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Luke 7:36-50 – Parable of the Cancelled Debt

This week at Imprint Church in Woodinville we continued our “Tell Me a Story” sermon series with the parable of the Cancelled Debt. Have you ever had a debt forgiven?  If so, then you know that the greater the debt, the greater relief.

The key segments in this week’s sermon along with time in the recording (00:00) where you can hear them are:

I. This is a story about identity (20:50)
This passage is all about the identity of the characters. Luke wants us to recognize that there is an identity issue at stake here. Will your response to who Jesus is be like the Pharisee (angry that the sinners get Jesus), the dinner guests (always asking the question), or the woman (forgiven, peaceful, responding in worship)?

II. This is a story about worship (26:10)
There is a physical and emotional response on behalf of this woman for Jesus. The Pharisee is cold and calculated. In our culture, people are taught to guard against emotions in their responses. When was that last time you let the word of God cut to your heart so deeply that you had an emotional response?

III. This is a story about grace (31:00)
Cancellation of debts is pure grace. But grace also transforms here: it creates love and relationship, and requires a response. Jesus’ story demonstrates the presence of a different kind of Kingdom where debts are forgiven instead of punished, that forgiveness is available to sinners, and that grace is part of the Christian life.

IV. This is a story about forgiveness (33:50)
Jesus is not saying that the woman’s sins were forgiven because she loved much. That is not the point of the parable. The point is that she loved much because her many sins were forgiven. This is also the point of the parable.

Sermon Recordings

So, you weren’t able to join us for church in Woodinville? No problem!  You can listen to the podcast of this sermon or watch the video down below:

Generosity Group Questions

  1. Read Luke 7:36-50
  2. Contrast the Pharisee and the “woman of the city.” How would you describe each person’s relationship with Jesus? What motives do each seem to have? What type of thinking (i.e., who) might the Pharisee represent? What about the woman? Whom might she represent in her thinking/actions?
  3. Is there a certain type of person that we would have trouble seeing coming into Imprint? What type of people are you quick to judge and not think they are in need of the Savior?
  4. How is this section of Scripture about identity? How is each character defined in the story? How do you identify yourself? How do others define you? How should you be defined as a person?
  5. How does our gratitude toward God reflect the state of our relationship with Him?
  6. What does it look like for you to worship Jesus? Do you allow yourself to express your heart and mind to the Lord during times of worship?
  7. Is the parable in 7:41-42 another example of “unfairness” (the parable of the laborers from last Sunday)? How is the moneylender (vs. 41-42) a picture of grace?
  8. What was Jesus trying to correct about Simon’s concept of “forgiveness”? What is the link between love, gratitude and forgiveness?
  9. Overall, what is this parable telling us? Is there really a differentiation between “little” sins “great” sins? Or a differentiation between “little” forgiveness and “great” forgiveness?

Join us next week at Imprint Church in Woodinville as we look at the Parable of the Lost Things in Luke 15.