Ses'khona means "we are here" in the SiSwati language. This is Part 8 of a 10-study series about presenting Christ in the HIV/AIDS crisis. This study in Luke 15:11-32 demonstrates Jesus' love for the social outcasts of his day.
We are here...
- To look to Jesus
- To stop and care
- To reach out to those who need healing
- To challenge gender perceptions
- To face temptations and addictions
- To know sexual wholeness
- To repent from judging others
- To know the Father's forgiveness
- To cope with death and dying
- To live in the hope of ressurection
In Luke 14:1-2, we find Jesus being criticized by the religious leaders for hanging around with tax collectors and sinners - the outcasts of society. Jesus tells a story to demonstrate the way his Father sees the social outcasts -- and those who are religiously moral.
Read Luke 15:11-32
Look more closely at verses 11-18 and 30:
1. Socially, what was so shameful, even infamous, about the younger son's request, and his actions?
2. What would this young man's "wild living" look like today?
3. How did he come to his senses? What kinds of things bring people to their senses today?
Look at Luke 15:19-31
4. When seeing his son, what did the father do and how does he respond to the son's confession?
5. Why do all the younger son's bad points not prevent his father from forgiving him?
6. a. What is accomplished as a result of the father forgiving the son? b. Would this son have been surprised to discover how much he was worth in his father's love? Explain your view. c. Using details from this parable identify the personal transformation that must have resulted from the father forgiving his son.
7. Think about someone you know who lives a wild lifestyle that puts him or her at risk. How can you build the kind of trust to lead this person to know his or her need for repentance and forgiveness? If you would like to, confide in your group about this friendship and what you hope for in it.
8. a. How do we know that the older son despises and has judged his younger brother? b. How do sometimes we become like the older brother in the context of HIV infection?
9. a. Which of the sons experienced more of the love and gracious affection of the Father? b. How can people with HIV/AIDS be wholly transformed through the gift of God's unconditional love and acceptance?
Take five to ten minutes in silence to go back into the story yourself and identify which character you feel is most like you? Write a prayer as that character in the story. Talk to God freely about what it means to enter the reality of his forgiveness.