1. Do you like wearing cologne? Why or why not?

  1. Yes, and lots of it if I have no time to shower.
  2. No, I’m not a smelly guy who needs to cover up.
  3. My natural odors are good enough to attract the girl.
  4. No, I fear repelling or offending people with allergies.
  5. Other __________.


Jesus is gaining a reputation for being “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34), but this does not sit well with the Pharisees. Pharisees were “separated ones.” There were 6000 of them dispersed throughout Palestine. They were religious experts, teachers of the law, and authorities of all things kosher. Their interpretations of Jewish tradition were considered as authoritative as Scripture. They regarded the radical Jesus with suspicion, as a heretic, and would like to entrap him. One such Pharisee is about to entertain Jesus as a dinner guest. But Jesus is about to turn the tables on this guy.


God’s Story

Have someone read aloud Luke 7:36-50, emphasizing the contrasting images at the table.

Finding My Story in God’s Story

2. As one of the guests at this table, engage ONE of your five senses. What do you either see, hear, touch, taste, or smell?

3. How would you have reacted to the sinful woman anointing Jesus if you had been (choose one) … Jesus? … the host? … the guests? … the disciples?

  1. Dismayed with the lavish way someone else loves Jesus in ways I never would.
  2. Uncomfortable, empathizing with the host who is being upstaged.
  3. Curious, leaning in closer to catch it all on my camera.
  4. Embarrassed, wanting to rebuke Jesus for letting all this play out.
  5. Cheering for the gotcha moment when the parable finally hits home.
  6. Grateful that I am forgiven and freed to love in the right ways.
  7. Other __________.

4. With some dinner invitations, “who shows up” is more important and memorable than “what is served.” Who is noteworthy here, and why?

  1. Jesus—he attracts people of “ill” repute.
  2. Jesus—he offends people of “good” repute.
  3. The religious leaders—they keep the rules straight.
  4. Jesus—he tells clever stories with a hook.
  5. The woman of ill repute—she goes to great lengths to love Jesus.
  6. Simon the Pharisee—he blunders all over the place.
  7. Other __________.

5. Name an unexpected plot twist that you see in Jesus’ story within this story?

  1. I sensed it coming—forgiveness for a sinful woman, not the self-righteous host.
  2. I was blind-sided; I didn’t see Jesus turning the tables on the host.
  3. I judge on appearances and no one in this story is as they first appear.
  4. This story does not pass the smell test; it seems too good to be true.
  5. My heart was leaning left & right, up & down—too many plot twists to follow.
  6. Other __________.


6. This story is passed down to Luke and retold in order to raise and answer questions about Jesus. What questions does this story raise for you? Help one another answer them from the text.

  1. Is Jesus even a prophet? (Did he know about the party-crasher?)
  2. Was Jesus the best storyteller ever, or something more?
  3. Is Jesus a friend of sinners or the righteous—or both?
  4. Who is this man that he can forgive sins?
  5. What is the basis for anyone to be forgiven?

7. What lesson from this story is nudging you to take your next step in following Jesus?

  1. Cancel debts—I must release someone from their debt to me.
  2. Forgive sins—I need to forgive someone who’s sinned against me.
  3. Ask forgiveness—I must take the blame and go to Jesus.
  4. Touch Jesus—I must find a way to show my love and gratitude for him.
  5. Host others—I must not fear reaching out to those who are not like me.
  6. Other __________.


Our Story

8. What about this group of guys helps you replenish your faith in Jesus?

9. How do you need their support right now, as you take the next step you shared above?

10. Now go around the group and have each group member complete the sentence as a way to affirm one another.

“I want to thank ____________ for sharing ________________ during this session. (It’s always fair to “Pass,” if you wish.)

11. If there is time, go around the circle again to pray a one-sentence prayer (either silently or out loud) for the group member on your right. (If time is limited, commit to join your fellow group members in supporting one another in prayer this week.)