Week 2


Read: Luke 7:36-50 and your notes from Sunday morning’s sermon.

Intro: Continuing in our Church Hurt series, we see yet another example of a self-righteous person placing himself above others: Simon the Pharisee. Jesus is in attendance so it’s important to pay close attention to how he responds. In that time, it was common practice to invite popular teachers or rabbis to dinner to discuss ideas. This particular occasion was a formal one though, as indicated by how Jesus reclined at the table. These sorts of formal Jewish banquets would have had invitations sent, special protocols on how to prepare the food, etc. In short, it was a big deal and an honor to be invited! This sinful woman showing up to such an event would have been quite the faux pas! Simon clearly has an issue with it and we see Jesus respond to both him and the woman in different ways. One extra thing to note is that when Jesus calls Simon out for what he does not do (washing his feet, a kiss, anointing his head with oil) – those things aren’t normally required or expected according to the standard etiquette for that time. Simon follows every rule and does all of the right things, but Jesus still has a lot to say!




  1. What is Simon’s response to the sinful woman being in attendance and interacting with Jesus? Where is Simon’s focus?


  1. In contrast to Simon, what is the sinful woman giving her full attention to?


  1. On the outside, is there really anything wrong with how Simon treats Jesus or even how he treats the sinful woman? (remember Simon is just talking to himself)


  1. Where does Simon go wrong in the story when it comes to how he views the uninvited woman? Have you ever felt uninvited or unwelcome from someone at a church or of religious authority?


  1. On the other hand, have you ever been on the other side of that scenario? This is a tough question because most of us would like to think that we haven’t.  But challenge yourself to think of it this way: Do you intentionally or unintentionally find yourself avoiding people that are considered sinful or ostracized by regular society? Who then might you actually be gatekeeping from Jesus? 


Feel free to discuss or ask additional questions as they arise


Spiritual Practice: We are currently focusing on the spiritual discipline of submission. In the story we look at above, Simon certainly believes he is submitting to God. He does all the right things and he follows all of the rules and customs. But Jesus is far more impressed with the woman who breaks the rules and for all intents and purposes makes a fool of herself in front of others just to be at the feet of Jesus giving Him all of her adoration. What then should our response to Jesus look like? Keep in mind that Jesus calls Simon out for his lack of response, even though he technically does everything correctly! Part of what Simon gets wrong here is the way that he views this woman in his heart. He is appalled at how she responds to Jesus, ignoring all of the Jewish customs, and even more frustrated that Jesus isn’t stopping her! Jesus of course knows what Simon is thinking and tries to help him understand through the parable he tells, that because he has been forgiven little, he loves little. His response is naturally different. This sinful woman who has a lot more to be forgiven for obviously has a much more grand and thankful response. Simon, the “church person” did not invite this woman and looked down on her. Think of a time where you or someone you know has experienced that kind of judgment or hurt from a “church person” or Christian. Now go back to the story. Jesus is still there –  and not only does he not turn the woman away as Simon expects, he also continues to teach Simon. All the while, the sinful woman, knowing she is looked down on by other “church people”, does not let anything or anyone keep her from Jesus. This week as you practice submission, think of what it looks like to respond to church hurt. How should we emulate Jesus when we witness it? How can we emulate the sinful woman when we experience it ourselves? 

Closing verse:  Romans 10:11-13: As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”