Luke 6:37–48 People often respond to forgiveness with loving acts. What can we do to show gratitude to those who forgive us? In Luke, the sinful woman showed her gratitude to Jesus by washing his feet with her tears and anointing him with expensive oil.
Lesson 9: October 27, 2019
Bible Background • LUKE 7:36–50
Printed Text • LUKE 7:37–48 | Devotional Reading • JOHN 13:3–11
Aim for Change
By the end of the lesson, we will: EXAMINE how the sinful woman demonstrated her love and gratitude to Jesus, REFLECT on how the woman’s love and devotion led her to cross social barriers to anoint Jesus, and BECOME emboldened to resist social pressures that would prevent expressions of love and gratitude for our salvation.
Gary steadied himself as he stood to walk to the podium above the casket where his sister peacefully lay. He told himself that he could deliver the speech he had rehearsed a million times in his head without breaking down. “Y’all know if Gabby were up here, she’d throw up two fingers and yell, ‘Hollaaaah!’” When everyone laughed, Gary relaxed. “Gabby was known for being the life of the party, even though sometimes she tried to be the life of the wrong kind of party. She had us worried before she knew Jesus.”
He cleared his throat again and said, “You know, Gabby died way too young. It’s hard for me to believe that just a few hours after our family had Sunday dinner together, she was killed in a car accident. Our family is heartbroken.
“One of the things bringing us comfort right now is knowing that Gabby belongs to God,” Gary said. “She accepted Him as her Savior. She became a new person, with a new life. She lived her last years thankful every day to the Lord for saving her from the destructive life she saw in some of her friends. Gabby always lived as a joyful hope for them to find the better way she had found. And we know that she’s experiencing new life now in heaven with the Lord.” After Gary spoke, the people rose from their seats, clapping in celebration for Gabby’s life and the new life she had gained in Christ.
Identify ways Gabby affected people’s lives. What was the main point of Gary’s message about his sister Gabby? Share how others may testify to the goodness of Christ in your life.
Keep in Mind
“And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment” (Luke 7:38, KJV).
“Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them” (Luke 7:38, NLT).
The People, Places, and Times
Alabaster. The term “alabaster box” actually refers to a flask or jar made of special white or yellow translucent limestone named after Alabaster, the town in Egypt where it is chiefly found. The material was often used to carve vases in which to store perfume. The vases are usually made without handles and can be easily broken to remove their contents.
Pharisee. A religious party or school among the Jews at the time of Christ, called “the separated ones.” They were founded in the second century BC, as a protest against the Hellenistic influence that was threatening to undermine the sacred religion of their fathers. They were known for their zealous obedience to God’s law. They also became major opponents of Jesus. They believed in a twofold law: the written and the oral Torah, or tradition. This tradition is what usually brought them into arguments with Jesus.
The Gospel writer Luke inserts an editorial comment in his account of Jesus’ ministry: “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him” (Luke 7:30). Jesus was a controversial figure who attracted crowds and generated much interest. Some people in the crowd were excited about His presence and received Him as a prophet; some looked for Him to be the king who would free them from Roman occupation; some were onlookers who followed the reports of miracles, signs, and wonders. All of this chatter was disturbing to those who were Jewish leaders: the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes (or lawyers). Jesus disrupted the balance of communal power by declaring God accessible to all no matter their social status. Jesus was known for calling out the religious leaders for contradictions in their public appearance and treatment of people while, in contrast, showing compassion and acceptance to those who were marginalized. He would be classified as one who would associate with tax collectors and sinners, which made encounters with the Pharisees strained (Luke 7:34).