Learning About Jesus — Lesson 8
This lesson is based on Luke 7:36-50.
36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is-- that she is a sinner." 40 Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said. 41 "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said. 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven-- for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." 48 Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" 50 Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
The Gospel tells us that the things Jesus did for people in Palestine long ago he can still do for people today. If a person wants to receive help and forgiveness, how should he or she approach Jesus? In this lesson we will look at how one woman came to Jesus.
This woman did an unusual thing. She entered a house where Jesus was eating dinner and began crying. She let her tears fall on Jesus’ feet until they were wet, then she dried them with her hair and poured perfume on them. If a normal person ever does anything strange or unusual in public there must be a strong reason pushing him to do so. As we think about this woman’s unusual behavior we must try to find out what it was that pushed her to do it.
We read that this woman had "lived a sinful life." This probably means that she was a prostitute. Think carefully about her actions in verses 37 and 38, then answer the following questions.
1. It seems that this woman was very grateful to Jesus. Do you think that she had already met or heard Jesus on a previous occasion and that he had done something to help her?
2. How would you describe her feelings toward Jesus?
This incident happened in the house of a Pharisee named Simon. He could not understand the woman’s behavior and wondered why Jesus allowed such a person who was known to be a sinner to do such a thing. So Jesus told him a story. Answer the following questions based on verses 39-47.
3. Why did the man who owed five hundred dollars love the moneylender?
4. Why did the sinful woman love Jesus?
5. Do you think that Simon the Pharisee loved Jesus? Why or why not?
Jesus then assured the woman that her sins were forgiven.
6. According to Jesus, what had saved the woman? (verse 50)
To have "faith" means to believe something or to trust someone.
7. What do you think it was that this woman believed?
8. Whom did she trust?
9. When you consider your own relation to God, do you have "unpaid debts" or sins which need to be forgiven?
Go to Lesson 9