Sunday School Material 4-10-16: Shameless Faith

(Luke 7:36-50; 4/10/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus forgives a sinful woman and calls for all who have been forgiven to demonstrate love. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to be so appreciative of God’s forgiving our many sins that we also provide great service.

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Read Luke 7:36-39

I. The Saint and the Sinner. In our Sunday School material Jesus accepts a dinner invitation at a Pharisee’s house. A sinful woman humbly cleans the feet of Jesus with her tears and hair. The Pharisee is judgmental of Jesus’ interaction with the sinful woman.

Applications –

- Being right with God. Notice in vss. 36-38 that the sinful woman gave extraordinary service, as a sign of her sincere desire to be forgiven. And notice that Jesus accepted the service.

First, our behavior says more about what is in our hearts than our words. Those who really repent and desire forgiveness ought to show some sign.  Second, as in the text, God is willing to accept our turning to Him, no matter how sinful we are and no matter what other people think.

Let’s work on living like we are passionate about being right with God. Such living should be known for humility and obedience.

- What people think and what they say. Notice in vs. 39 that Simon was thinking, not saying. In like manner, we should not be surprised when people are second guessing our claim to be disciples of Christ.

Unlike Jesus, we are not normally able to read people’s minds. So we are left to do the best that we can with the awareness that sometimes people may be thinking something contrary to what they are saying.

Let’s live so people can see that we are really sold out for the Lord. Those who don’t know the Lord may often misunderstand what we do, but we should live so they know that we are trying to live for the Lord.

Read Luke 7:40-43

II. The Two Debtors. Jesus calls Simon’s attention to a story in our Sunday School material. Two people owed a man some money. Neither of them could repay, so the man forgave both of them.

Jesus asked who would love the forgiving man the most, the one who owed 500 pieces of money or 50 pieces of money. Jesus commends Simon’s indicating that the man who owed 500 would love more.

Applications –

- Effective communication. Notice in vss. 40-41 that Jesus gained attention, use helpful comparisons (notice the use of money), and asked questions. In like manner, as we strive to communicate with people, we should make sure that we use these three devices as well.

Without having a person’s attention, we are wasting our breath. Using comparisons that are interesting to the person who we are talking to can be very helpful.

And using questions can help move the person from a passive listener to being actively engaged in what you are trying to help them understand. Let’s work on being effective communicators for the Lord.

Read Luke 7:44-50

III. Faith That Saves. In our Sunday School material Jesus talks about how the woman has been so hospitable to Him, even though He was in Simon’s home.

The woman is pictured as one who loved much because she was forgiven for much. The house guests were asking about Jesus’ ability to forgive sins.

Applications –

- Loving one another. Notice in vss. 44-47 the strong implication that Simon should have been given to hospitality. As believers, we should be known for our hospitality, Christian courtesy, and love.

As common as this idea is, unfortunately it is not as commonly practiced. There are too many who claim to be Christians but have no reputation for hospitality, courtesy, nor love.

Let’s work on being more loving to especially one another. The projects and accountability partnerships of growth groups can help us with this application.

- Living like we are forgiven. Notice in vss. 47-48, 50 of our Sunday School material that those who have been forgiven much should demonstrate much love.

First, no matter how sinful we may be, God is able to forgive all who simply confess, receive His grace, and move on with their lives. God’s forgiving us is not based on what other people think about us.

Second, the more God forgives us, the more we should love Him. The greatest demonstration of loving God is to obey Him. God calls us to love Him with all that we have and to love our neighbors, as we love ourselves.

If we are not obediently loving God and others, we are not demonstrating appropriate appreciation for God’s love.

Third, when the Lord forgives us and gives us His peace, we should accept that and move on, even when religious people are still stuck on our past sins. Let’s work on living like we appreciate God’s forgiving us.

Conclusion: Let’s work on showing how appreciative we are of God’s forgiving us of our many sins, by providing great service. God has much for those who obey His will.

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