Study, Jesus Sees You

Jesus Sees You

Newbreak’s Sermon Study Guide is an in-house resource that serves sermon-based Life Groups and/or individuals who want to reflect further on how the message contributes to their spiritual formation. In this week’s study, we look at a story of devotion and compassion as a woman known by reputation (“a sinful woman”) and not by her name as she encounters Jesus and receives a priceless gift.

Icebreakers for Life Groups

  • When was the last time you hosted someone at your house for a meal? Is it something you enjoy doing?
  • How have people’s perceptions of you influenced your life?

Going Deeper Into the Message: What happens at the table?

Read Luke 7:36–39

Point 1 – How do others see me?

In the New Testament, dinner parties were a public affair for people to host and have on goers hear and see what was going on. Here Jesus is at the house of a Pharisee named Simon (not to be confused with Simon Peter), and a woman comes to interrupt the dinner.

We are not even introduced to her name but to her reputation. She was a “sinful woman.” What was she guilty of? We are not sure, but that isn’t the point. Imagine what shame she carried as she interrupted the dinner party where the religious leaders would remind her of her guilt. Yet, her courage carried her there, knowing Jesus would be there.

In spite of what she knew the religious leaders thought of her, she was willing to come and lay it all at the feet of Jesus. She was willing to be harassed and mocked to surrender herself to Him.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. How do the Pharisees in this story see the “sinful woman”?
  2. How have the opinions of others impacted what you believe about yourself?
  3. How do I respond to people’s perceptions of me? Depending on the situation there might be some truth to some of the perceptions that give us insight into what we need to work on. How do we sift through and discern others’ perceptions in a healthy way?

Read Luke 7:40–46

Point 2 – How does Jesus see me?

Jesus tells a basic parable that is brilliant in its simplicity. Anyone can read and understand that being forgiven a big debt (approximately 2 years wages in modern terms) would lend itself to a great amount of love to the person who had forgiven it. Jesus tells this parable to Simon the Pharisee and all others at the table.

Jesus tells Simon the parable and then tests him on it. Simon answers correctly. "You have judged correctly," Jesus tells Simon. I wonder if this was Jesus being snarky. Simon was good at "judging" and so Jesus affirms that he judged the parable correctly, even though he judged the woman wrong. Jesus is using the language common to Simon’s mind to get him to understand a truth in his heart. Jesus is always after our hearts to change. He knows we know things in our minds, but He wants the knowledge to transfer to our hearts, making us softer and more compassionate towards others.

Simon knew the right answer to the parable but failed to apply the right answer to this equation. He kept the answer on paper instead of translating it to the person right in front of him. Simon knows the answer but failed the test. How ironic!

Jesus uses a parable to get everyone in the room to change how they see this woman. He is challenging Simon to see this woman–not superficially–but to see this woman the way He sees her! Not only that, but He draws Simon’s attention to the things that are important to Jesus that Simon did not do. Jesus came to serve and was not served by Simon by having His feet washed; the woman washed His feet with tears from a broken and repentant heart. Simon did not genuinely greet Jesus with a kiss, as was the custom; the woman could not stop kissing His unwashed feet, knowing the dirtiest part of Jesus was cleaner than her cleanest part. And although it was the custom of the time to anoint the head of a guest that one respected, Simon did not do this for Jesus; the woman goes even further in showing her respect for Jesus by pouring perfume on His feet. All of the ways in which Simon may have thought he was snubbing Jesus, the things he didn’t do for Him after inviting Jesus to his table, this woman chose to do for Jesus, out of a profound love for Him.

The challenge for us is to see ourselves the way Jesus sees us. And then, likewise, see others the way Jesus sees them. It’s a both/and. And both are vital.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. How did Jesus see the “sinful woman” in the story? How does his perception of her contrast with the Pharisees?
  2. Why do you think Jesus shared the parable that he did?
  3. In one sentence, describe how Jesus sees you. Focus on an answer that is true to the heart of Jesus, not purely on how you feel. Do you believe this to be true?

Read Luke 7:47–50

Point 3 – What does Jesus say to me?

What we believe shapes what we do with our lives. In this passage, Jesus changed this woman’s life forever. With incredible graciousness and kindness, Jesus told her that her sins were forgiven (vs.47a,48), He praised her actions of love in front of everyone (47b), He affirmed her faith (50a), and encouraged her to go out in peace (50b). His words forgave her past, showed her how much He cared, and sent her out in peace.

Jesus invites us to do what this woman has done. He wants us to pour out our hearts to Him and not let anything get in the way between us and Him. He wants to speak words of affirmation, love, acceptance, and forgiveness in our lives. He wants to speak life, hope, and a future into our hearts. He wants to free us from the false things we believe about ourselves.

The question is: How will you respond?

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. Jesus forgives the woman in the story. How do you think her story and reputation were forever changed by this moment?
  2. What is one Bible verse that is especially meaningful to you in your current season? How does it speak to the way that God sees you?
  3. What truths about you is Jesus trying to say to you that you may have a hard time believing? What lies do you need to lay at His feet to make room for the life that He wants to speak into you?

Final Challenge Questions

  1. How are you going to think or live differently in light of what you have read, heard, and discussed this week?
  2. How does this week’s message shape or nurture your relationship with God?
  3. BONUS: For those of you with kids or around kids: What is one truth from this message that you can share with your kids in a way that they would relate to or understand?

Memory Verse: Luke 7:48, 50 (NIV) Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”...“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

About Our Current Sermon Series

What did you eat today? Isn’t it crazy that we can all assume that you either have eaten or will eat today? Meals are a necessary part of ordinary life. And yet, Jesus took these mundane moments and made them missional opportunities for people to experience the gospel. Join us in this sermon series as we see what happens when Jesus meets people at the table for an encounter that changes everything!

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