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Giving All To The Master. AG Sunday School Manual

 

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit_ (KJV).

 

Central Truth

 

The gratitude we owe the Saviour should inspire us to greater love and service_

 

The Lesson Outline

 

1. Sincere Devotion

A. An Invitation Accepted

Luke 7:36

B. Outpouring of Love

Luke 7:37-39

 

2. Sinful Pride

A. Exposed by A Parable

Luke 7:40-42a

B. Rebuked by Christ

Luke 7:42b-46

 

3. Forgiveness

A. Expressed by Love

Luke 7:47

B. Received by Faith

Luke 7:48-50

 

Learning Objectives

 

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

1. Recognise that a contrite attitude brings Christ’s forgiveness.

 

2. Determine to surrender fully to Christ.

 

3. Understand what it means to give all to the Master.

 

Introducing the Lesson

 

The account for this week’s lesson occurs early in Jesus’ ministry. Already many were following Jesus, believing what John the Baptist had preached about Him. Opposition from the Pharisees and other religious leaders had surfaced but had not reached the intensity it would later. Yet Jesus did not shun the religious leaders- He accepted social invitations from them. They had every opportunity to accept Him as Messiah, but we observe them steadily hardening their position against Him.

 

This week’s passage is an example of Jesus teaching at a social occasion in a Pharisees house. Jesus ministered wherever He found spiritual needs and hungry souls. He had come to seek and save

the lost, including Pharisees.

 

The Holy Scriptures

Luke 7:36. And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.

 

37. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,

 

38. And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

 

39. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

 

40. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

 

41. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

 

42. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

 

43. Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

 

44. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

 

45. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

 

46. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

 

47. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

 

48. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

 

49. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

 

50. And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

 

Commentary and Application

 

1. Sincere Devotion

A. An Invitation Accepted

Luke 7:36

 

Question for Application

 

Why did Jesus accept an invitation to a meal at a Pharisee’s house?_

 

He knew the hearts of all people and was aware of the harsh legalism and hypocrisy of most of the Pharisees. However, He came to reach out to and minister to all the lost, which include men like this. Jesus was aware the Pharisees Would eventually become some of His fiercest enemies, but they would not be able to say they had not heard the truth.

 

Question for Application

 

How were banquets like this different from similar occasions in our day?

 

The meal was served in a large open room with couches rather than chairs around the tables. Guests reclined on one elbow as they ate. The meal was leisurely interspersed with a great deal of “table talk.”

 

At a gathering such as the dinner Jesus attended there would be a crowd, so many would hear Jesus’ teaching. The evening would also

include various kinds of entertainment. It was a time of celebration in a relaxed atmosphere. On this occasion, however,

something would happen that strayed from the usual.

 

B. Outpouring of Love

Luke 7:37-39

It was a common practice at the time to allow people who were not invited to wander about in the room and help themselves to the leftovers. This included the poor, who often did not have enough to eat in their own homes. The presence of someone like the woman with the alabaster jar of ointment would not be surprising. She had come in with the others.

 

Luke immediately tells us of the woman’s bad reputation in the community. Describing her as “a sinner indicates she was a prostitute. Although the Gospel record does not tell us directly, it seems reasonable to assume this Woman had seen or met Jesus before. She brought with her an alabaster box of ointment. This Suggests she came with the intention of anointing Jesus’ head to express her deep love and respect for Him.

 

It is hard for us not to conclude that this woman had already believed in Jesus and felt in her heart she was forgiven of her sins. But what courage she had to come to the home of a Pharisee! However, the deep love and gratitude she felt toward Jesus prompted her to take this unusual step. She must have felt that she had to see Him again no matter what effort was required. Since she heard He was at the Pharisee’s house, this is where she came.

 

Jesus was eating, so it would have been difficult to anoint His head. However, His feet

were extended behind Him in the couch, so the woman broke open the sealed alabaster container and began to pour out the perfumed ointment on His feet. Before the anointing, however, she had washed His feet with tears of joy and gratitude. Then she loosened her hair and used it to wipe the tears from Jesus’ feet which she kissed repeatedly.

 

Structure worship has its proper place, but nothing is more heart-warming than spontaneous expressions of love for Christ such as we see in this passage. The forgiven sinner’s devotion welled up in her spirit and overflowed in a way that some disdained because it seemed so undignified! The ointment was expensive, but she did not hesitate to use all of it to show Jesus how much she loved Him.

 

In contrast to the loving devotion of this woman, verse 39 explains the attitude that Simon, the Pharisee in this account, held. We must now suspect this Pharisee’s true motives in inviting Jesus to the meal. Simon felt no joy in watching the woman’s expression of love. He was a cold, rigid, unfeeling individual, wrapped tightly in his self-righteousness. Luke tells us his thoughts (known, of course, to Jesus), which were very critical and judgemental. “Jesus claimed to be a prophet, but prophets knew the character of people. If He were really a prophet,” Simon thought, “it would have been revealed to Him that this Woman was too unclean to touch Him!”

 

2. Sinful Pride

A. Exposed By A Parable

Luke 7:40-42a

 

Having known Simon’s thoughts, Jesus related a parable to show the Pharisee his real spiritual condition. When Jesus said, “I have somewhat to say unto thee,” the unsuspecting Simon assumed he was about to hear the kind of discussion usually associated with rabbis. Actually he was about to have the coldness and self-righteousness of his heart exposed in a way that must have startled him.

 

Lending and borrowing went on among the Jews all the time, since many were poor, while others were well off. In Jesus’ parable, one man owed a small debt; the other owed ten times as much. The important point was that neither was able to repay what he owed.

Question for Application

 

How does this parable illustrate salvation by grace?

 

People are inclined to categorise sin. Some sins they say are very bad, while other sins are labelled insignificant. But sin is a spiritual debt regardless of its appearance to human eyes. No one can offer God enough good works or religious ritual to cancel the debt. The “respectable” sinner is as helpless to pay the debt as the murderer. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God does not categorise sin. All of it is rebellion against His laws. It is a debt charged against each sinner’s account.

 

The creditor in the parable was a gracious individual. Solely on the basis of his own mercy he cancelled the debts of both men. This is what happens when a sinner accepts Christ as his Saviour. The debt is cancelled even though the sinner could not repay it. Someone else has paid it the Lord Jesus by His death on the cross.

 

B. Rebuked by Christ

Luke 7:42b-46

Now comes the real impact of the parable. When Jesus asked which debtor would love the creditor most, the only logical answer seemed to be: “The one who had the bigger debt cancelled” (NIV). This was how Simon replied and he trapped himself by his own words. Jesus complemented him by saying, “Thou has rightly judged.”

 

Question for Application

 

How does the parable expose Simon’s dishonest motives?

 

When Jesus turned the sportlight on Simon’s heart, he confirmed the dishonest motives he had in inviting Him to the meal. Simon’s lack of hospitality amounted to an actual insult. Having been a host many times, he had not just overlooked the courtesies. His rudeness was surely deliberate.

 

When a guest first entered the house, he would have been met by a servant who washed the dust from his feet and wiped them with a towel. The host would have greeted the guest with a kiss on the cheek. Then he would anoint his head with perfumed oil kept in the house for such occasions. Simon had done none of this for Jesus, although it is probable he did it for the other guests. In contrast, the woman had washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her long hair. She had constantly kissed His feet after anointing them with ointment she had brought. The woman Simon condemned in his heart for her sinfulness had exposed his true nature by her overflowing acts of devotion.

 

3. Forgiveness

A. Expressed by Love

Luke 7:47

Jesus did not deny that the woman had been guilty of many sins.

However, after acknowledging her sins were “many,” He quickly

announced she was forgiven. “She loved much” – what a beautiful testimony to the forgiven because she loved. She knew she was forgiven, therefore she loved. Her past life had made it difficult to know the true meaning of love. Her relationships had been the kind that destroy the capacity to love. She had been merely an object to be used. Now all of that was changed. She had found Jesus. There seems little doubt she already had assurance of forgiveness before she came to the banquet room. She had brought her ointment to express a love which had become so full and overflowing it could not be contained.

 

Question for Applications

 

Did Jesus’ statement, to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth Iittie’ mean we must be great sinners before we can really love him?

 

The answer is an unequivocal “No.” To be forgiven of any sin is reason to love Jesus with all our hearts because any sin is reason enough to deserve the judgement of hell. He was aiming His remarks at the Pharisee’s smug self-righteousness. Simon had no sense of forgiveness because he had no sense of being a sinner and needing forgiveness. For this reason he could not love Jesus as the woman did. If Simon ever came to the point of seeing himself as a lost sinner and turned to Christ for forgiveness, he, too, would love much.

 

It is possible even for Christians to develop a spirit like Simon’s. One who has been converted but has always led a respectable life may look condescendingly at those whose sins were flagrant and glaring. They may congratulate themselves that they had never sunk so low. Unconsciously they may lose their sense of deep love for the Lord because they have lost the realisation that all are equally lost regardless of how their sins appear to other people.

 

B. Received by Faith

Luke 7:48-50

Jesus’ assurance that the woman’s sins were forgiven (verse 48) confirmed what had already happened in her life. It was important to make the statement publicly because of the attitude of Simon and other Pharisees in the crowed. All were probably thinking the same thing Simon was. They were waiting for Jesus to sho His revulsion at the sinful character of the woman. How Wonderful that He saw her differently. She was one of the lost sheep He has come to save. He would not be deterred by the hostility and criticism of hypocritical legalists.

 

Question for Application

 

Why did Jesus’ statement about forgiveness arouse so much discussion among the guests?_

 

Since those people did not recognise Jesus as the Son of God, they could not accept His authority to forgive sin which only God could do. The most they could acknowledge about Him was that He was another rabbi, a teacher. Forgiveness of sins was outside the prerogative of any man, and they considered Him only as a man.

 

To answer their critical murmurings. Jesus spoke again to the woman. Her response of faith in Him had brought her the salvation for which she had longed. She must leave the banquet hall, but she would go with God-given peace in her heart. Her spiritual position was a sharp contrast to critics she was leaving behind.

 

Call to Discipleship

 

The woman who anointed Jesus, was showing her devotion in a way that demonstrated her feelings the best way she knew, we do not need to copy others. but we must be sure we do not forget to express our love for Christ every day.

 

We must not have the selfish, prideful altitude the Pharisees demonstrated. Even if we have contact with people whose conduct are repugnant and their personalities irritating, we must see them as Christ does and respond to them as He would. We must understand that all have sinned and all need Jesus to be saved. The salvation of the sinful woman should encourage believers to know Jesus forgives. This is a golden opportunity for anyone yet to accept Jesus Christ into their lives to urgently yield to the call and be saved.

 

Ministry in Action

 

You must be ready to express your love to Christ every day, by your deeds as well as in words. Like the woman in this lesson did, be moved to show compassion to others. Live a life that will speak the gospel to the people around you, and draw souls to Christ.

 

Action Point

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PS: I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you could drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.

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