Friday, November 13, 2020 Matthew 26:1-29
- When Jesus spoke of the imminent crucifixion of the Son of Man in the same breath as the Passover (26:2) do you think the intention was to suggest a meaningful connection between the two events or merely a coincidence of timing? If there is a meaningful connection, how would you explain it?
- Compare and contrast the various responses to Jesus: Caiaphas and the chief priests and elders; the woman who anointed Jesus; Judas who betrayed Jesus, and the twelve who had Passover with Jesus.
- What do their attitudes toward Jesus stir up in your own heart?
- Have a conversation with the Lord, asking him to share with you how he feels about your response to Him?
Saturday, November 14, 2020 Matthew 26:30-56
- What do you think Jesus means by “the cup” in his prayer to the Father, “If it is possible, let this cup be taken from me” (26:39, 42)?
- Do you see any progression or shift in thinking between Jesus first version of prayer, and second version (from, “if it is possible, let it pass” (26:39) to, “if it is not possible for it to be taken away unless I drink it” (36:42))?
- Why do you suppose Jesus could interpret the divine plan revealed in the Scriptures so much more clearly than everyone else?
- Do you think it will ever be possible for you to read the Old Testament Scriptures and, with clarity and ease, see God’s plan revealed there?
- When you consider Jesus prayer in the garden, how has it impacted your prayer life and decision making?
Sunday, November 15, 2020 Matthew 26:41
- If you had help someone who was not a Christian understand how to “watch and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation,” what would you do or say?
- Can you recall any prior experiences you have had of “the spirit is willing” but “the flesh is weak”? Are there patterns?
- How would you explain to an unbeliever the difference between “the flesh” and “the spirit”?
- Do you ever get sleepy when you try to “watch and pray”? Is it a pattern?
Monday, November 16, 2020 Matthew 26:57-27:10
- Why do you think Peter followed Jesus to the trial?
- What do you suppose Peter might have expected of Jesus after witnessing him in the temple through the prior week? Do you think Jesus’ silence and meekness before his accusers was unnerving to Peter?
- What titles did the High Priest want to catch Jesus owning up to? What title did Jesus own up to?
- Optional: view the Bible Project Son of Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6cWEcqxhlI&vl=en-US
- Why might it be difficult for a modern to understand the meaning of blasphemy in Jesus’ Jewish culture, and how powerfully their emotions could be stirred by the perception of blasphemy?
- How would you compare and contrast Peter and Judas, both in terms of how they failed their leader and how they coped with their own failure?
- Why do you suppose Peter wanted others to know this part of his story?
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 Matthew 27:11-61
- Do you think Pilate had any real choice other than to crucify Jesus? What do you suppose would have happened if Pilate had refused? How much “free will” did he possess?
- Do you think that after Pilate’s protest and washing of hands that God looked at him as “innocent of this man’s blood?”
- The exchange of Barabbas for Jesus: do you think it is [a] merely a historical fact; [b] an ironic twist, something like poetic justice, in the story line, but in a kingdom of heaven, last is first, kind of way; [c] a profoundly meaningful, theological illumination of the doctrine of the atonement.
- Can you see the resemblance between the temptations Jesus faced in the desert and the taunts he heard while hanging on the cross, “Come down from the cross if you are the Son of God!” (27:40)?
- Why do you suppose the centurion was able to see that Jesus was the Son of God? What data did he have to work from?
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 Matthew 27:62-28:20
- Why do you suppose the Pharisees and Saducees preemptively went to Pilate with a request based on the possibility that the disciples would be expecting Jesus rise again in three days? Where do you suppose they got their information?
- Is Matthew’s account about the guards at the tomb beneficial for assuring you of the historical reality of the resurrection?
- Why do you suppose that some disciples doubted when they saw Jesus alive again? Why do you suppose Matthew included that detail in his Gospel?
- In reading through this account today was there anything new you noticed that you had not before?
- How is your gratitude and appreciation for the Lord affected when you read about the suffering and death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus?
Thursday, November 19, 2020 Matthew 28:18-20
- What are the main imperatives or commands that Jesus gives his disciples?
- How long are they in effect for?
- Are they limited to any subgroup among the disciples?
- Jesus promised to be with his disciples to the end of the age: Do you think a person will feel closer to Jesus if they are actively involved in making disciples than someone who is not?
- What confuses you most about making disciples? Ask the Lord what he wants you to know about it.