Sunday “E.Q.U.I.P.” is an exercise meant to better equip us for corporate worship on Sunday evenings. We want to help you reflect on the sermon passages and familiarize yourself with the songs we’ll sing.
This week’s passage is Luke 7.36-50.
E—EYES to the passage. Read Luke 7.36-50. As you have time, try reading Psalm 103 and Romans 3.9-26.
Q—QUESTIONS for reflection.
- In Luke 7.36-50, many of the themes of Luke’s Gospel so far show up again? For example, assurance of salvation, Luke 1.4 and Luke 7.48-50. To really shore up on all we’ve heard in this Gospel, try to name a few more themes that are present. Consider Luke 5.20-21, Luke 5.27-32, Luke 6.21b, among other passages.
- In Luke 7.37, a woman interrupts the Pharisees dinner with Jesus. How is she described? What significance do these descriptions play in this passage? For instance, how does the Pharisee view her? How does Jesus view her? How might you view her? Closer to the Pharisee or Jesus? Clearly, the Pharisee is surprised at how Jesus receives her, her presence, and her actions. Why? And what does that teach us about the heart of God that we see in Christ?
- Jesus calls this woman’s actions in Luke 7.37-38 (again, in Luke 7.44-46) “great love” or thereabouts in Luke 7.47. What is the cause of this love (see Luke 7.42)? This is important because, otherwise, Luke 7.47a could easily come across as though she was forgiven because she loved. But Luke 7.42 sets the chain reaction straight. How so? And if this is so, what do we make of what Jesus says in Luke 7.47a? Consider Luke 7.50. Again, Jesus says something else saved her. What is it? And how might this also relate to her love for Christ and it’s connection to forgiveness? Hint: Saving faith always shows itself in love for the Savior! What does the presence of her love suggest, then, but the presence of . . . (7.50) and the prior gift of . . . (7.42)?
- Still, this sort of unrelenting and extravagant love for Christ is critical. The woman has it, and she’s forgiven, saved, at peace with God. Simon does not, and that means the opposite for him. Where does this love come from? How is it generated, increased? Look at Luke 7.47. What can be drawn from what Jesus says? As an aside, in Luke 7.47b, does Jesus mean that some love more or less because they’ve been forgiven more or less (so that holiness—less sin to be forgiven—actually hinders love), or does He mean that the one who doesn’t realize the greatness of their sin and, so, the great cost of forgiveness, will hardly love the One paying the price?
- In Luke 7.44-46, Jesus teaches the Pharisee about a ‘saved love’ by comparing him with the saved one, the sinful woman, and her great love. What are the points of comparison?—and don’t let yourself off the hook. How might you respond to presence of your Savior this hour? How is your love for Christ?
- In Luke 7.48-50, Jesus directs Himself to this woman and assures her of three things? What are they? How do they relate to Luke 1.4? What do they teach us about Jesus? Who is He?
U—UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4.3; also 4.13). How can we take this passage and use it to love one another, so that we’re knit together in love? Reflect on the following: 1) that we’re to impartially welcome sinners, as Christ, Luke 7.37-38; 2) that we’re to hold one another accountable for our love for Christ (Luke 7.42, Luke 7.44-47) and, remember, that demands attention to our personal love for Christ (Luke 6.39-42); 3) that we’re to encourage one another by these great gospel graces, like God’s initiating love (implied in Luke 7.42), the gift of faith (implied in the woman’s actions of love, and stated in Luke 7.50), love for Christ, forgiveness of sins (Luke 7.48), salvation from judgment (Luke 7.50), and peace with God (Luke 7.50); 4) that we’re to labor together for the assurance of these things, Luke 7.48-50.
I—IGNITE for Christ. What excellencies about Jesus ignite in us a greater love for Him that reaches out to all to make Him known? Consider 1) how Christ has welcomed you; 2) that Christ is God’s way for showing you saving mercy and grace; 3) that Christ truly sets us an example of ministering to the hearts of all, moral and immoral; 4) that Jesus is a prophet and more, He’s Christ our Savior; 5) that the debt of our sins, which we could never pay, has been fully paid by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ; 6) that He’s worthy of all our love and worship; 7) that through Him, we’ve received forgiveness, yes, but also then salvation and peace with God forevermore!
P—PRAY that we will have our hearts filled with unashamed love for Jesus, as we consider His grace, compassion, forgiveness, love, salvation, and peace. Pray that sinners, ‘of the city’ or ‘of the church’, the immoral and the moral, will repent and come to faith in Christ and, so, know His great salvation.