Every week you’ll find different types of posts here on the ABS blog. Today’s post is for teachers, to encourage conversation and reflection in your Bible study group. Each “Let’s Talk About” activity can be used at any time during your meeting and lasts approximately 10-15 minutes.
Today, let's talk about...
One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with him. After he entered the Pharisee’s home, he took his place at the table. Meanwhile, a woman from the city, a sinner, discovered that Jesus was dining in the Pharisee’s house. She brought perfumed oil in a vase made of alabaster. Standing behind him at his feet and crying, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and poured the oil on them. When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw what was happening, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. He would know that she is a sinner.
Jesus replied, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
“Teacher, speak,” he said.
"A certain lender had two debtors. One owed enough money to pay five hundred people for a day’s work. The other owed enough money for fifty. When they couldn’t pay, the lender forgave the debts of them both. Which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the largest debt canceled.”
Jesus said, “You have judged correctly.”
Jesus turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your home, you didn’t give me water for my feet, but she wet my feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since I came in. You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has poured perfumed oil on my feet. This is why I tell you that her many sins have been forgiven; so she has shown great love. The one who is forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The other table guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this person that even forgives sins?”
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw what was happening, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. He would know that she is a sinner. —Luke 7:39
During a meal at a Pharisee’s house with Jesus and other important people, the interruption by a woman was considered a social intrusion. Further, she behaved scandalously by washing Jesus’ feet, anointing them with oil, and kissing them. Everyone surely noticed, watching intently and waiting for Jesus to scold her and send her away. But Jesus didn’t do either, and it was uncomfortable. The juxtaposition of an educated, well-respected Pharisee who claimed to know the Mosaic Law and obey God; who judged the woman a sinner but did nothing for her—and the working class, along with an uneducated Jesus, who did not recoil from the woman (but forgave her sins) was striking. Jesus made the point that the woman treated him more graciously than the host by recognizing him as the Son of God and welcoming him into her heart.
Questions to Discuss:
Are there people who cause you to feel uncomfortable when you talk or interact with them? Why or why not?
Is it possible to be Jesus-followers without becoming uncomfortable sometimes? Why or why not?
How can uncomfortable people or situations help us grow in our faith?
Today’s post was written by Melissa Slocum and previously appeared in the 3/25/18 issue of LinC.