By Michael C. Mack
1. If you were holding a dinner party, what living person would you want to invite as your honored guest? If that person were coming, is there anyone you would not want to show up? If so, who and why?
Read Luke 7:36-50.
2. Use the following three questions to discuss what you learn about the woman in this passage. Then use the same three questions to discuss what you learn about Simon.
• What was her/his background?
• What was the condition of her/his heart?
• What did she/he care and not care about?
3. Compare the woman and Simon in terms of their:
• view of themselves
• capability to love
• ability to have genuine faith
4. Why is it more difficult for many people to admit their own sinfulness than to point out sin in others?
5. In what ways has your attitude toward your own sin, your need for forgiveness, and your acceptance of forgiveness changed over time? How has that affected your love and grace for others?
6. Take a few minutes for everyone to quietly, prayerfully reflect on this passage. Say, Place yourself in the scene. Based on your normal attitude, would you more likely sit next to:
• Simon, pointing out the sins of others (Why is she doing that? Why would he let her do that? He must not be much of a teacher.)
• The woman, at Jesus’ feet, acknowledging your sin and need for him, regardless of what others think or say about you
• Jesus, loving people regardless of who they are or what they’ve done
Ask if anyone wants to share their response. Close in prayer, thanking God for his forgiveness and peace and asking God to transform each of you into humble, repentant, gracious people.
Michael C. Mack leads church training events and consults with churches through his ministry, Small Group Leadership (www.smallgroupleadership.com).