Lesson Plan Enrichment Ideas
Jesus and the Sinful Woman
Have you ever witnessed an attempt to honor someone that went inappropriately “over the top”? How did it make you feel? Why did you feel it inappropriate?
Things to Teach for Enrichment
1. It was a long-held Jewish belief that sickness or other calamity was God’s judgment for sin. This pharisaical belief was expressed as “the so much for so much.” Therefore, people experiencing misfortune were often labeled “sinners.” We don’t know the reason this particular woman was labeled a sinner, but it could have been for a variety of possibilities.
This was what Job’s friends thought about the devastating circumstances he experienced. Read Job 4:7-9. They felt that somewhere Job had really blown it, and that it was time to confess the sin. But chapters 1 and 2 make it clear that Job was being tested, not because of sin, but because of his faithfulness.
Have you ever wondered if difficult circumstances were the result of God’s judgment? That someone who was struggling was just reaping what he had sown? Do you think it is wise to assume this? How does this sentiment fit in with the idea of living in the shadow of God’s grace?
2. Make a chart and compare Simon the Pharisee to The Sinful Woman.
|Simon the Pharisee||The Sinful Woman|
|Wealthy enough to host a large gathering
Upright, respected citizen
Does not see himself as a sinner
Will love little
Did not extend the most common of courtesies
Acted in obligation and sought God’s approval by works
|Financial status unknown
Lowest of sinners
Distained by general public
Knows she needs mercy and forgiveness
Will love much
Washed his feet with tears and wiped with hair
Acted in gratitude and faith
3. Look up the following verses on the abundance of God’s grace.
Romans 5:12, 15, 17
Ephesians 1:6-7; 2:7-8
Discuss the implications of abundant grace. What aspects of our sin does it more-than-cover? What does that abundance mean when we continue to fail? How does this abundance bring joy and peace to the believer’s heart?
4. How does grace continue to supply your needs even after becoming a believer? Read 2 Corinthians 12:9, Ephesians 4:7, 1 Peter 1:13, and Hebrews 4:16.
5. A prophet was commonly believed to be a clairvoyant and therefore know things ordinary people would not know. This was based on the Old Testament accounts of Elijah (2 Kings 5:25-6) and Elisha (2 Kings 6:8-10). Simon assumed Jesus was a fraud when he obviously did not perceive the woman was a sinner. A touch by a sinner like this woman would bring ceremonial uncleanliness, and Simon assumed if Jesus had known, he would have immediately ordered her away. Yet soon after he thought this, Jesus demonstrated He could hear what Simon was thinking!
6. What was the point of the parable Jesus told Simon? Do you find this to be true in your own life? How should your personal experience of being forgiven affect your response to others who need forgiveness from you?
7. It was a normal sign of respect to pour oil over someone’s head. But the woman poured oil over Jesus’ feet. What do you think this infers? Perhaps she felt unworthy to anoint his head. Most certainly kissing his feet was the utmost sign of respect, submission, and affection.
8. A denarius was a Roman coin, and worth a day’s wages. The larger debt, 500 denarii, was almost unimaginable to the first century Jew.
9. Note the context of this story: in Luke 7:34, Jesus calls himself a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Luke follows that remark with the story of the sinful woman. It is more than likely he is using this story to illustrate Jesus’ self-identification.
10. First century social etiquette demanded that a host greet his guests with a kiss of peace, his hand on the guest’s shoulder. He or a servant would pour cool water over his guests’ feet and provide a towel to dry them. A drop of scented oil would be placed on the guests’ heads. A host would protect the honor of his guest. He would never allow the guest to feel insulted, either by him or any other guests. A host was expected to tend to every need of those in his home, carefully treating them with respect.
Simon apparently did none of these things. What do you think this may indicate as to Simon’s motivation in inviting Jesus to his home?Read More