You were made to
live in community.
Small Group Questions – Week 2
- Community is a word that is probably overused both in and out of the Church. But rather than define or explain it, share a story about when you have experienced community. What does that look like? And how did it affect you?
Read Luke 7.36-39
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
- This party just got interesting! The woman is clearly out of place and according to the Pharisee, at least, tremendously out of line, as well. What might lead her to do this? What could be her motivation?
- Lobbed as an accusation, Jesus was called a “friend of sinners.” Remembering that Jesus is God-in-the-flesh, how does this story affect your understanding of God? In other words, what does this reveal of who God is and what He desires for us?
Read Luke 7.40-43
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
- How do you think Simon responded to this parable? (Remember, this is his house. He invited Jesus.)
- Suppose for a moment that Simon “gets it,” that he understands what Jesus is trying to communicate. If that were the case, what would change? What would he have done next? How would he have interacted with the woman? What might he have said?
As far as we know, Simon doesn’t change his view of the situation.
Read Luke 7.44-50 to see what Jesus does next.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
- This particular story, in many ways, points to the bigger story of the Gospel. But for now, focus in on this one piece. How is Jesus showing us how to love others? For example, our family, our friends, our neighbors?
- Here’s a Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote from his book Life Together.
When God was merciful to us, we learned to be merciful with our brethren.
When we received forgiveness instead of judgment, we, too,were made
ready to forgive our brethren. What God did to us, we then owed to
others. The more we received, the more we were able to give; and the more
meager our brotherly love, the less were we living by God’s mercy and love.
How can God’s love & grace transform the way we do community?
As you answer, think about this: We need each other. We need each other in order to fully know God’s love & grace. What part do you have to play in that?
As you close, read Psalm 133 (It’s best in the King James)
1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
- God created us to live together. So, what now? How can you/should you live differently because of God’s love & grace for the people in your life?
*Ideas & questions with reference to
A Meal with Jesus, Ch. 2, by Tim Chester