BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Verses 44-46 describe how an honored guest was received in Jesusí time. People ate sitting or reclining on the floor; that is why the dirty feet of a neighbor could cause someone to lose his appetite. Note that in Jewish culture a woman never revealed her hair in front of strange men. A Pharisee means a devout believer in God. Simon is not the same person as one of the disciples of Jesus.
1. In your opinion, can a prostitute live a happy life? Give your reasons.
All the people in that town knew this woman who was selling her own body. Think of different possibilities what might have made this girl a prostitute?
2. * What were the important things (values) in the life for Simon, the Pharisee?
Why didnít Simon ask one of his servants to wash the feet of Jesus; he had after all invited Jesus to be his guest? (36, 44-46)
What might have been Simonís motives when he invited Jesus to dine in his house? Think of different possibilities (36).
3. How did the woman manage to sneak into Simonís house and even to his dining room? Consider various possibilities.
An alabaster jar full of perfume was quite expensive. How might the woman have come into possession of this jar, or for what purpose had she bought it? Think of different alternatives.
4. Why did this woman want to meet Jesus so badly that she ventured to the house of a Pharisee, fully knowing that she would be frowned upon?
At that time religious people did not have any contact with so called sinners. What made this woman hope and believe that Jesus would be different?
5. Why did the woman want to touch Jesus (38)?
What happens if a rat, a snake or a person we detest, touches us?
What did the woman understand/ conclude from the fact that Jesus didnít recoil from her touch?
6. Guess how long it was since this woman had cried last?
How many tears do you think are needed in order that somebody can wash somebody elseís feet?
What made this woman cry so much that the feet of Jesus became wet?
Why didnít the woman dry Jesusí feet with her scarf or her hem, but with her hair?
The woman didnít say one single word during that dinner, but what did her behavior say?
7. In verses 41-42 Jesus tells a small parable about a banker and his debtors. The banker means God, but whom does Jesus refer to by these two debtors?
Jesus compares sin with debt. A debt of 500 denarii corresponded to a salary of an average worker for 1Ĺ years. A debt of 50 denarii corresponded to a debt of 1Ĺ months. How much would this be in our currency?
Letís assume that every sin you have ever committed will correspond to a debt, say, 10 euros/ 50 rubles/ 100 tugrik. How much do you owe to God by now? (You can answer in your heart.)
8. Why did Simon despise both Jesus and the woman (39)?
Why is it so much easier for us to pay attention to the sins of others than to those of our own?
9. Which happened first: Did the woman first believe that her sins were forgiven, or did she first love Jesus in order to get her sins forgiven? Give your reasons from verses 42-43, 47.
Who paid the debt which this woman owed to God?
What happened to the debt which Simon owed to God?
In which currency did Jesus pay the debts of all people?
10. THE GLAD TIDINGS QUESTIONS: Jesus knows all your sins, but in spite of them he says to you: ďAll your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace!Ē (Verses 48 and 50) He and only he has the right to say these words, because he paid your sin-debt by his blood. What do you answer him? (You can answer in your heart.)
(For everyone to answer): What was the most important thing you learned during this Bible study?