Story of Jesus: Simon Religion vs Real Relationship
Sermon Review: This story is about two people: A sinful woman, and a righteous Pharisee named, Simon. Simon invited Jesus into his home but he was followed by an uninvited guest: the notorious sinful woman. To make matters worse, this sinful woman was making a scene by weeping and washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiping them with her hair and pouring expensive perfume on his feet. We see two people with two very different approaches to Jesus. The one was cordial, academic and proper. The other was flamboyant and extravagant. Jesus pointed out her “Great Love.” He remarked that those who have been forgiven little, love little. But this lady was forgiven of much, so she loves much. Her sin was no greater than the Pharisee’s sin, the difference is that she acknowledged her sin and was filled with the love of Jesus. As Pastor Tyler said on Sunday: “It is impossible to know the depth of the forgiveness you have received, and not be moved by it and do nothing about it.” The question for us is: “Do we know what we have been forgiven of, and does it move us deeply?” Do you have a Simon Religion or a Real Relationship?
Life Group Questions:
READ: Luke 7:36-50
- In verses 36-39, how is the woman described? Look carefully at what she does. What different emotions does she express here? How do you think she feels about herself?
- In verse 39, how does Simon, the host, react to this uninvited guest? How do you think he feels about himself? How does he feel about Jesus?
- On Sunday, Pastor Tyler explained how Simon did not go over and above what was expected as a host. He did not wash Jesus’ feet, kiss him when he arrived or anoint his head with oil. Whereas, the woman went “over-the-top” and expressed her love extravagantly. What aspects of our relationship with Jesus do we either act like Simon and do the bare minimum or like the woman and give extravagantly?
- Can you remember a time when you made a mistake and hurt someone close to you? What did it feel like? What was your response?
- Can you remember a time when you were forgiven for something? What did it feel like to know you were forgiven? How did it change your relationship with that person?
- On Sunday, Pastor Tyler said, “Your ability to love people and love life is completely due to how deeply you see your sin and your ability to be forgiven.” How is this true in your life?
- On Sunday, Pastor Tyler compared the “Simon Religion” with the sinful woman’s “Real Relationship.” What are some of the differences you can think of from the sermon or from reading the text?
- Which of the characters in this passage do you most identify with and why?
- Imagine this scene unfolding next Sunday morning at our church. What if “the sinful woman” walked up to the front of the church and behaved this way. What do you think would be your response?
- Where is your heart in relation to Jesus today? Is it more like Simon’s or more like the sinful woman’s?
- What can we learn from the woman in this story:
- How did she come into Jesus’ presence?
- What was her attitude?
- What was her motivation for coming to Jesus?
- What did Jesus praise about her?
- What was the relationship between her love and her forgiveness?
- If we loved Jesus the way the “sinful woman” did how would our lives change?
- On Sunday, we learned that the passion for Jesus is fueled by the Holy Spirit. Where in your life are you seeing the Holy Spirit make some positive change? Where in your life do you need more of the Holy Spirit?