“The Seeking, Waiting Heart of God”
The religious leaders criticized Jesus because he welcomed and ate with sinners.
To eat with someone was a sign of acceptance and friendship.
Who is at your table?
Jesus tells three parables to explain God’s heart for those far from Him:
The Parable of the Lost Sheep teaches God’s heart is outwardly focused.
The Parable of the Lost Coin teaches God’s heart diligently seeks those who are lost.
The Parable of the Lost Son teaches God’s heart patiently waits for those who are lost.
As Jesus’ followers:
Our friendships should include those who are far from God.
Our posture toward them should hold in tension the idea of diligence and patience, seeking and waiting.
LifeGroup Questions: Applying the Teaching to Our Life
1. Describe a time when you lost something that was important to you. What efforts did you make to look for it? How was it found in the end?
2. Review the parables from Luke 15:1-24. Why do you think Jesus creates an unresolved tension between the active seeking of the first two parables, and the passive waiting of the third?
3. In the parable of the lost son, it is ultimately his loneliness and hunger that drive him back to his Father. What kinds of things do you think cause people to seek God today?
4. Reflect on your own experiences of evangelism. When do you think it is appropriate to sit back and wait, and when is it better to push a little harder?
5. What part of evangelism do you find most difficult? a. building relationships with the lost; b. verbalizing what and why you believe; c. accepting people whose lifestyles go against the Bible; d. asking people to trust Christ
6. What close friends do you have who are not Christians? Where do you need to be more active in efforts to help someone know Christ?
Core CHRISTlike Characteristic: Intentional Evangelism/Loving People