Friday, November 6, 2020 Matthew 24:1-14
- Optional reading: An overview of the second temple in Jerusalem https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Temple
- Why was Jesus unimpressed with the artful stonework of the temple complex (which had been under construction for forty-something years (John 2:20)?
- The disciples’ question to Jesus had two parts; are they to be understood as one question with two interrelated parts, or two separate questions?
- Based on some of Jesus’ prior teachings about ‘the end of the age’ (5:30; 7:22-23; 8:11-12; 11:24; 13:37-43, 49-50; 19:28-30), what sort of picture do you think Jesus’ disciples would have formed in their minds?
- What sorts of things would have to happen, according to Jesus, before the end of the age would come? To what degree can we assume that these things already happened within the lifetime of the twelve disciples?
Saturday, November 7, 2020 Matthew 24:15-44
- Optional reading: “What is the Abomination of Desolation?” https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/what-is-the-abomination-of-desolation/
- What in this passage seems to refer to events specific to the realm of Judea (including especially the city of Jerusalem)?
- What in this passage seems to be referring to the ultimate end of the age?
- How do you understand “this generation” in Matthew 24:34, the twelve disciples’ generation or the sum of generations from Jesus’ ascension to his return?
- What do you make of the fact that the Son does not know the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36)? In other words, does it undermine Christ’s eternal relationship with the Father to emphasize his full identification with his disciples’ (and the angels’) ignorance?
- If the same implications apply for those who are “taken away” by the flood and those who are to be “taken away” at the coming of the Son of Man, what does that imply about those who are left behind at the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:39-41)?
Sunday, November 8, 2020 Matthew 24:14
- What needs to be accomplished before the end of the age?
- To what degree do you think this has already been accomplished?
- How enthusiastic have you been to participate in this ongoing accomplishment?
- Discuss in conversational prayer with the Lord your involvement in Christ’s mission.
Monday, November 9, 2020 Matthew 24:45-25:13
- What is the main point of these two parables? To what degree do you think this main point satisfactorily answers the question originally posed by the disciples, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age” (24:2)?
- How important is it to understand the cultural background of these parables to get the point?
- How do these two parables balance between perspectives of the Lord’s arrival coming sooner than expected versus later than expected?
- How would you explain to someone the kinds of things they need to be doing to stay alert and prepared for the Lord’s return?
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 Matthew 25:14-30
- In what way is the Master’s fairness shown in this parable? Is there anything about the Master that strikes you as unfair?
- What is the essence of the reward given by the Master for gainful management his resources?
- Can you see any correlation between the one-talent manager’s beliefs about the Master and his chosen course of action (or, more accurately, non-action)?
- What kind of attitude toward or about the Master motivates effective investment of his resources?
- Based on this parable alone, what seems to be Jesus’ diagnosis of the fatal flaw that results in being rejected?
- If someone were to use this parable to assert that God favors free-market capitalism, how would you respond?
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 Matthew 25:31-46
- Does this description of the sheep and the goats read to you more like a parable of the kingdom or straightforward teaching of Jesus?
- What similarities and differences do you see between this teaching and Jesus’ earlier parables of the Weeds and Net (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50)?
- Since when has the kingdom been prepared (Matthew 25:34)? Why might this be significant?
- For whom specifically has the fire of hell been prepared (Matthew 25:41)? Why might this be significant?
- In what ways does this teaching of the sheep and goats comfort you, and/or discomfort you?
Thursday, November 12, 2020 Matthew 25:40
- With what term does the King describe his relationship to those who had hungered, thirsted, and been thrown into prison? What sort of people had Jesus previously described with the same terminology (Matthew 12:47-50)?
- What kind of treatment had Jesus previously told his disciples to expect as his representatives (Matthew 5:11-12; 10:17-25; 23:34-37)?
- How aware have you been that you have been representing Jesus himself (Matthew 10:40)?
- How aware have you been that whenever you deal with another person who might be one of Jesus’ brothers and sisters, you are dealing with him?