Maybe your friend is curious to know more about God. Or maybe you want to start family devotions with your young child. Directing others to the Bible is important in evangelism and discipleship. But it can also be a bit intimidating:
- The Bible is so big, where should you start?
- The Bible is complex, what if I can’t answer his or her questions?
- The Bible is often studied as part of history and literature, how do you help someone see the Bible’s relevance for his or her life today?
The Gospel of John is often encouraged as a good entry point to the Bible, but beyond pointing someone to John, what else? How will you discuss the passages they read or hear? Knowing a few simple questions will enable you to guide others even if you don’t have all the explanations to interpret difficult passages.
Five Simple Questions
1. What did you like about the passage?
This question is simply intended to get a person talking about the passage. After hearing Luke 15, a person may say she liked that the father and younger son were reunited. A toddler on the other hand may say he liked the pigs in the story. There’s no wrong answer to this question.
2. What in the passage was difficult for you?
This question reveals what a person values. Again with Luke 15, someone might say she didn’t like that the older son wouldn’t join the party. Someone else might find it hard to understand why the father honored the son who had brought shame upon the family. And the toddler might not like that the fattened calf was killed. Such responses are windows into their worldviews.
3. What does this passage teach us about God?
This question helps a person understand the Bible is ultimately a revelation of who God is, not just a list of do’s and don’ts. Luke 15 teaches us that God is like a father who is willing to forgive and restore.
4. What does this passage teach us about humans?
This question transitions the discussion from what we see in Scripture to what Scripture shows in us. Luke 15 shows us that like the younger brother we have a tendency to make poor choices and live selfishly with what God gives us. And like the older brother we tend to see ourselves as better than others and deserving of reward.
5. How does this story apply to your life?
This question calls for a personal response to what Scripture has revealed. Questions 3 and 4 often reveal a huge gap between us and God, and the gospel must be shown as the only bridge for that gap. Luke 15 challenges us to ask ourselves what we are relying upon to be with the father in the end? Will we remain excluded from the celebration because we have lived on moral high ground and are unwilling to rely solely on the father’s mercy?
Another simple set of questions to ask any passage of Scripture are the “Seven Arrows” articulated by Matt Rogers. Click here to access.
-Mercy Hill Missions Director