The Essential Jesus – Week 5 Readings & Questions

Attached you will find the list of readings for the fifth week of our Essential Jesus sermon series — Some Parables of Jesus. We’ve got some pretty famous ones, including both the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Sons. Others are less well known, but still some good ones — one of my personal favorites is the Rich Fool. (The readings come with some questions to help you process what you’ve read.)

Remember, we will discuss the themes for each week’s readings in the sermon on the Sunday following our “homework.” That means we’ll tackle the attached readings next Sunday (February 14.) And then on the following Wednesday, our 6:30 zoom bible study will go into more detail and address any questions you may have. This Wednesday’s study (Wed, Feb 10) will look at the readings about Jesus’ sermons, which we talked about in today’s sermon.

Essential Jesus Readings – Week 5
February 14 – Some Parables of Jesus

  1.  Have Mercy! Luke 10:25-37

How would you summarize the point of this well-known parable? In this global community, what do you think it means to be a “neighbor”? Who is your neighbor?

  1. Rich Toward God: Luke 12:13-21

What positive and negative admonitions does Jesus give here? What do you think it means to be “rich toward God”? Would you say you are (or are becoming so)?

  1. Happy Meal: Luke 14:1-24

What keeps people you know from wanting to be part of the Kingdom of God? What excuses do they often give? How do you think that makes God feel?

  1. Sinners Welcome! Luke 15:1-32

What do you think it means to be “lost”? What do these parables tell you about the heart of God? To what extent do you share that heart?

  1. Uncommon Prayer: Luke 18:1-14

What keys to effective praying does Jesus offer here? Do you believe it’s really true that “prayer changes things”? What would you like your prayers to change?

Reflection Questions About These Readings:

  1. What examples of showing mercy have you seen or experienced lately? Some people think that showing mercy is a sign of weakness. Do you agree? Why or why not.
  2. What is your philosophy about money and possessions? It is really possible to be wealthy but not “possessed by your possessions”?
  3. How could you use the resources God has entrusted to you for maximum return according to God’s priorities?
  4. Was there ever a time in your life when you felt lost and away from God? What did it feel like? What happened – did you sort of make your way back, or did God find you? Or a little of both?
  5. How are you like the widow when you pray? How are you like the Pharisee? How are you like the tax collector?


  1. Every Wednesday night, we have zoom bible study to look at the passages discussed in last Sunday’s sermon. This week we’ll discuss Week 4 readings about Jesus’ sermons.
  2. Additional information and links to other resources is on our Cross of Glory website. Check it out at

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