Passage: Luke 18
v1-8 - The opening section of chapter 18 is a continuation of the previous passage concerning when the Kingdom of God would finally come. Notice that although Jesus uses a parable to communicate our need to pray persistently, He also provides an explanation to the disciples of what the parable means. He doesn't do this when He tells parables to the crowds.
v9-17 - Here Jesus emphasizes the need for humility, both in how we pray and in order to have the right attitude, like humble children, to receive the Kingdom of God.
v18-30 - The overall theme of this chapter is the relationship between the King and His people. In the midst of this teaching, Jesus gets a repeat question. Back in chapter 10, a religious lawyer asked Jesus the exact same question that the ruler does in v18: 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' In the first exchange, Jesus used the parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate what it means to love our neighbors. Notice in this chapter how the ruler immediately contradicts himself. Immediately after being told by Jesus that only God is good, he claims to be good himself because he's followed the letter of the law. But even in making that claim to be good even though only God is good, the ruler breaks the first, third, fifth and ninth commandments. Anytime you ask the wrong question, you will likely come up with the wrong answer. Instead of asking 'what must I do,' the ruler should have asked Jesus how he could rely on Him for salvation.
v31-34 - Jesus reminds His disciples that they're headed for Jerusalem where He will be tortured and killed. Notice how although Jesus speaks quite plainly about this that the full meaning was hidden from the disciples (v34).
v35-43 - Jesus performs His last healing miracle here, and fittingly He once again restores sight to a blind man.
Old Testament Reference -
Proverbs 11:28 is short and easy to remember, but unfortunately the ruler who sought salvation from himself rather than Jesus had forgotten it. Make sure you don't:
Those who trust in their riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions.
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: In his conversations with two very different individuals in this chapter, Jesus had a different question for each one. What did Jesus ask the rich ruler (v9)? And what did He ask the blind beggar (v41)?
Certainly we don't take Jesus command to the ruler to sell all of his possessions and give to the poor as being literally applicable to everybody in every situation, otherwise none of us would have any possessions. How would you describe the more generalized meaning of Jesus' command that applies to all of us?
Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: A just judge who answers prayer quickly (v8)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to enable you to see Him and His will (v41)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: Persistently present your requests to God.