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17: Oppositions and Admonitions (11:14-54)
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17: Oppositions and Admonitions (11:14-54)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

This passage is the most extended recording so far of oppositions to Jesus and His works. The occasion for the first part of the passage was Jesus’ driving out a demon (14-36). The second part took place while Jesus dined at a Pharisee’s house (37-54). In each case, Jesus confronted those who accused Him or questioned His conduct and revealed the inner motives of their hearts. Through His strong admonitions, Jesus challenged them and made them come face to face with their own callousness and wickedness.

B.     Key Verse

            “But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (11:20).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.      Beelzebub (11:15): Satan, the ruler of demons.

2.      The queen of the South (11:31): The queen of Sheba (cf. 1Kgs 10:1-10).

3.      The washing before meals (11:38) refers to the ceremonial cleansing mandated by the tradition of the elders (Mk 7:3)

4.      Graves which are not seen (11:44): The Jews whitewashed their tombs so that no one would accidentally touch them and be defiled (cf. Nu 19:16; Mt 23:27).

5.      From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah (11:51): Abel was the first Old Testament martyr (Gen 4:8). Zacharias was the last martyr (2 Chron. 24:20-22) in the Hebrew Bible, where Chronicles appears last in the list of books.

II.    Observation

A.     Outline







A.     Key Words/Phrases

III. Segment Analysis

A.     11:14-28

1. What were the three different responses to Jesus’ healing of the mute?

2. According to the Lord, why was it absurd to claim that He cast out demons by Beelzebub?

3. What do the Lord’s words in 20 teach us about the significance of Jesus’ miraculous power?

4. What is the point of the analogy in 21-23?

5a. What does the illustration in 24-26 refer to? How does it relate to 23? (cf. Mt 12:43-45).

5b. How can we avoid the fate of the demon-possessed man in the illustration? (See also 27-28)

B.     11:29-32

6. Why did the people ask for a sign? Why did Jesus not comply with their demand? (cf. 16)

7a. How was Jonah a sign?

7b. How was the Son of Man likewise a sign?

8. Explain why the queen of the South and the Ninevites will condemn the evil generation.

C.     11:33-36

9. What do the light and the eye refer to? How can we make our eye good?

10. How does this paragraph relate to 29-32?

D.     11:37-54

11. What does the Lord teach about true cleanliness in 39-41?

12a. What do the actions of the Pharisees, as described in 42-43, tell us about them?

12b. In what ways do we sometimes act like the Pharisees?

13a. What do the unseen graves refer to (44) ?

13b. How could our hypocrisy “defile” those around us the way unseen graves defiled those who walked over them?

14a. What might have motivated the people to build the tombs of the prophets?

14b. Why would the blood of all the prophets be required of that generation?

15. Explain the charge in the sixth woe (52).

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