Study Questions – Parables #3

Joseph Scarfone   -  

The Lost Sheep

Matthew 18:12-14 & Luke 15:1-7

INTRODUCTION:  Jesus described his earthly mission in terms of seeking out the lost (Luke 19:10). In this verse, Jesus specifically refers to himself as the “Son of Man.” This is a title that reaches back to Daniel 7 and is absolutely pregnant with messianic implications. With that title, Jesus is not second-guessing or downplaying who he is, what he came to do, or the authority he has to do it. He is boldly claiming to be the messiah who was long promised to come and bring redemption with him. The parable of the lost sheep further dives into this seeking mission of Jesus. The one who is bestowed with all divine authority finds you and me so valuable that even in our lostness, he seeks us out. The kicker is that we chose to be lost, we invited it, and we are totally unable to find our way back. Knowing that and having experienced our rejection, God still desires to find us and bring us back into the fold of his family. How truly blessed is that truth? Matthew and Luke will focus on two different lost figures. When we take their accounts together, we get to see the expansive heart of God for all lost people. And what we will see is that God rejoices over what was lost but now is found.


GETTING STARTED – As you begin your group time, talk about a time that you found something that was lost and your experience of finding it. What was it? What value did it hold, and why? What feelings did you experience upon finding it?


IN THE WORD –   Let’s dig back into the passage. It is important to strengthen our muscles in reading God’s Word. On Sunday, we walked through the passage in the sermon. Hopefully, that helped you to see the landmarks of the passage with fresh eyes. Now, with your group, go back through it and see what God is saying to you specifically.

First, before you read the passage, take a moment to ask God’s Spirit to quiet your mind and heart and to illuminate the text to you. Second, read the passage aloud to the group. Then, follow the simple method below. (O.P.A)

Observe: Make 8-10 observations from the passage. Pay close attention to observe and note repeated words and phrases, names, places, and themes.



Principles: From your list of observations, what patterns or big ideas do you see emerging? Can you distill it down into 2-4 big idea truths?



Apply: Moving from your list of principles, it is time to apply God’s Word. Remember, we believe that God’s Word is living and active and that it can change the way we live Monday- Friday. What is one tangible way to apply a truth from your list above?