t e a c h i n g
m a t e r i a l
PL E M
SA © Daniel Ralph, 2012
Published by Noteworthy. http://www.noteworthy.org.uk
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. Original design and page formatting- Megan Raby Revised Cover, Design and page formatting - Andrew Morton
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission.
teaching material Daniel Ralph
Edited by Andrew Morton
WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
‘two ways to be lost’
‘the deeper need’
‘how we enter the kingdom’ ‘where’s our treasure?’
‘stop and think’
‘gospel motivated forgiveness’
gospel encounters week
‘two ways to be
Open in prayer
• AIMS & OBJECTIVES • • • •
To show that a life lived apart from God is lost To show how sin is seen in our attitudes To show the gracious love and mercy of the Father To show how repentance is key to returning to the Father
1 - That there will be rejoicing in heaven 2 - Selfish, wasteful, repentant, humbled 3 - Hurt, proud, hungry 4 - Forgiving, patient, gracious, merciful 5 - How the Father rejoices over a sinner who comes to Him.
gospel encounters Group Study and discussion - Luke 15 vs 1 - 32 TAKE NOTICE
THE LOST SHEEP
In verse 3 Jesus tells us that this is really only one parable and when we look at whom Jesus is addressing in verse 1 and 2, these are the people who we will see in the parable.
Jesus tells us here that the emphasis is not to be on a sheep which has just wondered off, but rather on the shepherd that loses the sheep. The reason He tells this part of the parable with the shepherd going off to find the one when the other ninety-nine are safe, doesn’t make that much sense when we understand the danger involved in finding the lost and leaving the ninety-nine. But Jesus here wants us to see how God does not ignore the value of the individual.
How do we respond to God when we know He has come looking for us?
THE LOST COIN:
Unlike the sheep which was lost away from home, we now have this description of a coin which is lost at home; we will come to see in the rest of this parable with the two brothers and the Father that one brother is lost away from home while another is lost at home. At the end of the story of the lost sheep and now the lost coin we see how much rejoicing there is over those who repent. Jesus is telling us already what to expect in the rest of this parable. THE YOUNGER BROTHER:
The younger brother wants what the father has without the father; as this is seen in his remark(v12) “...Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me...” For this son to ask for his share of the inheritance before his father has even passed away is the greatest possible insult a son could give to a father. To put it another way the son is saying ‘I wish you were dead, but I can’t wait for that so I want what you have now; and I want it without you’.
gospel encounters Q.
In what way have we wanted the blessings of God, rather than God Himself?
THE FAR COUNTRY:
This son goes to the far country because he isn’t going to remain in an area and spend his money where he can’t enjoy it. Because it is far easier to go to the far country where nobody knows you and live recklessly, than remain in the area you grew up in and have the people you know, and who know you, look down on you for what you have done. THE WAY DOWN AND THE WAY UP:
With the combination of the far country , reckless living, famine and a job that doesn’t pay well enough to even eat; and an employer who wouldn’t give him a thing, a realisation of his Father’s goodness soon dawns on him (v17). So in his moment of realisation he acknowledges his sin against heaven and his father.
What circumstances have you encountered that make you recognise your own sin?
What type of father would respond in this way? This would have been the response of all those listening. A father that is looking for the son who disgraced him, who ran because he felt compassion and embraced and kissed his son after all that he did; what type of father is this? Jesus here is showing us a running and rejoicing father which exemplifies God the Father’s attitude towards sinners who repent. Everything that the father gives his son is seen as an extravagant demonstration of unexpected love and the son is brought back into the home and relationship with the father at no cost to himself. THE ELDER BROTHER
Here is a son who does not understand his father and has no affection for his brother, having heard that his brother has come home, he becomes angry with how his father has received him back, and he uses his brothers forgiven past as a weapon against his father. He answers his father in vs29-30 by implying to his father that if he was a good father he would only reward good behaviour rather than giving the best to someone who has been wasteful. V31 says that everything that the father has belongs to the elder son, though he hasn’t come into the full inheritance of it yet. So the elder brother sees the younger brother receiving what is rightfully his, even though all is given of the father.
gospel encounters How the Cross changes us: Isaiah 53 v 6
Whether we see ourselves as the older brother or the younger brother, we have all like sheep gone astray, we may have done it recklessly or by obeying God for the wrong reasons; whatever the direction that we have gone in, it is our own way and not God’s. But as we see here in Isaiah, God gives His Son and has caused all the iniquity of ourselves to fall on Him. God’s solution is that through the cross He gives His only begotten Son, who upon the cross becomes separated from the Father (“My God, my God why have you forsaken me.” Matthew 27v46), so that we may no longer be separated.
This whole parable shows us the love of the father despite the attitude and actions of His sons. One son is able to recognise his attitude and actions while the other is not, and while the father forgives the younger son, the elder uses his younger brothers past as a weapon against his father. The sin the younger committed was against God and his father, not his brother, and therefore the elder brother’s attitude is one that wants to bar his younger brother from any future blessings. This is a parable that finishes without us even knowing what would happen next, but does finish with the elder having to contemplate the final words of the father.
gospel encounters WEEK 1 ‘two ways to be lost’
WEEK 4 WEEK 5 WEEK 6 WEEK 7
‘the deeper need’ ‘how we enter the kingdom’ ‘where’s our treasure?’ ‘stop and think’
‘gospel motivated forgiveness’
home study questions
gosp group study and discussion
examining the cross how the cross changes us