Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Gospel of Luke: Chapter Two

Luke Chapter 2
2:1-14 – The Nativity of Jesus
2:15-20 – The Visit of the Shepherds
2:21 – The Circumcision of Jesus
2:22-38 – The Presentation in the Temple
2:39-40 – The Return to Nazareth
2:41-52 – The Finding in the Temple

Answer as many questions as you can. Write down other questions you might have, or interesting things you learned and read that are not covered in the questions.

Questions for Interpretation
1. Verse 4 – What does the name Bethlehem mean? Where else do we find Bethlehem mentioned in the Bible?

2. Verse 7 – What are the swaddling clothes a prefigurement for? What is significant about laying Jesus in a manger?

Interesting note: Nativity sets get it all wrong when they put Jesus in a stable. Jesus was in fact born in a cave, which would have been an extension of the inn or lodging house. There is now a church built over this very spot!

3. Verses 8-14 – Why does St. Luke make note about it being nighttime when Jesus was born? See John 1:1-5.

4. Verse 8 – Why do you think God chose to reveal the birth of Jesus to shepherds first? Can you think of other Biblical shepherds?

5. Verses 21-24 – Read Leviticus 12:1-8. What does their sacrifice say of their financial situation?

Interesting note: According to Numbers 18:16, the firstborn son belongs to God unless his parents pay a ransom price of five shekels. There is no mention of Joseph and Mary paying a ransom for Jesus, so St. Luke either omitted this detail, or Jesus always belonged to God, and this is foreshadowing of His eventual death.

6. Verse 34 – What does Simeon's prophecy of the "fall and rise of many in Israel" mean?

7. Verse 35 – What does "and you yourself a sword will pierce" mean?

8. Verse 46a – What is significant about the amount of time it took before they found Jesus in the Temple?

9. Verse 46b – What is significant about Jesus being "in the midst of the teachers?"

Questions for Reflection
1. Verse 11 – What do I have in mind when I acknowledge Jesus as Lord?
2. Verses 13-14 – How have I experienced God’s favor and peace?
3. Verses 15-16 – How quickly have I responded to God’s invitations and instructions?
4. Verses 17-19 – How often do I meditate on Scripture? On what God is doing for and through me?
5. Verses 21-23 – What is my idea of holiness? How am I striving to be holy?
6. Verse 24 – What example do Joseph and Mary set for me?
7. Verses 28-29 – What is the chief service God has assigned me?
8. Verse 30 – Where am I most in need of Jesus’ rescue?
9. Verses 31-33 – How have I grown in my understanding of Jesus? What about Him most amazes me?
10. Verses 49-51 – What about Jesus is most a mystery for me?
11. Verse 51a – Have I ever adjusted my behavior when I realized the grief I was causing others? What changes did I make?
12. Verse 51b – What do I imagine Mary’s thoughts and ponderings to be at this point in Jesus’ life?

The reflection questions were taken from Bringing the Gospel of Luke to Life by George Martin and used with permission from Our Sunday Visitor. For commentary and more reflection questions, purchase the book. It's great!

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