- Verses 1-12. What is Christ’s teaching about divorce, and on what grounds does he base it?
- Verses 13-16. No doubt the disciples were trying to be thoughtful here by guarding their Lord from unnecessary intrusion; why then was Christ so who are seeking him?
- Verse 15. What does it mean to ‘receive the kingdom of God like a little child’, and why is this so essential Cf. Matt. 18:2-4.
- What basic wrong assumption was made by this man about salvation and eternal life? Cf. Eph. 2:9. Why did Jesus stress to him the demands of the Law? What did Jesus say it would be hard for those with riches to enter the kingdom? Cf. Luke 14:33. Are there any things in my life that are holding up spiritual progress?
- Why did Jesus say it would be hard for those with riches to enter the kingdom? Cf. Luke 14:33. Are there any things in my life that are holding up spiritual progress?
- What promises does Jesus make to those who are willing to renounce earthly wealth to follow him without reservation? What is meaning of the warning in verse 31? Cf. 1 Cor. 13.
Note. Verse 25. ‘There does not seem to be any good early evidence for the view that the phrase eye of a needle is a postern-gate in the city wall’. The phrase is better understood as a vivid description of sheer impossibility. (See Mark [TNTTC], p237).
- Verses 32-34, 45. What new aspects of his suffering does Jesus introduce here? Cf. 9:31. Why does he continue to stress this subject? Why were his disciples amazed and afraid, and what ought we to be?
- What motives do you think were behind the request of James and John, and what was the meaning of Christ’s reply to them? Do our own aims I life also reveal the same spiritual shallowness? What is the governing principle of true Christian greatness?
- What were the progressive steps which led Bartimaeus to the recovery of his sight? What can we learn from this incident that will both guide and encourage us when trying to help those who are spiritually blind to find their way to Christ?
Note. Verse 38. The terms ‘baptism’ and ‘cup’ are sometimes used symbolically in Scripture to denote suffering that has to be endured. In this passage they are forceful; reminders of the cost of following Christ. Cf. Luke 12:50; Mark 14:36.
- What truths concerning our Lord’s person are specially evident in the incidents described here? Jesus had previously refrained from publicly declaring his Messiahship. See 3:11, 12; 8:30; 9:9. Why then did he declare it now?
- Verses 1-6. When the two disciples were sent out by the Lord on this special errand, in what were they put to test, and how would they benefit from the experience? DO we display the same faith and boldness in our service for Christ?
- In what way does the fig tree described here typify Israel as a nation? What was Jesus seeking to teach his disciples from this acted parable? Before passing judgment, ought we not first to search our own hearts? Cf. Rom.11:20, 21. Note. Verse 13. ‘It was not the season for figs’. It is fair to presume that the Lord was looking for the small early ripe figs that ripen with the leaves before the main crop
- Verses 20-25. What does Jesus here are the essential conditions of effective prayer? What more does prayer involve apart from just asking for pleasant things we desire? Cf. Mark 14:35, 36.
- Why did Jesus refuse to answer the question put to him by the Jewish leaders? What was the point of his question to them? Was he trying to be evasive? What was the root of the trouble, and how is this a warning to us? Cf. Heb. 3:12.
Note. Verse 25. ‘Unless we forgive our fellow freely, it shows that we have no consciousness of the grace that we ourselves have received, and so it shows that we are expecting to be heard on our own merits’ (see Mark [TNTC], p. 256).