Study Guide - Welcome 4

Published: Friday, 04 March 2016

Introduction

On 14 February we commenced a series based on the Sunday Scriptures and sermons at ABC under the theme of ‘Welcome’.

Questions are provided each week and posted in ABC’s Friday Bulletin and on the ABC website. These resources are designed to be a format and stimulus for people wanting to study the passages in small study groups or to do individual study. Don’t feel you have to address all the questions in a group session. Begin by reading the Scripture passage slowly and meditatively, asking God to reveal important things for you to know and act upon.

You may want to read and/or listen to the sermon appropriate to the week as it is posted on the ABC web site. Links to the Sermon Podcasts and Sermon Scripts.

Study 4—The Welcoming God (6 March 2016)

Scriptures: Luke 15: 1-3; 11b-32

God and Grumblers Luke 15: 1-2

 - What does it say about the person of Jesus that tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him?
 - How do you understand the grumbling by religious leaders about Jesus’ welcome of sinners and his eating
    with them?
 - Where and about what do you see this grumbling taking place in our day and in our sphere?

Storytelling God Luke 15:3

‘So he told them this parable’. No, he told them three parables.

 - What is so powerful and effective about telling stories?
 - What are the distinctive angles and contributions of the story of…
    - The sheep? Luke 15: 3-7
    - The coins? Luke 15: 8-10
    - The sons? Luke 15: 11-32

The ‘Parable of the Prodigal Son’ Luke 15: 11-32

Read this familiar parable over in silence and mark (with a pen or a highlighter) the words that stand out for you anew. Share with your group the fresh thoughts about this story that you have highlighted.

 - With what other titles have you heard this parable called and what is the best name for you? Why?
 - About the main story (Luke 15: 11-32) with which character do you identify with at the moment and why?
   (Younger son, Father, Older son, the fatted calf)
 - What does this story tell us about the nature of God?
 - What does this story tell us about the welcome we are called to give?

Prayer

Ask God for the strength to cope with the grumbling and to extend the welcome that results in great joy.