Joanna and Susanna: Out of Their Own Pockets (Luke 8.1-3)

These questions are intended for your personal devotions and/or your small group or Sunday School class.  I pray you find them beneficial!  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please email me directly at mbarnes@discoverthejoy.com.  Thanks!

~Pastor Matt

  1. What advantages and disadvantages came with Jesus traveling from one place to another in his ministry? Why do you think he might have made this choice?  As followers of Jesus today, should we be influenced by Jesus’ choice to move about?
  2. Jesus proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God. What is the “good news”?  Now think about people who you know where you work, live, and play.  In their line of thinking, what’s good news to them?  Can we address both as followers of Jesus?  How?
  3. Jesus’ ministry included proclaiming the good news (v. 1) but also setting people held captive by demons free and healing the sick (v.2). In other words, Jesus cared about people’s spiritual wellbeing and their physical wellbeing also.  Why do you think it is so tempting for us to only focus on one of these or the other?  What’s so hard about doing them at the same time?
  4. Who was Herod? What do you imagine Chouza’s job as manager of his household included?  Would Joanna have had any status within society as the wife of this important man?  Why do you think Luke would include all of these details here?
  5. Mary, Joanna, Susanna, and many other women helped support (literally, “serve”) Jesus’ ministry out of their own means. What can we learn from them?  How can we serve Jesus’ continued ministry today?

Takeaway: How are we sacrificially serving the ministry of Jesus today?  What is one way we all can do so more this week?

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Mary Magdalene: He Knows My Name (John 20.1-2, 11-18)

Friends,

Here are the Questions for Reflection that I’ve prepared for this week.  Feel free to use them in your personal devotionals or in your small groups and Sunday School classes.

  1. How would you describe Mary Magdalene’s emotions in verses 1-2 and 11-13? Is the way that she felt typical for someone in her position? Why or why not?
  2. Why do you think that Mary did not recognize Jesus in verse 14? What was preventing her from seeing him for who he really is? Is there anything that prevents us from recognizing Jesus in the world today?  How might we see him more clearly?
  3. What changes in v.16 that allows Mary to recognize Jesus? Read John 10.3-4. Does this passage in John 10 help us understand why Mary might have recognized Jesus?
  4. Does Jesus call out to us using our names today? Where might we hear his voice calling us? How do we differentiate his voice from other voices, including our own voices?
  5. How would you describe the change in Mary Magdalene from the beginning of this passage to verse 18? How might we become as excited as Mary to obey Jesus in telling others the good news that we have seen the Lord?

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly!  My email address is mbarnes@discovertherjoy.com.

Thanks!

Pastor Matt