.17  

Group Dialog:

  1. Should witnessing/experiencing a miracle ‘transform your faith’ or simply ‘add to your testimony’?
  2. Can you summarize your faith in a testimony under 5 minutes?
  3. What is the meaning of life and death for those in light of the Christ? or How has Christ forever changed the purpose of our own mortality and the meaning of life?
  4. How does the will of God play a role in our own lives, and our choices? How do you seek to know the will of God in your life?
  5. How does your pride and desires feed your unbelief and undermine your readiness to be a servant of God?
  6. What major events in your own life would you consider the direct result of you choosing to obey the will and Word of God and what events and circumstances would you  say are the result of your own doing, ignorance or rebellion?  In general which turn out better for you? How have they each played a role in who you are today, your status, situation, and values?
  7. How has Christ become your light, your hope, your source of life?
  8. What lessons can we learn from Jesus’ dealings with his own popularity and his mission?
  9. How have you seen God handiwork in your own life at the hands of those who are against him?

Study Notes:

5c Five

For Love and Life

It was the winter of A.D.30 – just months before Jesus’ triumphal entry and his own crucifixion that we read the story of when Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. The story is one of devotion and destiny – not only Jesus’ but also of Lazarus, his sisters, and the disciples – especially Thomas.

Audio: Coming soon

Section 118a | Sickness and Death of Lazarus

John 11:1-16
1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus1 from Bethany,2 of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha. 2 It was that Mary who had anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair,3 whose brother, Lazarus, was sick. 3 The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, “Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick.”4 4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God’s Son may be glorified by it.”5  5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When therefore he heard that he was sick, he stayed two days in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let’s go into Judea again.” 8 The disciples asked him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”6 9 Jesus answered,“Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world.7 10 But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn’t in him.” 11 He said these things, and after that, he said to them, “Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep.”12 The disciples therefore said, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep. 14 So Jesus said to them plainly then,“Lazarus is dead. 15 I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let’s go to him.” 16 Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go also, that we may die with him.”8 

Section 118b | Lazarus Raised from the Dead

John 11:17-44
17 So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days9 already. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away.10 19 Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them11 concerning their brother. 20 Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house.12 21 Therefore Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. 22 Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”13 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies.14  26 Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe15 that you are the Christ, God’s Son, he who comes into the world.”16 28 When she had said this, she went away and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, “The Teacher is here and is calling you.” 29 When she heard this, she arose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was in the place where Martha met him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep17 there.” 32 Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” 33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept.18 36 The Jews therefore said, “See how much affection he had for him!” 37 Some of them said, “Couldn’t this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?”20 43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Free him, and let him go.” 45 Therefore, many21 of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in Him.22

Group dialog:

  1. What are the disciples reactions to going back to Judea? (v. 8, 16)
  2. Jesus waited two more days (vs 6) before leaving to help or comfort his friends. What can we learn about God’s love, timing and intentions from this story?
  3. What did Jesus mean by: “I am the Resurrection and the Life”?
  4. How was Jesus glorified (more) by waiting until Lazarus had died?
  5. What do Martha and Mary’s reactions and dialog with Jesus show about their knowledge of Jesus’ power, their relationship with him and their faith in Him?
  6. How do imagine the conversation and mood of those gathered changed after Lazarus came out of the tomb?
  7. Think of a time that a friend let you down, and yet remained your friend… What choices did you make to sustain the friendship and what blessings have came about since?
  8. John 12:9-11 tells a bit more of Lazarus’ story. What would you do if you were granted an extension on life here?
  9. How is faith formed? In your own experience do you gain more by others stories or by your own trials and troubles?

Study Notes: