Forgiven Much by Jesus, We Love Much
These are the readings for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.
God’s Word for This Week
When we sense how much we need God’s forgiveness, his mercy becomes the most powerful reality in our lives. It transforms us. To ignore our need brings ruin, but to hang on tightly to God’s gift of mercy brings peace, joy, and purpose.
Traditional First Lesson – 2 Samuel 11:26–12:10,13-15
How did David respond to Nathan’s story about the rich man and the poor man? (See 12:5.)
David responded to Nathan’s story by burning with anger at the rich man and swearing that he deserved to die.
What conditions did Nathan set for David to be forgiven? (See 12:13.)
Nathan set no conditions at all for David to be forgiven. His sin had bitter consequences, but the Lord totally took away all of David’s guilt. Nathan said so right away.
Supplemental First Lesson – 2 Chronicles 33:1-6,10-18
What kinds of evil things did King Manasseh do?
Manasseh, king of Judah (the southern part of Israel), worshiped idols and helped other Jews to be idolaters too. He sacrificed his sons in the fire to an idol. He tried to contact the dead and find out about the future.
What changed after the king of Assyria put a hook in Manasseh’s nose and took him to Babylon in handcuffs?
In his old age, Manasseh sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. Manasseh got rid of altars to idols and tried to re-establish worship of the true God.
Traditional Second Lesson – Galatians 2:11-21
Did Peter eat with Gentiles when he came to Antioch in Syria? (See 2:11,12.)
Peter ate with the Gentiles when he first came to Antioch. Then some men came from James in Jerusalem, and Peter began to draw back and separate from the Gentiles. He led other Jews astray too.
If we rebuild what we destroyed, it doesn’t prove that what we just destroyed was bad. What does it prove? (See 2:18.)
If we rebuild what we destroyed, it only proves that we are lawbreakers. We are sinners sorely in need of grace.
What would be the result if we could get right with God by obeying his law? (See 2:21.)
If we could get right with God by obeying God’s law, then Christ would have died for nothing.
Supplemental Second Lesson – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
What kind of people will not inherit God’s kingdom?
People who do not repent but keep practicing homosexuality and other things that change God’s holy plan for marriage, as well as idolaters, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, slanders, and swindlers will not inherit God’s kingdom.
What is remarkable about the Christians in Corinth to whom Paul wrote this letter? (See the first part of 6:11.)
Some of the Christians in Corinth were former thieves. Some were former homosexuals, etc. (Today people often claim that with certain sins they are born that way, and they cannot change.)
What happened to the Christians to change them?
Paul says they were baptized. Its results were amazing. They were made holy and declared innocent in God’s courtroom through their trust in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Gospel – Luke 7:36-50
When the Pharisee said something snide to himself, what did Jesus do? (See 7:39-40.) What did this show?
Jesus “answered” the Pharisee, even though Simon had said nothing out loud. This shows that Jesus knows all things. He knows the thoughts we may think are secret.
In terms of a day’s wage, how much did the two men owe? (See footnote on 7:41.)
One man owed 500 days’ wages, the other 50 days’ wages. If an unskilled working man in our day might make about $50 a day, these two men would have owed $25,000 and $2,500 respectively.
Have you been forgiven much or little? How are you responding to this forgiveness? (See 7:47.)
This question deliberately is for you to ponder, not to find a definitive answer.