Discussion Guide Lost from Others Part Two

Before We Get Started

For our discussion today, we will be using the sermon series discussion guides. If you would like to follow along you can access this discussion guide on the website at mosaicchurchaustin.com and then select “community group resources” in the menu options.

Prayer

Because the primary goal of our time together is to establish relationships and learn how to walk with one another in all that God has called us to be and do, we’d like to begin by praying for one another. So, does anyone have anything you’d like us to pray for or anything to share regarding how you’ve seen God moving in your life that we can celebrate together?

This Week’s Topic

Today, we continue our series titled Lost and Found, in which we study one of the central metaphors Jesus uses to talk about the human condition apart from God: lostness. From Genesis until now, the biblical story reveals that people are lost in four primary ways: lost from God, themselves, one another, and creation. In this new series, we will learn to follow the path home by discovering all the ways Jesus has come to find us.

Today’s Topic

Lost from Others Part Two

Discussion Questions

 

Who can still sing all the words to the children’s song about Zacchaeus being a wee little man (a wee little man was he)?

Luke 19:1-4

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

Alone in a Crowd

 

Mother Teresa

The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.

 

Joel Green, The Gospel of Luke

..it is not simply that Zacchaeus cannot see over the crowd; rather, the crowd itself is present as an obstacle to him. On account of their negative assessment of Zaccheus, the people refused him the privilege of seeing Jesus as he passed by.

 

How did Zacchaeus’s pursuit of wealth through dishonest means create a kind of poverty in his life?

Given all that happens in the story, do you think Zacchaeus was happy with his life choices prior to meeting Jesus?

What do you imagine Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus that caused him to be so determined to see him? 

Luke 19:5-7

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

An Invitation to Belong

 

Shauna Niequist, Bread and Wine

When you offer peace instead of division, when you offer faith instead of fear, when you offer someone a place at your table instead of keeping them out because they’re different or messy or wrong somehow, you represent the heart of Christ.

 

How was Jesus’s declaration that he would eat at Zacchaeus’s house revolutionary? 

What had Zacchaeus done to deserve to share a table with Jesus?

Have you ever been like Zacchaeus, rejected by people but invited to belong by God? Have you ever been like the people watching and muttering, confused by God’s gracious generosity to people who have done wrong?

Is there a challenging or messy person (or group of people) God wants you to show hospitality to?

Luke 19:7-10

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The Power of Restitution

 

Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved

We often live as if our happiness depended on having. But I don’t know anyone who is really happy because of what he or she has. True joy, happiness, and inner peace come from the giving of ourselves to others. A happy life is a life for others. That truth, however, is usually discovered when we are confronted with our brokenness.

 

How did Jesus’s invitation force Zacchaeus to face his own brokenness?

How does this story show the connection between restitution and forgiveness?

How was Jesus’s merciful treatment of Zaccheaus a strategic step toward improving life for everyone in Jericho?

How do you imagine Zaccaheus’s life changed after he paid back the people he victimized?

Closing Thought

Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

They say time is money, but that’s not true. Time is life. And if I want the fullest life, I need to find fullest time… the busyness of your life leaving little room for the source of your life… God gives us time. And who has time for God? Which makes no sense.

What is one way you can pursue God this week by climbing up the proverbial sycamore tree in search of a better view of him?



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