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Reflection Questions: Luke 16:19-31

For the message, “The Coming Great Reversal” given by Pastor John Ferguson
at New City Church of Calgary on October 23, 2016
These discussion questions are designed primarily to help you apply the message from the Scriptures
by helping you think through application to your personal life, your church life, and your city’s life.
You can use these by yourself for reflection, or with your family or small group for discussion.
To review the sermon, go to
• Pray. Take a moment to pray asking God to guide you in reflecting upon the Scripture text.
• Read the Scripture text: Luke 16:19-31.
• A summary of the sermon.
Jesus amplified a common Jewish folk-tale to teach about the coming great reversal in the kingdom of God.
The religious leaders—who were lovers of money (16:14)—ridiculed Jesus when he said that one cannot serve
God and money. He goes on to tell the story of a rich man—a son of Abraham—who died and found himself
separated from God’s people (described as Abraham’s side in the parable). In the closing lines of the story, he
seems to imply that the writings of Moses and the Prophets were insufficient to warn him about where he now
finds himself—outside the kingdom in agony.
This parable serves to “afflict the comfortable” who in this life are lovers of money. The intended effect of the
Gospel of Jesus in the lives of people is to bring their lives back in line with God’s design, so that we will use
our blessings to be a blessing to others.
Key Points:
• It’s easy to get lost in the details of this parable—it prompts lots of questions that Jesus simply doesn’t
answer here. Keep in mind the big message that Jesus is communicating here: the coming of God’s
kingdom means a great reversal is coming.
• Jesus is aiming this parable at lovers of money, especially the religious elite of his day who thought they
were okay with God because of the blessing of their wealth, but who in fact showed that the love of God
was not within them because they do not have compassion on others (cf. 1 John 3:17).
• In a related text that gives insight to this parable, Jesus says, “I tell you, many will come from the east and
the west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of
the kingdom will be thrown into outer darkness. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of
teeth” (Matthew 8:11-12).
• Jesus was telling those who thought they were in because they were Abrahams’ descendants (“the sons of
the kingdom”) that they will actually find themselves outside the coming kingdom because of their rejection
of the message of Jesus because of their love of wealth. How much more is that the case today?
Bottom Line:
The coming of God’s kingdom means a great reversal is coming.
1. How does this text speak to your heart?
• How are you challenged, convicted, encouraged, or surprised by this text?

• How would you answer someone who said that on first glance, it looks like Jesus is saying you can buy your way
into heaven if you are generous to the poor?

- Look up John 5:24. Based on this passage, what secures our passage into the life of the coming kingdom?

• Why do this passage help you understand that a real life response to the message of Jesus actually changes us for
real life?

• In light of this story, how would you answer the question, “What kind of me is God calling me to be?”

2. How does this text speak to us as a church community?
• How does this story Jesus tells serves as a wake up call about how we should be in this world as the people of
God? In other words, how does this passage help us understand better the kind of people we are called to be
(blessed to be a blessing)?
• What would we need to change? What would we need to repent of?
• Read 2 Corinthians 8:9. How does this verse help you to understand the gospel and encourage you to be radically

3. How does this text speak to our city?
• What kind of new life / future in Christ is this text calling our city to experience?
• How would Calgary look radically different if everybody took to heart what Jesus teaches about the coming great
• How does the teaching from Jesus help us to understand the mission of God in our city?
What is the one thing you want to take away from this study to remember or to make a change in your life?

What are some ways you can turn what you are learning into prayer? List them as bullet points….
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