Christmas Invitation (Questions for Reflection)
We started our new series for Advent this week called "The Gospel According to Isaiah." Below are some questions for reflection based on Isaiah 55:1-13. You can listen to the message here.
Summary: Isaiah wrote and preached about 700 years before Jesus. His prophesies about the coming Messiah and the Kingdom of God are some of the most beautiful and amazing texts in all of the Bible. This week we look at Isaiah 55. In chapters 52-53 we learn about the Suffering Servant who would be “wounded for our transgressions.” In chapter 54, Isaiah rejoices that the gates of the city of God are now wide open because of the work of the Messiah. And in chapter 55, he invites us to the heavenly banquet that the Messiah has prepared.
1.) What are you looking forward to this Christmas season?
2.) Read Isaiah 55:1-13. What stands out to you about the text as encouraging, challenging or confusing?
3.) Focus in on verses 1-4. Isaiah uses the image of a banquet to describe the kingdom of God. What do you learn about the kingdom from these verses? Who is invited?
4.) Verse 6 talks about the urgency of the invitation. Josh mentioned three reasons people delay in responding: it seems to hard to respond (v.6), it doesn’t seem like we have a problem (v.7-9), it seems too good to be true (v.10-11). Read Luke 14:15-23. Why do some people not come to the banquet?
5.) How do verses 10-11 of Isaiah 55 relate to Advent (remember that Jesus is often called the Word of God)?
6.) What do you learn about the kingdom of God from verses 12-13. Compare this to Isaiah 11:6-9 and Revelation 21:1-8.
7.) How would you explain the meaning of this text to someone who isn’t familiar with the Bible?