Archive for the ‘Good Shepherd’ tag
The text for this lesson is Luke 15.
- In our sin, we were lost from God and doomed to die. God, in His love, sought and found us and keeps us with Him forever.
- Law: Because of my sin, I am lost from God.
- Gospel: My heavenly Father continually seeks me through His Word and Sacraments, claims me as His own, and keeps me safe in faith.
- The relationship between shepherd and sheep is used frequently in Holy Scripture to describe the relationship between the Lord and His people. Sheep have a reputation for wandering.
According to Isaiah 53:5–7, in what way are we all like sheep? Why is “everyone turning to his own way” such an apt description of sin? How did God atone for the sins of the sheep?
- The emphasis on sinners returning to the Lord in today’s lesson fits perfectly with the primary theme of the season of Lent: repentance.
The verse that is sung before the Gospel reading during the season of Lent is Joel 2:13. According to Joel 2:12–13, what is repentance? Why can the repentant sinner confidently approach God, knowing that He will forgive?
- According to Luke 5:27–32, why did Jesus love to eat with tax collectors and sinners? Which group didn’t think they needed to eat with Him?
- Some background information can help us interpret the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:3–7). First, shepherding was a despised trade at the time. Shepherds were considered unclean, even sinners. Second, it was common for Palestinian shepherds to work together, so when one went off to look for a lost sheep, the other shepherds would keep watch.
Further, the open country served as a safe place for the sheep to graze, even when the shepherd had to leave for a time. Third, a lost sheep will, after a while, become despondent and lie down, completely helpless.
The shepherd has to lift the sheep upon his shoulders and bring it back to the flock. Based on the parable and the background information, answer the following questions:
a. Whom do the shepherd and lost sheep represent? Why?
b. What does the shepherd’s carrying of the lost sheep represent?
c. In what way is this parable a critique of the Pharisees?
- The parable of the prodigal (wasteful) son is one of the most beloved in Scripture, yet there are several details about its cultural background that can shed additional light on this story. We will go through the parable of the prodigal (wasteful) son in five sections: (a) 11–16, (b) 17–19, (c) 20–21, (d) 22–24, and (e) 25–32.
a. In Luke 15:11–16, whom does the prodigal son represent?
b. Read Luke 15:17–19. Do you think the son was truly repentant? How could you see yourself in the son’s shoes?
c. In Luke 15:20–21, we see the dramatic meeting of the father and the son. How does the father’s love resemble God’s love for us? According to Romans 2:4, how does repentance come about?
d. Read Luke 15:22–24. How does this part of the parable apply to us?
e. In Luke 15:25–32, we hear the sad story of the elder son’s lack of love for his father. Whom do you think this part of the parable was directed at? How does it apply to us?
- The parable of the lost coin, Luke 15:8–10, shares the same message as the parable of the lost sheep but with one significant difference: the person seeking the coin is a woman. Whom might she represent and why?
- Earlier, we discussed how important table fellowship was in Jesus’ day. We still can relate to this somewhat through our enjoyment of family meals and dinners with friends. But what is the most important table fellowship we share as Christians? Who is welcomed at His Table?
The text for this lesson is 1 Samuel 16:11; 17:32–35; Psalm 23.
- While David tended his flock, the Lord was David’s shepherd—protecting him, leading him, and providing for him.
- Law: Many jobs involve real danger, and though we are often unaware of it, Satan has the power to do us harm at any moment.
- Gospel: Our Good Shepherd walks with us even through the valley of the shadow of death, assuring us that no matter what evil we encounter, He will defend us into eternal life.
- Law: As we handle the tasks assigned to us, we may rely on ourselves and wrongly think we are the ones doing great things.
- Gospel: God accomplishes great things and honors us by using us.
The Lord delivered Israel out of Egyptian slavery in 1446 BC and led them into the Promised Land in 1406. After the deaths of Moses and Joshua, various judges exercised leadership in Israel, from about 1380–1050 BC. Israel, however, wanted a king; they foolishly rejected the Lord’s kingship over them (1 Samuel 8:1–9).
Saul reigned from 1050 until 1010. He wickedly disobeyed the Lord’s Word (1 Samuel 13:1–14; 15:23), and so the Lord rejected him and chose “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) to replace him. In about 1025 David was anointed to succeed Saul as king (1 Samuel 16:1–13) and took the throne in 1010.