Introduction & Prayer

200 years before Jesus was born, there was a Greek physician, by the name of Dr. Nicander, Nic wrote down a number of things including one of his recipes for Greek cuisine. One of Nic’s recipes was for pickling veggies. His first step called for boiling water and then to dip the veggie into the water—to bapto the veggie in the water. It is the idea of immersing the entire vegetable under the water. The second step involves baptizing—baptizo in vinegar.

Both steps involve immersing the vegetable in a solution—but the second step of dipping the veggie in vinegar causes a change in the actual vegetable. The vinegar goes into the vegetable and changes it to a pickle. It has a new identity with new properties!

It is this step that we celebrated Sunday—this step of baptizo—God is pickling people and changing them into His children.

  • Why is baptism important?

  • Why was Jesus baptized?

  • What are reasons that people are not baptized?

  • Pray

Key Concept:

Baptism is identifying with Jesus. There were many people in the NT that identified with Jesus. For some people it required great courage to walk into a room and identify with Jesus. Even today, in many parts of the world it requires sacrifice to be called a Christian.

Read Luke 7:36-37

36One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. 37When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.

  • What are some reasons why this Pharisee may have asked Jesus to dinner?

  • Why was it so odd for this woman with a reputation to be coming to Jesus?

  • What is the significance of the perfume?

  • How difficult would this have been for the woman?

Read Luke 7:38

38Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

  • Why did she kneel at Jesus’ feet? What is revealed from her actions? (sign of humility, a woman’s hair was a sign of her glory and so she was signaling her glory was not comparable to the glory of Jesus

  • What are the reasons this interaction was so inappropriate? (woman touching rabbi, woman kissing his feet, expensive perfume)

  • Would this have been difficult for this lady?

Read Luke 7:39

39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

  • What can we assume is going on in this Pharisee’s mind?

  • What was the Pharisee assuming about how Jesus would react if he was aware of this woman’s identity as a sinner?

  • Sometimes it is very easy to project our feelings and reactions on to God. When are we most apt to incorrectly assume God’s reaction to others or ourselves?

  • What would you have think if a famous person with a sordid reputation(celebrity, politician, etc) showed up on the front row of Bethel on Sunday morning? After you got a selfie with them, what would you be thinking about their motives?

Read Luke 7:40-41

40Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.” “Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied. 41Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

  • How does Jesus approach Simon’s judgmental attitude?

  • What description about Simon in verse 40, that illustrates that Simon that illustrates that He may have truly been seeking God? [He responds to Jesus’ question with respect calling him Teacher.]

  • Does Jesus try and make an embarrassing example from Simon’s error?

  • What were the common factors of both people? (both were sinners who couldn’t repay a debt)

Read Luke 7:43-46

43Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.” “That’s right,” Jesus said. 44Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

  • Was Jesus saying this woman had more sins than Simon?

  • What was Jesus revealing about Simon’s heart?

  • Why do we sometimes judge certain sinners as more guilty?

  • Why can it be easy to look at the worship of others and judge their hearts?

  • If Simon was concentrating on his worship of Jesus, would he have been distracted by this woman’s worship?

Read Luke 7:47-49

47“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”

  • Why was Jesus speaking about showing love and the correlation with the number of sins forgiven?

  • We all know people who seem less committed to Christ. (if you don’t then you might be that less committed person!) Is Jesus wanting us to understand that some people sin less? If not, what is He trying to relay?

  • Why were the men at the table shocked that Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven?”

  • Have you ever made a mistake that required someone to forgive you? How did you feel when that person extended forgiveness to you? Maybe they didn’t extend forgiveness, how did that make you feel?

Read Luke 7:50

50And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

  • Despite Jesus calling out Simeon, was Jesus pursuing him?

  • Even though Simeon led with judgement, what was Jesus leading with?

  • How do people feel when we encounter the forgiveness of Jesus?

Pray:

Ask God to keep our hearts soft before Him and to save us from having a critical heart with our brothers and sisters in Christ.