- Verses 1-14. Consider Christ’s teaching on children (see also 19:13-15). What are the qualities of the childlike spirit suggested in verses 3, 4? How should the Christian act towards children or those young in faith?
- What do verses 15-20 teach us about the way of reconciliation? What do we also learn here concerning the nature and the ministry of the local church, and concerning the practical value of acting together with others?
- How does the parable in verses 23-25 answer Peter’s question in verse 21? What other lessons does it teach?
- In Christ’s answers to the Pharisees and the disciples on the subject of marriage (19:1-12), what does he teach about the place and character of marriage, and what does he say about the celibate life?
- Verses 16-22. What do you find commendable in the young man in this incident?
Matthew 19:23 – 20:28
- Consider the teaching of Jesus on riches and possessions. With verses 23-26, cf. Luke 6:24; 8:14; 12:13-21. Compare Paul’s teaching in 1 Tim. 6:7, 10, 17. But note that Christ gladly received help from the rich (cf. Luke 8:2, 3).
- Is there a place for the concept of reward in Christian service? What do verses 27-30 teach about this?
- Verses 1-16. What is the main teaching of the parable of the laborers in the vineyard? What does it have to say about the legalistic spirit in Christian service?
- Verses 17-19 are the third prediction by Christ of his own passion. Cf. 16:21; 17:22, 23. What new details are added here? What do verses 22 and 25-28 reveal of the mind of Christ with regard to what was ahead?
- In what ways do verses 20-28 prove the disciples to be out of sympathy with Christ at this moment? What do both Christ’s teaching and his example demand of us?
Matthew 20:29 – 21:22
- What claims concerning the person and work of Jesus are here: 9a) publicly made by Jesus himself, and (b) openly acknowledged by others? What particularly provoked either rebuke and indignation, or prayer and acclamation? Can you keep silent?
- What was Christ condemnation in his cleansing of the temple (21:12, 13), and in his cursing of the fig tree (21:18, 19)? If he similarly came into our church or examined our lives, what would he see and say?