Investigate: A five part interactive study.
Discover Jesus for yourself.
Section 3: Jesus: Teacher of principles and of parables.
In the last study, we looked at Jesus the healer. But people didn't come just to be healed by him; they also wanted to listen to him. Large crowds from all over the country would come to hear what he had to say. He talked about: God's Kingdom, prayer, wise and foolish lifestyles, love and forgiveness, and also himself.
Not everyone liked Jesus' teaching. He was outspoken against the religious leaders who were hypocrites. He had enemies who tried to trick him with questions, but he always managed to give wise answers. Even when the religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus, they found it hard because the crowds wanted to listen to his teaching, "not wanting to miss a single word" (Luke 19:48). In this study, we will discuss two of the best known parables (stories which teach biblical truth) that Jesus told.
A. The Good Samaritan
What would you say are the most important things in life?
Many people went to Jesus with their important questions. For one man, his concern focused on what would happen to him after his death. He asked Jesus how he could "receive eternal life." Jesus got the man to answer it himself, from the Scriptures (Luke 10:27).
Read Luke 10:25-28
- What did the man say were the two most important things in life? (10:27)
- What do you think of the man's answers?
Jesus was then asked, "Who is my neighbor?" He answered by telling the story of the good Samaritan.
Read Luke 10:29-37
- What did the priest and Levite do that was wrong? (10:31,32)
- Did they disobey the principle "I never do anyone any harm"?
- Did they break the Law?
- Due to their religious and cultural upbringing, Jews looked upon the Samaritans (Gentiles) with contempt. How did the Samaritan in this parable show love?
- How would you answer the question, "Who is my neighbor?"
Jesus acts as a good Samaritan towards us. He sees our needs and failures, and instead of passing by, he reaches out to help.
B. The lost son
This is a simple story, yet one of the greatest in the world of literature. It takes the problems that often arise between people to illustrate how men and women react toward God.
Read Luke 15:11-32
- What do you think the younger son was thinking as he left home? (15:12,13)
- Where did he go? (15:13)
- How do you think the father felt when his son had gone?
- Things went fine for a while. What happened when things got bad? (15:14-16)
- The son changed his mind. Why? (15:17)
- How did he show that his attitude had changed? (15:18-20)
- What was the father's attitude? (15:20, 22-24)
- In what ways do you think this story is a picture of our relationship with God?
This story shows us that God still offers His love in spite of our willful selfishness. It also shows us that we can come back to God, no matter how far we have wandered from Him.
TO THINK ABOUT
What do you identify with more: the attitude of the son as he left home or his attitude when he decided to return?
Can you believe that God would accept you as completely as the father accepted his son?
You may be at a point in your life where you know that you need God, and want to return to Him. Perhaps you would like to pray:
Dear Father, I admit I have wandered away from You, and I have sinned against You. I have not loved You or other people as I should. I realize that my sin deserves the death sentence and hell. I want to come back to You now, just as the lost son came back to his father. Please forgive me for all of my sins. Come into my life, so that I can be transformed into the person You want me to be and spend eternity in Heaven with You, God. Amen.
Did you pray this prayer:YES