The Uniform Series text for Sunday, July 29 is Luke 14:15-24, “the parable of the great banquet”; here are some questions we might or might not want to consider in class:
When the story begins, all we know is that “someone” is giving a big dinner. As the story unfolds, we learn that this “someone” has at least one slave, is an “owner of the house,” and so presumably has some social standing in the community. We are not told that the banquet is “for” any specific purpose. What difference does all this make to the way we understand what is going on? What purpose(s) can we think of for giving a big dinner? (More personal) What purpose(s) would make us more likely to attend? What purpose(s) would make us less likely to attend? Could this tell us anything about what is going on in the story? What?
The people who have been invited to the dinner make excuses for not attending. Do we believe their excuses? Why, or why not? What are some of the reasons people might make excuses for not attending a social function like this? What do those reasons tell us about these invited guests? About their relationship with the host? (More personal) Are there ways we resemble these guests? What are they? What are the possible implications of that similarity?
Do we have an impression of what the dinner will be like? What is it? Why do we think that? What if the dinner were going to be … different from what we expect? How do our expectations about this dinner affect our understanding of the parable, do we think?
How do we think the slave feels? Why do we think that? Do the slave’s feelings change as the story progresses, do we think? How? Again, why do we think that? What difference does considering the slave make in the way we understand the meaning of the parable?
Of the three different groups of people invited to the dinner – the original guests, the “poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame,” and the people in the roads and lanes – who do we feel closest to? Why? Who would feel most blessed at the dinner, do we think? Why? Who has the most positive relationship with the host? Why? What does this mean for us, do we think? Why?
Jesus tells this story after someone says “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Is this story an “answer” or “response” to that statement, do we think? What kind of an answer is it? Is Jesus agreeing with the statement, disagreeing, qualifying … what do we think? Why do we think that? What point do we think Jesus is trying to make here? Why do we think that?