What was one of your best birthday parties? Why?
Share a meaningful take-a-way you received from the weekend’s message.
1. What is the overall message of the video? Does it matter?
2. How does the video relate to our theme of having a heart for God’s house?
3. Have several group members read the following. What kind of people does Jesus spend his time with? Do you think that’s the same or different from church today?
Note: Tax collectors were hated, particularly if they were Jewish and collected the heavy taxes from their own people. It's less like today's IRS, and more like an oppressive situation with a loan shark.
Also, note that women were included in Luke 8. And Joanna, mentioned as wife of the Manager of Herod's household, would have been quite wealthy, part of the social elite. He also spent time with other believers, and the 12 disciples - a group of close friends.
4. Now read the following:
Matthew 15: 29-31
Luke 8:27-33, 35
What happens to the people who are around Jesus? What are some “demons” and “chains” that trap people today?
5. Read Luke 14:16-23. What kind of people did the man end up bringing to the party? In v. 23, what was his reason?
6. If that story happened today, how might we identify the people who came to the party? Thinking of the video we watched, what are some reasons today we might want to exclude people based on what we see?
CHECK THE MIRRORS
1. Do you spend much time with people who don’t know Jesus – what the Pharisees called “tax collectors and sinners?” If you do, what’s one thing you could do this week to start making a connection with someone? If you don’t, what could you do this week to intentionally expand your circle of friends?
2. How can your group pray for you in building these relationships?
3. Pray together for Eastside, and that people will find healing and freedom in Jesus.
[Optional Expanded Discussion]
1. Just prior to the parable about the big party, Jesus had another conversation with a Pharisee. Read Luke 14:1, 7-11. How does this set up the parable? How do we struggle with this teaching today in our job, ministries, leadership, and volunteer roles?
2. The longer we are believers, the fewer non-believers we seem to know. Discuss the positives and negatives of this dichotomy. Beyond making a connection to invite people to church, how could you come to spend meaningful time with them, as Jesus did?
Talk about ideas for ways to intentionally develop relationships with non-believers and check next week for status updates & encouragement.