Luke Reading (#20)

Take a few minutes to catch up and pray that God would bless you through the reading of His word.

Read Luke 7:18-35

[7:18] The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, [19] calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” [20] And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” [21] In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. [22] And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. [23] And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

[24] When John's messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? [25] What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings' courts. [26] What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. [27] This is he of whom it is written,

    “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
        who will prepare your way before you.’
[28] I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” [29] (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, [30] but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

[31] “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? [32] They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,

    “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
        we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
[33] For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ [34] The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ [35] Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”


  • Look at verses 18-23:
    • What question does John have for Jesus (v. 19-20)?
    • What did Jesus do in response to the question (v. 21)?
    • What message did Jesus send back to John (v. 22)?
    • What is Jesus’ conclusion about these matters (v. 23)? 
  • Look at verses 24-28:
    • What question does Jesus repeatedly ask the crowd (v. 24-26)? 
      • What possible answers does he suggest?
      • Why answer does he settle on in v. 26?
    • Who is John, according to v. 27?
    • What does Jesus say about John’s greatness in v. 28? 
    • What does he say about the relative greatness of the least person in the kingdom of God? 
  • Look at verses 29-35:
    • How did the people and tax collectors respond to what Jesus said (v. 29)? Why?
    • How did the Pharisees and lawyers respond (v. 30)? Why? 
    • To what does Jesus compare “the people of this generation” (v. 31-32)?
    • What explanation does Jesus give in v. 33-34?
    • What is Jesus’ conclusion in v. 35? 


  • When John asks whether or not Jesus is “the one who is to come”, what is he asking? Why is it shocking that John would have these questions?
  • In order to make sense of this passage, a little background would be helpful. Expectations in those days were that when the Messiah would come, he would restore the throne of Israel, bring prosperity to the Jewish people, and bring judgment on “sinners” and “the nations”. 
    • In v. 22, Jesus hits highlights a bunch of things that he was doing that fulfilled the OT prophecies about the Messiah. But he wasn’t bringing judgment of punishment on the enemies of the Jews. He was blessing tax collectors and healing Gentiles.
    • Why would that upset John so much? What was Jesus telling us about the purpose of his coming?
  • What is Jesus saying in v. 28?
    • What does it mean to be “in the kingdom of heaven”? 
    • Is John “in the kingdom of heaven”?
    • If John is so great, how could the least person in the kingdom of heaven be greater than him? What does that tell us about being part of the kingdom of heaven?
  • Who is Jesus talking about in v. 31-34? Everyone? The Pharisees and lawyers? Tax collectors?
    • The little illustration that Jesus uses in v. 32 doesn’t really resonate with our culture. But the gist of it seems to be “some people are never happy!”. How does that describe the inconsistent way that people criticized Jesus and John?
    • What does v. 35 mean?
  • Look through these verses.
    • How are John’s doubts about Jesus different from the Pharisees’ rejection of him?
    • What does this passage tell us about why people don’t believe in Jesus? 


  • Are there ways that Jesus hasn’t been exactly what you’ve expected? Maybe he hasn’t directed your life in the way you thought. How does this passage help you to think through those things?
  • What does it mean that you are one of those “in the kingdom of God”? How do you have privileges and experiences that are greater than John the Baptist’s? Do you live like that is true?

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