Note: In order to encourage reflection and personal meditation on the questions above please do not read this commentary until you have finished the Bible discussion questions above.
Luke 15 is one of the best-known chapters in the Bible.
Here Jesus was talking to a mixed bunch of people. Almost every kind of person was represented in the audience - salvation is available to everyone.
The Pharisees and teachers of the law who had muttered about the company Jesus was keeping (v2) would have been reprimanded by these parables. They could have seen themselves in the older brother (v28-31).
The ?sinners? listening would not have missed the compassion of God that these parables demonstrated.
Notice that in all the parables the people (man, woman, father) were all seeking what was lost (v4-5, 8-9, 21); and rejoiced when they found it (v7, 10).
This gives us a picture of the heart of God. He is seeking to restore us and actively rejoices when we are restored.
God values the individual. It is not ?what? we are or possess that makes us precious in God?s sight but ?who? we are. We are His creation made in His image.
God often lets us suffer the consequences of our wrong actions out of mercy. The consequences often drive us back to him. God?s mercy and grace can overcome the effects of sin in our life.
When we witness people ?coming to the faith? or ?restored to the faith? we can rejoice with them by thanking God and encouraging then with our own testimony. Treating them as fellow heirs of the kingdom by showing them love, fellowship and friendship would also be appropriate.
Sometimes we should go out of our way to make others feel comfortable - even if this means a bit of sacrifice on our part. You may not be in the mood to talk but a downhearted brother or sister may really need your comfort. Could you make the sacrifice to over rule your feelings for the sake of someone?s comfort?