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Reverse Course

If you’ve ever missed an exit ramp on an interstate, then you know the frustration of driving in the wrong direction just to get to an exit that will allow you to turn around. When Jesus calls us to follow Him, He is calling us to reverse course. Join us for part two of The Great Reversal where we will explore the need, motivation, and results of living life in reverse. 

Passage: Luke 13:1-9 & 31-35 

Principles: The Need for Repentance 

“Repentance: a complete change of orientation involving a judgment upon the past and a deliberate redirection for the future.” The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary 

The Motivation for repentance 

God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance. – Romans 2:4 

The Result of Repentance 

Salvation without regret – 2 Corinthians 7:10 

Practices: Seek to live in a constant state of reversal (repentance). 

Daily Reading: 

 This week, as you read passages describing repentance, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything in your life which requires your repentance.  

Day 1: Luke 13 

Day 2: 1 John 1 

Day 3: Matthew 3 

Day 4: Acts 2 

Day 5: 2 Corinthians 7 

Day 6: Luke 19 

Day 7: Revelation 2 & 3 

Check out these and other suggested books at 

The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancy 

What’s so Amazing About Grace, Philip Yancy 

Think Deeper 

Can you think of examples of human suffering that were the result of national sin? 

Does the church have a responsibility to address national sins because they cause human suffering? 

Is there anything for which you need to repent?

Small Group Questions 

Use this outline for personal reflection, as a couples or family devotion, or with a small group.  

HANGOUT [Warming Up to the Topic]  

  1. What is the biggest course change you’ve made in life? Did you choose to make this change or was it forced on you? 

HEAR [Listening to God through Scripture]  

  1. Read Luke 19:1-4 
  • Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, rich, and short. What problems did each of these traits present for Zacchaeus’s desire to see Jesus? 
  • Read Luke 5:27-32 & Luke 18:9-14. Based on these passages, how would you describe how people felt about tax collectors? What was Jesus’ response to tax collectors? 
  • How do these references to tax collectors emphasize Jesus and the great reversal? 
  1. Read Luke 19:5-7 
  • Who initiated the conversation between Zacchaeus and Jesus? Why does this matter? 
  • What was Zacchaeus’s response to Jesus’ demand? What does “received him joyfully” mean? 
  • What was the crowd’s reaction to this turn of events? How does this reaction reveal the crowd’s misunderstanding of Jesus’ mission? (See Mark 2:17) 
  • Was Zacchaeus’s height the biggest barrier to Jesus? If not, what was? How do religious people create a similar barrier to Jesus today? 
  1. Read Luke 19:8-10 
  • What prompted Zacchaeus to give half of his goods to the poor and make generous restitution for his past fraudulent behavior? 
  • This encounter is one of the clearest examples of repentance in the New Testament. Did Zacchaeus’s repentance lead to his salvation, or did his salvation lead to his repentance?  
  • Read Romans 2:3-4. How does Jesus’ reaction to Zacchaeus illustrate what Paul says in Romans 2:4? 
  • Can you recall a time when God’s kindness led you to repentance? 

HUDDLE [Making It Personal and Praying Together – in Huddles]  

  1. Based on the four stages of repentance (responsibility, regret, resolve, and repair), where are you right now as it relates to an area of personal repentance? Talk about it, invite accountability, and take time to pray.