September 10 – Galatians 1:1 – 4:31. What is the major issue that stirred Paul to write this letter to confront the Galatian church so directly? (You will notice that Paul skips the usual expression of thanksgiving at the beginning of a letter and the prayer for them. He is really upset as Gal. 1:6-10 and 3:1-5 reflect.) Who qualifies as descendants of Abraham? What is the purpose of the Law? How is one saved (justified)? What does Paul not want the Galatians to lose? You might say these first four chapters are highlighting “faith without works.” They are free from the Law.
September 12 – Galatians 5:1 – 6:18. In these two chapters Paul is striving to help the Galatians realize the “justification by faith apart from the works of the Law” means true freedom, a freedom that will be exercised by doing good works. How will “faith active in love” show itself? What does the flesh produce? What does the Holy Spirit produce?
As we begin reading the Gospel according to St. Luke, recognize that this is Volume I of the work we became familiar with as “The Acts of the Apostles.” It will help us see the compassionate Christ as the center of salvation history. It is a history which has universal scope and is meant to be preached to all nations.
September 12 – Luke 1:1 – 2:52. In these two familiar chapters, please look for signs that God is faithful as He moves history to its central point. Also note how God uses the lowly to accomplish HIs purposes: who was to be the mother of the Messiah? to whom was His birth announced? How do the three canticles (1:46-55; 67-78; and 2:29-32) underscore the faithfulness of God and how He reverses the usual order (from humility to exaltation)? Indeed “nothing is impossible with God.” (1:37)
September 13 – Luke 3:1 – 4:44. Luke locates the story that is to unfold not only in Jewish history (reference to the high priests and the tetrarchs) but also in world history with his references to the Roman emperor and his governor. What happens has significance for all people, as Jesus’ genealogy also attests. What is John the Baptist’s role? How does Jesus’ baptism highlight that He is “the mightier one”? How does His handling of the devil’s temptations reinforce the fact that He knows who He is? and His inaugural sermon in Nazareth? What do His preaching, healing miracles and exorcisms all show?
September 14 – Luke 5:1 – 7:50. How does the parable of the wineskins help one to understand how Jesus’ ministry impacts and changes one? Who is Jesus showing Himself to be in these chapters? How does His teaching in the “Sermon on the Plain” (6:17-49) really match His Messiahship? Jesus demonstrates His authority by healing a centurion’s servant without physically going there and raising a dead man with a word. The people exclaim, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” Since Jesus is truly what the crowd said, what should our response be? (See especially 7:18-50.)
September 15 – Luke 8:1 – 10:42. How does the parable of the seed and the soils illustrate the response Jesus receives? How does the admonition, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” fit this whole chapter? (See 8:18, 21, and note how Jesus’ word commands nature [8:24-25; vv. 29,31.]) What response is Jesus looking for? (8:25,48,50) Jesus declines to let the man from whom He had cast the demons accompany Him, for he was to proclaim all that God had done for him (8:39), a task He also gave the 12 (9:1-6) and the 72 (10:1-16). Who does Jesus reveal Himself to be in Luke 9? What are the signs of that and what does it call for from His followers? How do the story of the Good Samaritan and Jesus at Martha and Mary’s house really go together in explaining 10:27?
September 16 – Luke 11:1 – 13:35. What is Jesus teaching you about prayer in 11:1-13? As you look at the section 11:14-12:4 with its strong words of rebuke for the Pharisees and lawyers (“Woe to you” 6x) is there a way in which you can understand these harsh words as “words of God” which will “bless those who hear and keep them”? Summarize the encouragement Jesus provides His disciples for remaining true to God in 12:4-59. How does eternity cast a light of urgency on Jesus’ advice? (See also 13:1-9, 22-30.) How does Jesus’ defense of His healing a woman on the Sabbath (13:10-17) and His response to the Pharisees (13:31-35) show that Jesus is driven by His mission and not by popular opinion or concern for His safety? How can this quality of His encourage you?