Jesus was an incredible storyteller. Perhaps His most famous story is that of a son who, after squandering his father’s fortune, returned home hoping to end his days as a servant in his father’s house. The story doesn’t end the way the young man planned. The father’s response is so shocking that this story continues to be told two thousand years later. Join us for a three-part series exploring the story of the prodigal son, his prodigal father, and our Prodigal God.
All that lies between lost and found is God’s ___________ _____________ ___________
_____________ the prodigal.
Lectio Divina or “Divine Reading” is an ancient practice of scripture reading, prayer, and meditation. It involves the careful and repeated reading of one passage of scripture over many days as a way of immersing the reader in the text to understand what the Spirit is saying to the believer. For the next week, read Luke 15 every day using these five steps:
Step 1: Read the passage slowly and carefully.
Step 2: Pray over the text.
Step 3: Meditate, thinking deeply about the text.
Step 4: Contemplate the passage through the day.
Step 5: Take action by going and doing likewise.
When was the last time you were lost? How did you find your way?
When was the last time you lost something valuable? What did you do to try to find what you’d lost?
Check out these suggested reading list at https://bit.ly/AspireSMB
Prodigal God, by Timothy Keller
The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey
What’s So Amazing About Grace, by Philip Yancey
Small Group Questions
Use this outline for personal reflection, as a couples or family devotion, or with a small group.
HANGOUT [Warming Up to the Topic]
- Describe a time when you lost something of great value. To what lengths did you go to find the item? Was it ever found?
- Have you ever been lost? What happened?
HEAR [Listening to God through Scripture]
Today we will consider Jesus’ mission to “seek and save the lost” by comparing two encounters recorded for us in John 3 & 4. In the first, Jesus is approached by a religious person and in the second He approaches someone whom that same religious person would have considered by a sinner.
- Read John 3:1-15
- Who initiated this conversation? Was Nicodemus lost? Why or why not?
- Nicodemus doesn’t begin with a question, but a statement. What is it, and how does Jesus respond to it?
- What does Jesus seem to indicate is necessary for being found?
- Why does Jesus appear to be amazed that Nicodemus is a teacher (vs. 10-14)?
- Read Numbers 21:4-9. How does this passage help explain Jesus’ words in verse 15?
- Read Romans 10:10. What does Paul say is necessary to be saved (or found)?
- Read John 4:1-19
- Who initiated this conversation? What made this encounter so unusual?
- What are the differences between this woman and Nicodemus?
- Does Jesus approach them in the same way? If not, what’s the difference and why?
- Read Mark 2:16-17. How does this passage help you understand Jesus’ approach with Nicodemus versus His approach to the woman at the well?
- Read John 3:16-17
- What does God’s love teach us about the difference between the “lost” and “found”?
- Have you ever been lost and didn’t know it? Does a person need to know they are lost before they can be found?
- Based on these passages, what will you do this week to join Jesus in His mission to seek and save that which is lost?
HUDDLE [Making It Personal and Praying Together – in Huddles]
- When was the last time you engaged a lost person in a conversation about Jesus? Talk about it, invite accountability, and take time to pray.