Apr. 10 – (Luke 21:1-9) Jesus warns in verse 8 about deceptions in which people will use Jesus’ name or announce that the time has come.  What could those deceptions look like today?

                DID YOU KNOW?  The temple mentioned in the Gospels was the second one.  The Babylonians destroyed the first temple, which Solomon had built.  The Jews rebuilt it and Herod the Great fully restored it later.  Shortly after Jesus’ prophecy (21:6), this temple was destroyed, in A.D. 70.

Apr. 11 – (Luke 21:10-24) Verses 20-24 fit with everything Luke has reported Jesus as saying up to this point.  A time of crisis is coming, in which the failure of Israel in general and particularly Jerusalem to repent and follow the kingdom-way advocated by Jesus would have its disastrous result.

                Jesus doesn’t name (v.20) the foreign power whose armies will surround Jerusalem.  His listeners would have assumed he was talking about Rome, and later readers would recognize the fall of the temple in A.D. 70 at the hands of Roman forces as the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecies here.  In verses 20-24, what instructions does Jesus give to his followers for when this event occurs?

                Why does Jesus suggest that they had no duty to stay in Jerusalem, that it was not worth defending?

Apr. 12 – (Luke 21:25-38) What do we need to stay away from, so that we are aware of the coming of the Lord (34-36)?  There are three things stated here.  It’s that last one that most Christians overlook (like gossip). It needs to get discarded. “God please help us have your view of what is important in this earthly life!”

Apr. 13 – (Luke 22:1-13) I don’t think Judas ever truly believed in Jesus, and Jesus was aware of this (Jn. 6:64, 70).  Apparently, none of His other disciples realized it.  Judas’s pattern of dishonest behavior was evidence of his unbelief (Jn. 12:6).  Now with the consent of Judas’s own sinful heart, “Satan entered into Judas”, prompting him to go to the chief priests with a plot against Jesus (Luke 22:4; Jn. 13:27).  The questions I’m asking myself is: “What wrongful thought processes lessen my trust/belief in Jesus which leads to sin?  Selah

Apr. 14 – (Luke 22:14-34) Since his childhood Jesus had witnessed the sacrificing of the lamb in Jerusalem’s temple, knowing that would someday be himself.  This meal was, first and foremost, a Passover meal (Luke 22:1).  Hundreds of years before, when the powers of evil that were enslaving God’s people were at their worst, God acted through Moses and Aaron to judge Egypt and save Israel.  The sign and means of both judgment and rescue was the Passover: the angel of death struck down the firstborn of all Egypt, but spared Israel as the firstborn of God, “passing over” their houses because of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts (Exodus 12). What does this tell us about the meaning of the meal Jesus ate with his disciples and of Jesus’ death?

                In verses 31-34, Jesus is speaking to Peter about what he will soon do.   It’s interesting here that when Peter says he’ll go to prison or death for Jesus, that Jesus foretells Peter that he’ll deny Jesus, but doesn’t foretell Peter that he will die because of his stand for Jesus.  Could this again be that Jesus only reveals to us what we can handle then?  Hmmm.

Apr. 15 – (Luke 22:35-53) In verses 39-40, Jesus tells them to pray that they wouldn’t enter into temptation.  Prior to Jesus’ coming what was Israeli prayer like? Remember, they didn’t have an individual “priestly” connection to God or the Holy Spirit residing in them yet.  Jesus was showing them a whole different way to relate to God.  Can you imagine what that process was like?

                What guidelines for praying can you find in Jesus’ example and words (vv.39-46)?  Choose one that is not part of your prayer life and purpose to include it every day for a month (that’s about how long it takes to form a habit).

                Let’s back up a little.  Jesus tells His disciples in verses 36-38 to buy a sword if they don’t have one.  Now in verses 49-51, its several hours later and one of the disciples uses his sword to cut off an ear of one who is trying to arrest Jesus.  Does this show you that the disciples just didn’t get what Jesus was saying about swords?

Apr. 16 – (Luke 22:54-71) Think about Peter’s involvement as he tries to stay near the “arrested” Jesus. Loyalty has taken Peter this far, but as the night wears on, tiredness has sapped his resolve.  It’s a familiar problem which strikes often, for us, in the middle of life or of some great project.  We begin with excitement but our intentions or energy drain away.  In what ways, do you relate to Peter’s attempts and struggles to be faithful? In what kind of situation are you tempted to avoid identification with Jesus? Notice Jesus has already taken care of Peter’s struggles.  All Peter had to do is acknowledge or take responsibility for them… but I’m getting ahead of myself!

                What are the similarities and differences with Peter and Judas?  Hmmm