Guests: Darold Bigger and Pam Cress
Biblical References: Luke 15:4-7; Luke 15:11-32; Luke 16:19-31; Luke 18:35-43; Luke 19:1-10
The lesson this week explores several well-known parables of Jesus in Luke 15 and 16, as well as Jesus’ interactions with a blind man and a rich tax collector. Each one of these deserves a full lesson. Unfortunately, we will have to skim over much!
The Lost Sheep, Coin and Son of Luke 15
- To whom are these three parables addressed? What difference does this audience make?
- In Luke 15:4, who does Jesus suggest is the shepherd? Whose fault is it that there is a lost sheep? Is this even important to note?
- What are the ways in which these three parables are similar? In what ways are they different?
- The parable of the lost (or “prodigal”) son has been called the “gospel in story.” What are the key truths that are taught by this amazing parable? Where should our focus lie? On the wayward son? The elder brother? The waiting father?
The Rich Man and Lazarus of Luke 16
- This parable is sometimes understood to be a description of what happens when someone dies. Do you agree with this approach? Why or why not?
- Why would Jesus use a story that isn’t literally true? Can a truth be taught from a fable?
- What is the main lesson Jesus is trying to communicate through this parable?
Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar in Luke 18
- When the blind beggar calls out to him for mercy, Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” Why would Jesus ask this question? Wasn’t the answer obvious? Are there some blind and sick people who do not want to be healed?
- Luke tells us that the healed man “followed Jesus” (18:43). Where was Jesus going at the time (vs 31-33 of this same chapter)? What would the man soon see?
Jesus Meets with Zacchaeus in Luke 19
- I believe this story is commonly misunderstood as a time when Zacchaeus repents. Instead, I believe the text paints Zacchaeus as an already reformed man who is still labeled as a sinner by his community. Look again at the account and see if you see any merit in this view!
- Jesus describes his mission in Luke 19:10. Many religions speak of the human search for the divine. Here, Jesus speaks of his initiative in saving the lost. Share the ways in which God has reached out to find you.