From:                              Southside Church <> on behalf of Southside Church <>

Sent:                               Sunday, March 8, 2020 11:00 AM

To:                                   Wynne Lankford

Subject:                          Table Talk - The Uninvited Guest


Table Manners



Table Talk

Sermon Series: Table Manners – The Uninvited Guest

March 8, 2020


Table Talk 03-08-20



Introduction (8 min)

Welcome everyone to your Table Talk small group. Watch the video and share the story below, then open up the discussion with the questions provided.

Table Talk Video: Table Manners – The Unexpected Guest

The washing and anointing of Jesus’ feet by an unlikely character has captured the imagination of Christians for centuries. It has been the subject of great works of fine art, the centerpiece of many sermons, and a symbol of humility and forgiveness.

One of the attractive things about this story is its spontaneity. We don’t know this woman or where she came from. We don’t know for sure what happened to her after this. We don’t know where her extravagant gift came from. We don’t know how she made it inside the house, just that she made sure she was there. 

So much of this story is left up to the imagination that is hard not to picture it. It is hard not to fill in the extra details. It is hard not place yourself at the table in the middle of this story. But which seat around the table are you sitting in? 

- Pastor Reggie Phillips


Prayer (3 minutes) 

Lord, this world is full of interruptions and distractions. Help us to know the difference between interruptions and divine appointments, distractions and holy redirection. May your Spirit guide our discussion as we study your word and may we encounter you in it. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Starting the Discussion (4 minutes)

1.  What was the most unexpected thing that happened to you this week?

2.  Did God surprise you with anything this week?


Unfolding the Biblical Story (31 minutes)

Read Luke 7:36

1.  Does it surprise you to see Jesus eat dinner at a Pharisee’s house?

2.  Fun Fact: It was common in that time to eat dinner propped up on low couches by the table. Table manners dictated that you recline on your left side and eat with your right hand. Jesus’ body would have been angled away from the table so that the other guests could recline at the table next to him. How many of you would stay awake if you ate dinner lying down on the couch?

Read Luke 7:37-38

1.  This woman is introduced as having “lived a sinful life in that town.” How might her reputation have kept people from actually knowing her story and her heart?

2.  What do you imagine her entrance was like? The Bible doesn’t tell us, just that she had to be near Jesus.

3.  Remember how they reclined at the table? This gave her clear access to Jesus’ feet. She washed his feet with her tears and hair and then anointed them with perfume. This was a radically expensive gift. In our dollars this could have easily been worth $50,000 or more. Can you imagine giving something so costly and so precious away to God?

Read Luke 7:39

1.  What are some reasons the Pharisee might not have wanted “this woman” unexpectedly in their home?

2.  What are all the ways the Pharisee casts judgment and accusation on Jesus and this woman?

3.  If you look carefully, this verse clearly reveals the Pharisees motive for inviting Jesus to dinner. What do you think it was? How does he view himself compared to Jesus?

Read Luke 7:40-43

1.  It is interesting that neither the woman nor the Pharisee are named until Jesus speaks to the Pharisee directly. The woman’s name is left out because the town just new her as “sinner.” It is as if Luke is cluing us in that that sin imparts the same nameless shame on this Pharisee. Besides being given a name, what begins to change for Simon when Jesus speaks?

2.  To lead someone from judging to listening is no simple task but Jesus does it with such grace. How often might people be willing to hear the truth if we would give an invitation to meaningful conversation instead of a strong rebuke – even if they deserve it? Likewise, how might we be right in our judgment but wrong in how we care for the souls around us?

3.  Seldom are people downright evil. They more often are just too weak to hold to their convictions under pressure. What does Jesus do to take the momentary pressure off Simon and allow him to evaluate truth?

Read Luke 7:44-47

1.  It is interesting that Jesus looks at the woman but is speaking to Simon whom he turned his back toward, as if he was directing Simon’s attention to the woman as well. What does he point out to Simon while looking at this humbly broken woman?

2.  God is rewriting her story before she is even told about it directly. She is pronounced as one who loves God more than the righteous teachers of her city, displayed through humility, not self-honor. What are we doing to graciously rewrite the stories of the “sinners” in our lives?

Read Luke 7:48-50

1.  What are all the things that Jesus says about this woman? How did he change her name and her story? Why is this bigger news than a “sinner” bursting into a Pharisee’s home unexpectedly?


Making Scripture Personal (6 minutes) 

1.  Do we approach Jesus wondering what we can get out of this, or what is the minimum we can do and be accepted by God? Or do we humble ourselves and serve Jesus with extravagance and flare?

2.  Jesus blesses this woman with things she assumed she had long ago forfeited, defining her by her faith rather than her sin and pronouncing peace over her. How are you speaking life into the hearts and minds of the people God has placed around you? What are you speaking that offers true hope to people desperately searching for Jesus like this woman was?


Prayer (3 minutes)

Precious Jesus, help us to see past the headlines and into the hearts of those around us. May unexpected and inconvenient encounters become open doors for salvation and healing. May brokenness that comes with humility challenge our own hearts rightly to weep over our sin and drive us share the hope of salvation in you with any who are willing to listen. Thank you for the people we mislabel distractions and the opportunities we mislabel as inconveniences. Help us to make the most of every situation for the good of your people and for your glory. Amen.


Wrapping Up (2 minutes)

See if anyone has lingering questions or insights to share from your time of study and prayer. Summarize the group discussion as a reminder of what you learned together.


Scripture Challenge (3 minutes)

For your scripture challenge this week, work with your group to try and memorize Luke 7:27. Practice it out loud together, write it out several times and recite it throughout the week. May you love much and embrace the unexpected as opportunities to speak hope and forgiveness.



Additional resources about this topic

are available from Streams Resources


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