THE WOMAN WHO LIVED A SINFUL LIFE

Bible Study Lesson 6/25/2016 Key Scriptures: Luke 7:36-50

Supporting Scriptures: Luke 19:2-3; Romans 3:23; Is. 55:8; Rom. 6:23;

Matt. 7:1; Matt.23:2-3,13-14; Rev. 3:20; Zec.1:3; Matt. 28:19-20; John 3:16; Matt.22:37-38; John 14:23; Matt. 10:33; Prov. 3:6; Hebrews 8:12

  1. THE TITLE:

Many times in scripture the main character is named, such as Zacchaeus, a man of short stature who climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus. (Luke 19:2-3). Other times, as in this lesson, no name is given. While pondering the reason why, consider this: any name would be appropriate; male or female. Romans 3:23 tells us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

  1. HER CHARACTER:

“She was a notorious sinner, possibly a prostitute or adulteress. Rather than trying to defend what was indefensible in her life, she admitted her sin and made a spectacle of herself in a passionate display of love and gratitude.”  WOB, pg. 171.

In our humanness, we often attempt to categorize sin. For many a “LITTLE SIN” like lying is insignificant, while a “BIG SIN” such as murder is unforgiveable. In opposition to our thinking, let us look at Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”, declares the Lord. We know that God hates all sin, for He tells us “the wages of sin is death…”. (Romans 6:23) Therefore, as we look at the character of the lady in this lesson; ourselves; and the many others in which we come in contact, let us remember “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”. (Matt. 7:1)

  1. HER SORROW:

“That she had offended God so grievously”. (biblegateway.com)

  1. HER JOY:

“That Jesus forgave her sins and commended her great faith and love.” (biblegateway.com)

  1. THE INVITATION:

One of the Pharisees named Simon invited Jesus into his home for dinner and Jesus went and reclined at the table. (Luke 7:36) Based on scripture, we know that the Pharisees were experts in the law. They believed in God, but not that Jesus was the Messiah. Repeatedly, they attempted to entice Jesus into saying something they could use to bring about his arrest, imprisonment and crucifixion. In regard to the Pharisees, Jesus stated “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach”. (Matt. 23:2-3). Repeatedly, he referred to them as “hypocrites”. (Matt. 23:13-14)

Initially, we don’t know why Simon extended the invitation or why Jesus accepted; we simply know that it was done. Here is something we do know in full detail, Jesus has extended an open invitation to all of us. He says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me”. (Rev. 3:20) We can rejoice in the knowledge that God’s invitation remains open even when we err and fall into sin, if we will sincerely repent (as the woman in this lesson). Let us remember the words of the Lord in Zechariah 1:3, “Return to me”, declares the Lord Almighty, “and I will return to you”.

  1. SHARING THE GOSPEL:

A woman in town who lived a sinful life heard that Jesus was dining at Simon’s house, so she arrived uninvited with an alabaster jar filled with perfume. (Luke 7:37)

Apparently, the woman had already heard Jesus speak or at least had heard about Him. She had seen or heard of His many miracles, healings and teachings. After hearing, she responded by seeking Him out and going to where He was. Obviously, she desired to connect with Him, learn more and pay homage to Him since she brought along a gift- love offering.

As children of God, it is our responsibility to spread the good news telling others about Jesus. He commands us to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20)

Like the woman in our lesson, after hearing about Jesus our desire should be to make that connection with Him. We can rest assured that “God desires a continuing love relationship with us that is real and personal”. (Experiencing God; Henry and Richard Blackaby; pg. 52 2007).  In Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment.”  While requiring our love, remember that God first demonstrated His love for us in that “…..He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)  How appropriate is that age-old childhood song: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so”.

  1. WE SHOULD DEMONSTRATE OUR LOVE FOR JESUS OPENLY!

After entering Simon’s home, the woman stood behind Jesus at His feet weeping; wet His feet with her tears; wiped them with her hair; kissed them and poured perfume on them. (Luke7:38). Her love for Jesus was shown through her humility (the washing of His feet); tears (outward display of love and devotion); and unselfish giving (the alabaster jar filled with  perfume). Scripture doesn’t indicate that she ever spoke a word, but her love and devotion was evident.

As believers, we should demonstrate our love for Jesus openly by living righteously and loving others as He commands. He tells us in John 14:23 “anyone who loves me will obey my teaching”.  He further states in Matthew 10:33, that, if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before His Father.

  1. HATERS WILL HATE

When Simon saw what the woman was doing, his mind went straight to the negative. He thought to himself, “If Jesus is a prophet he would know that the woman touching him is a sinner”. (Luke 7:39)  Now Simon reveals his true character and doubt of who Jesus is. How quickly he was ready to judge, placing himself above the woman, as though he was not also a sinner. Additionally, he seemingly places himself above Jesus, believing that he knows more because he recognizes the woman as a sinner while Jesus does not.

  1. IGNORE STUMBLING BLOCKS

Jesus knew Simon’s thoughts and responded by explaining a parable about two men who owed a debt, one 500 denarii and the other 50. Neither man could repay the moneylender, so he forgave both debts.  Jesus then asked the question, which of the debtors would love the most (be the most grateful). Simon answered the one who owed the most and Jesus replied that he was correct. (Luke 7:43-44)

The parable was meant to teach a lesson. Both Simon and the woman owed a debt that could never repay. Consider this summarization from Bible Gateway: “Though Simon’s sin was less obvious, it was the more dangerous. He was like a man who was following a map he was certain would lead to heaven—but when heaven came down and walked into his house, he didn’t even know it. The woman on the other hand, realized just how lost she had been. Forgiven much, she loved much. She found heaven at the feet of Jesus.”

Jesus went on to point out all the expected amenities Simon had failed to offer as a proper host, such as water to clean His feet; a welcoming kiss; or oil for His head. The woman, however, had done all these acts of love by washing His feet, kissing them and anointing them with oil. (Luke 7:44-46)

In our daily lives, there will be stumbling blocks. There will people who question our commitment to God; criticize our actions; intentionally place obstacles in our way, and even slander our name and more. Remember that God is omniscience, omnipresent and omnipotent.  Trust completely in Him, stand firmly on His promises and “in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths”. (Prov.3:6)

  1. JESUS RESPONDS TO OUR FAITH

Jesus supports the woman and says to Simon, “Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown”. (Luke7:47). He also says directly to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven”. (Luke 7:48)

We know that the woman was not saved because of her actions or the expensive perfume, for it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us”. (Titus 3:5) Jesus makes it perfectly clear in Luke7:50 when he says to The Woman Who Has Lived A Sinful Life, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace”.

  1. STANDING ON THE WORD

God has promised, “For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more”. (Hebrews 8:12)  “This story isn’t included in scripture just so we can see the forgiveness given to one sinful woman, it is included so that we can know that no matter how sinful, how broken, how entrenched in error we might be, forgiveness is available if only we seek it in faith—he’s promised.”  biblegateway.com/devotionals/women of the bible/2014/09/29.

Bibliography:

Holy Bible, New International Version, (NIV) Study Bible, Copyright 1985, Zondervan Corporation

Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Copyright 1999,2002 by Ann Spangler and Jean Syswerda; Zondervan

Experiencing God, Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Henry and Richard Blackaby, Claude King; Copyright 2007, Reprinted 2015

biblegateway.com/devotionals/women-of-the-bible/2014/09/29

 

 

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A Recall for Service

Background Scripture John 21: 1-25

Prayer:  Lord, we’ve come today to worship you and to bring glory to your name during this Lenten season.  May we be more aware during this 40 day period of the sacrifice that you made when you gave your life as a payment for our sins.  May we then go through this year with a new found sense of gratitude to you.  In your name, Amen.

 

THE MESSAGE:  “ A RECALL TO SERVICE”  AKA:  “ WHERE’S PETER?”

The word, RECALL, means to officially return to a place. Synonyms: summon back, order back, call back.  Some of us may have gotten a recall on some parts to our car, because some part of the car may have proven or suspect to be defective.  We then need to take our cars back to the dealership for repairs.

In our message today, the disciple Peter, has gotten a recall. “ Who recalled Peter?”  “ Jesus!”  Why, because Peter had some defects that had prevented him from doing what he’d vowed not to do?

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial (Matthew 26:31-35):

31. Then Jesus told them, “ This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”

32. But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

33. Peter replied, “ Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

34 . “ I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered,  “ this very night,  before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

35. But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

Our focus is on Peter today, but there were a total of eleven other disciples, at this time, Judas had departed (Mt. 26:25). So we are focusing on the eleven with Peter as the leader.

Background: The Calling of the First Disciples

All four gospels unite in reporting that Peter became a disciple of Jesus in the very early days of Jesus ‘ ministry. (Matt. 4:18-22, Mark. 1: 16-20, Luke 5:1-11,John 1:35-42).   (1., page 749)

The practice of mentioning Peter first was not due simply to his early call or to his prominence in the apostolic age.  Throughout Jesus ministry Peter was an outstanding member of the twelve.  At times he acted as a vigorous individual quick to take the initiative. (1., page 750)

For example: In Matt. 14:28 – where Peter volunteered to come to Jesus upon water, though he  became afraid  while carrying out his proposal. (1., page 750)

The scene plays out and Jesus is arrested in Matt.26: 47-55. The last line of this Scripture says, “Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.” Where was Peter?

Peter was located:

Matt. 26:69-75 – At verses 69 – Here’s Peter: “Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard….”

Mk. 14:66-72 – “ While Peter was below in the courtyard…..”

Luke 22:54-62 …. “Peter followed at a distance.”

John 18:25-27 “As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, “You are not one of the disciples, are you?”

The Crucifixion  Happens:

Where’s Peter?

John 20:1 …. Mary Magdalene went to the tomb  ( Jesus’ tomb) and  saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance….

John 20:2  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple….. All of the Gospels now account for Peter’s whereabouts.(Matt. 28:7, Mark 16:7, Luke 24:12). Peter’s presence was accounted for with the other ten disciples.

The disciples go fishing (John 21:1-3):

1. Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way:

2. Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathaniel from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.

3. “I’m going out to fish.” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “ we’ll go out with you.”  So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Jesus Prepares Breakfast for the eleven disciples (John 21:4-14):

4. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize it was Jesus.

5. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.

6. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

7. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.

8. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.

9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”

11 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.

12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord

13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same thing with the fish.

14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus Reinstates Peter (John 21:15-19):

15. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “ Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”

“Yes Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16. Again Jesus said, Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”

He answered, Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17. The third time he said to him, Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He said, Lord you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said , “Feed my sheep.

18. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”

19. Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

After what Peter felt and experienced: fear for his life without the protection of Jesus, and trying desperately to save himself by denying that he was one of Jesus’ disciples. He is face to face with Jesus, who tells him what he needs to do next as a testament to his love for Jesus.  “Feed my lambs, take care of my sheep, feed my sheep.”  How would Peter accomplish this task?  With the gifts Jesus had gifted him with, before he became afraid.

Leaders of God’s flock have been called to feed His sheep.  Be careful not to allow any past sins and mistakes to deter you from this “Call.”  Prayerfully ask God to show you where He’s at work and join Him. Do His work His way. (2, pp. 7-28.)

Jesus Reinstated Peter- He issued a RECALL with the instructions that he was to prove his love for Jesus by feeding His sheep.   

References:

  1. Blackaby, Henry & Richard, King, Claude, Experiencing God, Lifeway Press 2007
  2. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, In Four Volumes, K-Q, Abingdon Press, 1962
  3. NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1973

Note: This message was delivered by Pastor Glenda Brunson at Grand Villa St. Petersburg, Reverend Al Woods, Pastor on Sunday February 14, 2016.