Essential Jesus - Online Bible Study #26

Peter Jensen

Archbishop Peter Jensen’s weekly online series on The Essential Jesus (the gospel of Luke). In each study the Archbishop will lead us through the book we intend on giving away to as many people as possible.

STEP 1: READING

Read Luke chapter 15, verses 1-32.

STEP 2: REFLECTION
The hopelessly wrong people gathered to Jesus. They were the spiritual no-hopers who hoped in him because they had no hope. Where else could they turn? But Jesus searches until he finds the one lost sheep, or the one lost coin. He will go to that extreme, and then rejoice over the one who is found. The newly found person turns away from the old life and is transformed, however painful repentance may be. Jesus did not leave sinners where they were, in their sins. They must come home like the lost son, to rejoin the family of the Father. The only one left out in the cold is the 'good' son, stuck fast in his self-righteousness. He has never left home, but he has never shared the Father's heart. Jesus' parable ends with the elder brother having to make a decision. He too needs to come home.

STEP 3: DISCUSSION
1 Which of the two brothers represents the real point of the parable? Who are we more likely to resemble?
2 People speak of an 'inclusive' Christianity in which all sorts of people may enter. Is this the sort of inclusion which Jesus portrays here?
3 Would this sort of teaching make some people angry? Why?
4 How often does food and drink come into this chapter? Why? What does this tell us about the nature of Christianity?

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Prepare for the next study by reading Luke chapter 16.