Welcome to week three of our summer series, Dinner with Jesus. This week, we discuss Jesus’ invitation to the “uninvited,” and listen in on his conversation with the Pharisees at the table.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since the last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
Share about a time someone invited you to share a meal and made you feel included and invited.
An important part of a safe environment is correct expectations. If you haven’t already, take some time to discuss your group rhythm for this summer so everyone is on the same page.
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone read Luke 14:1-24 aloud. What are the key events? Retell the story in your own words.
What did hosting a dinner mean to the people during this time and place?
Jesus tells the people not to invite only those who can return the invitation and invite you back for dinner. What did he mean by this? How was this different for their culture? How is it different than what we do now?
Jesus uses hyperbole (an exaggerated statement) in this story to make a point. How does he use it?
In the story, Jesus says the host invites those the culture would never have considered inviting. What would the people think who were hearing this story?
How does the invitation speak to the idea of inclusion? In our culture, who do we often fail to include and why?
Jesus challenges us to think outside the box when we invite. Pastor Jeff Manion talked about people being hungry for more than just food. What did Jeff mean by this? How have you seen this in your life?
Who is someone that you feel God might be nudging you to include?
Pursue Christ, Include People
The Pharisees had hearts not focused on the right things. What can we guess was part of their motive for hosting the party? Why does this make a difference?
How does walking with Jesus help us help others feel included and take the next step?
How is the desire to reflect Jesus different from having the perfect family and having it “all together”? Why is this an important distinction?
God’s Invitation List
According to what Jesus says, what types of people does God have at his table? How can we recognize that we are those types of people and thank God for welcoming us to his table and including us?
Our table should reflect God’s table. What kinds of invisible standards do we hold that keep certain people away from our life and table?
How can you use an invitation to your space to include someone this week?
What about this series’ challenge (sharing a meal with someone) makes you uncomfortable or seems difficult? How can you encourage and pray for one another to continue to accept the challenge and stick with it?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
The holidays (July 4th) are a great time to get together with family and friends. It’s also a great time to invite someone new to join you to share a meal. In light of the challenge in this series, who is new that you can invite to dine with either as a group or individually this holiday week?
Download a printable PDF here.