SMALL GROUP MATERIAL
KEY SCRIPTURE: Luke 14:12-24 and Philippians 2:3-8
MAIN POINT: Jesus calls you to be his best friend. To come know him. Do you?
- What is the best or most important invitation that you ever received?
- Have you ever experienced rejection by someone? What happened? How did you feel and how did you deal with rejection from that person?
- What could rejection say about that person’s opinion of you in comparison to themselves?
- If needed, re-read the parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14:12-24 then answer:
- People in this parable made excuses for declining the banquet. Do you think their reasons were valid? Why or why not?
- What do you think the banquet parable is really talking about? How is the banquet master? Who are the people rejecting the invitation? Who are the poor, crippled, etc?
- Have you ever made lame excuses for rejecting someone’s invite? Or has someone ever given you a lame excuse? What was it?
- Have you ever made excuses for not connecting with God? What sort of excuses do we make for not spending time with God?
- What is one thing you are going to do differently this year based on what you heard tonight or talked about tonight?
WHAT’S THE POINT?
Jesus came down to my level to invite me up to His. (Come know me)
MORE INFORMATION ON THE POINT
This talk is meant to have a few purposes:
- For those who haven’t started to follow Jesus and have a relationship with them, it is meant to wake them up to what they are missing and give them the opportunity to start that relationship.
- For those that already follow Jesus and have a relationship with them, it is meant to encourage them to continue saying “yes” to growing in relationship with Jesus and not take that amazing opportunity for granted.
- It is also meant to reveal or remind everyone of the great sacrifice Jesus has made to reach everyone (including me and you).
Luke 14:12-24 – This parable isn’t taught on a lot, at least in my (Joel’s) experience. It’s interesting to understand that in Jewish/Roman culture of this time these invitations that are talked about are kind of like second invitations. The guests had already confirmed they were saving the date and their rejection of the invite with lame excuses was kind a last minute change of plans. This kind of rejection from all of these prominent people would be a social faux pas towards the one holding the banquet and would probably be a straight up attack on their social status. A great place to read more about this is in Dr. Ralph Wilson’s commentary: http://www.jesuswalk.com/lessons/14_12-24.htm. What this passage tell us is that too often people, potentially ourselves included, reject the offer of Jesus to banquet with him and have relationship with him. With this text we could point to the end times banquet, heaven, and eternal life, but I also think these set of verses apply to the daily excuses we could make for not being in relationship with God and not having any time for him.
Philippians 2:3-8 – These verses are actually part of a song that may have been sung by the early church declares Jesus came down to earth and died a traitor’s death on the cross. Why? So that he could invite us and welcome us to come and know him. When we make up excuses for not connecting with Jesus, we are rejecting this humble offer.
Here are a few ideas for grabbing the attention of youth and pointing them towards the topic:
- Share a story of when someone either left you out of a group or rejected an invitation that you gave. Connect that feeling to the feeling found in the Luke passage.
- Share these Top 10 Rejection Texts at: https://youtu.be/FIx_wCpnyT0 for a laugh. Then talk about Luke passage and rejection of a great invitation.
WHY DO I CARE?
- Every day, I could be missing out on the greatest relationship I could be having with Jesus
- At times I can become numb to the story of Jesus’ sacrifice for me and it can become just a fairytale or fact in my mind with no impact
WHAT DO I DO?
- Start a relationship with Jesus
- Restart a relationship with Jesus
- Ask someone who seems to have a great relationship with Jesus what they are experiencing in that relationship