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Sermon Notes

Key Question:

How does God feel about people who are not religious?

What are Parables?

Parables are made-up stories that contain a spiritual truth that is often easily missed.

The Set-Up (Luke 15:1-2)

  • Jesus related to tax collectors and sinners (Matt. 11:19, Luke 5:31-32, 7:34)  
  • Tax collector and sinners related to Jesus.

The Take-Away

  • Religion is not bad, until it makes you behave badly toward non-religious people (James 1:26-27).
  • The ultimate goal is not for you to be liked- but for people to know God’s love.

If your expression of religion keeps you from expressing hospitality to the non-religious, then your religion is devoid of Christ.  

Jesus didn’t just eat with sinners. He received them. And he endured criticism for this.

προσδέχομαι (pros-déchomai) to admit into hospitality; by implication to await (with confidence or patience), accept, allow, look or wait for, to take in. 

Key Question:

Would you be willing to face criticism while receiving a non-religious person?

Three Main Characters of the Parable

  • The Shepherd (God)
  • The 99 sheep (those inside the community of faith)
  • The 1 lost sheep (the sinner away from God)

Luke 15:3-7

  1. Those away from God are a priority to God.
  2. God’s joy is carrying a repentant sinner home
  3. Seeing people repent and turn to Jesus connects heaven and earth.


Question: So, how do I participate in this practice of receiving that outside of faith?

Answer: Hospitality. φιλονεξία (philonexía) to show love and kindness to strangers

Hospitality is the offer to extend the privileges of community to those who do not have the standing to expect it, especially those who are vulnerable because they are strangers. Hospitality is an offer to identify with outsiders and to treat them like insiders. Hospitality is extending privilege across differences.

(Scott Cormode)

Your Next Step: Identify someone who is away from church but is open to you. Invite them over to share a meal.

Additional Material: (9 Keys to Better Understanding Parables) Available in the Atrium or for download.

Additional Material: (9 Keys to Better Understanding Parables) Available in the Atrium or for download.

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