Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Gracious Moneylender

Lesson: Forgiven much, Love much

1. Story:
  • Tell the story of Jesus being anointed in the Pharisee's house from Luke 7:36-50.
  • Suggested prop: a bottle of perfume for "smell effects"
  • One day, a Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to his house for dinner.
  • As Jesus was eating at the table, suddenly a woman came to him. This woman had a bad reputation in the town. The Bible describes her as someone who lived a sinful life.
  • This woman started crying at Jesus’ feet. Her tears streamed down and wet his feet, and she wiped the feet with her hair. She had a very expensive and precious alabaster jar of perfume — it was probably her most treasured possession. She poured the perfume on Jesus’ feet. (spray some perfume in the air or at feet so that the kids can smell it)
  • When Simon saw this happening, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is.”
  • As we know, Jesus knows our thoughts even when we don’t speak them out. Jesus decided to tell Simon a story:
    • Two people owed money to a moneylender. One owed 500 denarii, while the other owed 50 denarii. (1 denarii = 1 day’s salary)
    • None of them could pay their debt.
    • The moneylender decided to forgive both their debts.
    • Which of these two people will love the moneylender more?
    • Simon answered, “The one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
  • Jesus said, “You have judged correctly.” Then Jesus  turned to the woman and said to Simon:
    • Simon: did not give any water for Jesus to wash His feet
    • Woman: wet feet with tears and wiped with hair
    • Simon: did not give Jesus a kiss
    • Woman: has not stopped kissing feet
    • Simon: did not put oil on Jesus’ head
    • Woman: poured perfume on His feet
  • Both Simon and the woman had sins — both had debts they could not pay.
  • But only the woman realised and understood that Jesus had forgiven her many sins. That’s why the woman’s response was so great! She had been forgiven much, so she loved much.
  • Whereas Simon the Pharisee was probably self righteous and did not realise he also needed his sins to be forgiven. So as he thought he had not much to be forgiven, he also showed little love to Jesus.
  • Difference: Simon invited Jesus into his house, but the woman invited Jesus into her heart.
  • Jesus assured the woman: “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” The woman no longer had to go out as a “sinful” woman, but as one who knew she had been forgiven.

2. Lesson: Good News for today!
  • When we realise how much Jesus has done for us, we cannot help but to love Him in return.
  • That’s the amazing grace of God!     
  • Let’s pray: Thank you Jesus that while we were still sinners, when we couldn’t pay our debts, when we were Your enemies, You loved us and forgave us. Thank you for Your amazing grace in our lives. Amen.

3. Activity Ideas
  • Craft: Perfume bottle
    •  Print out perfume bottle on white card.
    • On 1 side write: Jesus makes me lovely
    • On the other side: Get kids to stick colourful crepe paper to decorate. Then spray some perfume on the crepe paper.

  • Wordsearch 


Youth Bible Study

Leader's Guide

Jesus' Parable: The Gracious Moneylender (Luke 7:36-50)

1. Who invited Jesus to dinner?
Simon, a Pharisee

2. Who made an uninvited appearance at the dinner? What did she bring with her?
A woman in that town who lived a sinful life.
An alabaster jar of perfume — probably her most treasured possession.

3.  Jesus could read what the Pharisee was thinking. Where else have we learned that He demonstrated this ability?
When He healed the paralytic who was brought by his four friends to Jesus (Luke 5:22).

4. Jesus then told a parable. How many men owed the moneylender money? How many couldn’t pay? How many had their debt forgiven?
Two men owed money. Both men couldn’t pay. Both had their debt forgiven.

5. Between the Pharisee and the woman, which of them had sin in their life? Which of them couldn’t be perfect? Which of them had their debt forgiven?
Both of them.

6. Which of them realised how much they had been forgiven?
The woman.

7.       State the differences between how the Pharisee and the woman treated Jesus:
Did not give Jesus water to wash His feet
Wet Jesus’ feet with tears; wiped with hair
Did not give Jesus a kiss
Had not stopped kissing Jesus’ feet
Did not put oil on Jesus’ head
Poured perfume on His feet

8.  At this time, Jesus had not yet died on the cross. But the woman knew that He was the one who loved her and had the authority to forgive her many sins. How did Jesus send her off?
By saying, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

9. When we know how much Jesus has done for us and how much He has forgiven us, what response can we have?
Love Him.


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