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25. THE LOST SHEEP (Luke 15:1-7)

  1. Think of possible reasons why publicans and other sinners had wandered beyond the reach of God's voice (verse 1).
    • Why do we sometimes want to wander beyond the reach of God's voice?
       
  2. What can a lost sheep do to help itself to be found - and what can it not do?
    • What can a sinner do so that Jesus would find him - and what can he not do?
    • What consolation is contained in this parable concerning the people you are worried about?
       
  3. Jesus compares the finding of a sheep to repentance (verse 7). What, therefore, is repentance according to this parable? (Keep to the text!)
     
  4. Where do you think we find these "respectable persons who don't need to repent" (verse 7)?
    • There is a verse in Isaiah that the Pharisees had read many times: "All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved..." (Is.53:6). Once more: who are these 99?
       
  5. Of which sins should the Pharisees have repented (verse 2)?
    • Why didn't the Pharisees realize that they were lost?
    • To which of these groups do you feel you belong: the lost or the found?
       
  6. In the parables of Jesus, the celebrations usually refer to eternal life in heaven. Why was the celebration only for the sheep that was lost and did not include the other 99 sheep (verse 6)?
     
  7. What does it mean in practice that nobody can get to heaven on his or her own two feet (verse 5)?
     
  8. Where can we nowadays meet the Jesus who welcomes sinners and even eats with them (verse 2)?
GLAD TIDINGS: John the Baptist compared Jesus to a sheep. He became the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John.1:29). Jesus as the Lamb was not saved from the wilderness - on the contrary, he was killed there. He was not carried home, but he was given all our sins to carry.

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