Catch up on how things have been since the last time your Impact Group met. Allow anyone new to introduce themselves. Then ask group members to:
Today’s story centres around a group of people sharing a meal. Ask for a volunteer to read Luke 7:36-50 to the group, praying a short prayer that – however much they’ve come to know Jesus, they’d get to know him better as a result of your time together.
If you’re not gathered in person, the leader should project the video for the group through sharing their screen. If you’re using Zoom, make sure you have optimized your screen share for video.
Suggested questions to help your discussion.
Debt is a picture of the effects of sin. Everything we have has been given to us by God – even our bodies and our very breath. Everything ultimately belongs to him. God’s intention was that we thankfully enjoy all he’s given us, using his gifts to benefit others and to steward everything else he made (see Genesis 1:26-28).
Each of us is indebted to God because we have taken his gifts and spent them on ourselves, acting as if we had owner’s rights on them. Both the woman and Simon had taken God’s gifts and used them in ways he would never have wanted. We have too.
We have broken the world. God’s justice demands payment. Yet, amazingly, Jesus indicates that the one true God is willing to cancel our debts – ultimately through paying them himself.
It’s possible to read this account and to think that the woman was forgiven because of her actions. But a close reading shows this isn’t so. In verse 47, Jesus declares that the woman’s ‘many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown.’ In other words, the woman’s great love is proof that she has already been forgiven by Jesus. So, when Jesus tells the woman that her sins are forgiven (verse 48), he is publicly confirming what she has already known in her personal experience.
Take time to allow group members to personally process. You might find these further questions helpful:
Share any requests that group members have at this point. Let any who don’t want to pray out loud stay silent, but encourage prayer out loud from those who feel comfortable.
Lots of unis have unofficial ‘Confessions’ pages on social media, where students can anonymously admit to often quite embarrassing things. Many also have ‘Spotted’ pages, which publicly call out the behaviour of others. It’s telling that we often prefer to keep our own embarrassments private, but enjoy watching the public humiliation of others.
If there are ‘Confessions’ or ‘Spotted’ pages at your uni, glance over them together and discuss:
You may have people in your Impact Group who are less familiar with Jesus and his teaching. The idea that Jesus meets us in our self-righteousness may be a new thought to some.
Confirm the time that you’ll meet next week, and ask someone to close your time together in prayer.
Taking it further – links you might like to share with your Impact Group
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