The Two Debtors

Scripture: Luke 7:36-50

Topics: Forgiveness, Holiness, Repent, Sin

Study Guide

Through the story of the two debtors, Jesus shows us that in order to love him and always be growing, we must become increasingly aware of how sinful we are and how holy God is. Our own sin should feel even more weighty now than it did when we first started following Jesus.
Application
  1. After we profess faith in Christ and start following him, the cross should always be getting bigger to us as we become more aware of our sinfulness and more aware of God’s holiness. Over your life as a follower of Christ, how has this been true or not true of you?

  2. What is a specific way that you are currently growing more aware of one or the other—God’s holiness or your sinfulness? Why do you think that is?

  3. There are six ways we minimize sin: defending, faking, hiding, exaggerating, blaming, and downplaying (refer to key points for definitions of each one). Which one do you struggle with the most? With what sin has this recently happened, and how did you do one of these things? Who in your community will you talk to about this, and how will you work towards thinking of your sin rightly?

Key Points
  • While everyone expected Jesus to reject the prostitute, he instead publicly encourages her that her repentant faith and love is actually stronger than the self-righteous Pharisees.

  • Jesus knew he would willingly take on greater pain and greater humiliation on the cross for us than in any possible circumstances here.

  • We will love God only to the degree that we are aware of how completely holy and loving he is and how completely undeserving and sinful we are.

  • After we profess faith in Christ and start following him, the cross should always be getting bigger to us as we become more aware of our sinfulness and more aware of God’s holiness. Our sin should become more serious and weighty to us as we increasingly recognize and experience God’s holiness.

  • There are six ways we minimize sin:

      • Defending: when you are confronted with sin, you explain things away, justify your decision, and compare yourself to others.
      • Faking: you strive to keep up and maintain appearances in front of others and are never fully honest about what is really going on
      • Hiding: you feel shame and are afraid that you won’t be accepted by others if you share your struggles, so you isolate and keep your sin in private.
      • Exaggerating: you think more highly of yourself than you ought to, and you make everything sound better than it really is.
      • Blaming: you are quick to blame others for your sin.
      • Downplaying: you give too light of weight to sin in your life as if it’s normal and not a big deal.
  • Once you are clear on ways you minimize sin, now what?

    If Christ is your focus and that is your routine, your love for him will grow.