Study Guide: Is God Really Like That?

Sunday November 2, 2008 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

Our perspective about what God is like deeply affects our relationship with him. Is he a distant, immovable being or does Jesus give us a different view of God? God is more upside down and different than many of us realize.

Extended Summary:

The Pharisees are part of Jesus’ audience here in Luke 15. These men were confident in their own righteousness and therefore they had no personal needs but instead were judges of those who were also part of Jesus’ audience, the prostitutes, “sinners,” and tax collectors. Into this setting, Jesus tells a short parable about the lost coin.

From this we can conclude that the only coins God looks for are lost ones. Only those who acknowledge their lostness will see the need to be found. We cannot put our trust in how we feel, rightness of beliefs, or rightness of behavior. We need to become humble and loose all claims of superiority. God searches like the woman in this parable. He desperately searches for us. Imagine the panic a mother would feel if she lost her child. God loves us so much more and desperately searches for us! He became a man and showed us the ultimate love.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What does it mean to say that Jesus is our Great Shepherd?
  2. Why is it so hard for religious insiders to see God as a shepherd?
  3. Why is it so hard for outsiders to view God in this way?
  4. How does God as a shepherd challenge traditional views of God to which you have been exposed to in the past?
  5. With whom do you relate to the most in this story?