Jesus saves all who come to Him in faith.
Write the statement “Forgiveness” on a board. Provide markers. As the group arrives, invite them to write on the board one word that comes to mind about forgiveness.
Add the phrase “second chance.”
- What impact has someone’s forgiveness had in your life?
- How did you respond?
Jesus’ response to a woman with a desperate need become a teachable moment about the depth of God’s love and the surety of His forgiveness. It also created an additional confrontation with religious leaders of the day.
Read Luke 7:40-43.
Since sin is often referred to as a “debt” in Scripture, Jesus was building an analogy between financial relief and divine forgiveness. He was teaching Simon and His other listeners that God offers an even greater hope to those who accept His Son.
- What are some ways we might measure a person’s love for another person?
- How do their actions factor into how we measure the depth of a person’s love?
Simon might have felt satisfaction by giving Jesus the correct answer. But Jesus’ next statement would put Simon at the wrong end of a comparison with a woman he self-righteously held in contempt.
Read Luke 7:44-47.
Jesus did not contrast actions but intent.
v. 44 “Do you see this woman?” Jesus challenges His listeners to look deeper; on the surface, they saw a broken woman, but Jesus saw a broken heart.
Identify the emotions expressed in Luke 7:44-46.
- What do the emotions expressed in the actions by the woman reveal about her understanding of who Jesus is?
v. 47 Notice the words that describe amounts (many, much, little). Jesus pointed out that those who understand most deeply the degree of their forgiveness are typically the most grateful.
- How does forgiveness lead to a deeper love for the one offering forgiveness?
Jesus could have allowed the woman to simply hear what He said about her as He contrasted her with the Pharisees. But He always cared for the person first. His next words went directly to the woman.
Read Luke 7:48-50.
- If you have been in the woman’s position, which words would you have found most comforting? Why?
v. 49 is a rhetorical question “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” This is more of an indictment against Jesus than an effort to learn more about Him.
- How does a failure to recognize Jesus as God get in the way of receiving forgiveness?
- What role does a person’s pride play in finding forgiveness?
v. 50. Notice the meaningful concepts of “faith” and “peace.”
- What is the relationship between faith and forgiveness?
- How has your encounter with Jesus changed your life?