March Week 1, 2023 Learning Together
Hello! I welcome you to the month of March and the first of three lessons based on the story, “Washed in Tears,” located on pages 280-285 in The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. As always, you and your whole family are invited to listen and read and create and pray around our highlighted story.
Children: As always, we begin by listening to the story being orally read to you. Sit back, close your eyes, and imagine that you are at the dinner at The Important Leader’s house with all the Other Important People and Jesus.
As the story unfolds, you find out that this very bad, unpopular woman just walks right into The Important Leader’s home in order to see Jesus! Without being invited! All the Important People are shocked. Eyes widen. Mouths drop open. The Important People grumble and try to stop her, but she was determined to give Jesus a present – no matter what anyone said to her or about her.
Is Jesus surprised by the woman? No, not at all! He already knew that this was going to happen! Was Jesus mad at the woman? No, he was happy and told everyone to stop being mean to her! Is Jesus upset for any reason? No, not at all! He wanted to tell everyone at the dinner that God loves “bad people,” and the people who think they are “good people” need to remember that only God is perfect.
Adults: The Biblical references for this story are Mark 14, Luke 7, and John 12.
As the story opens, Simon the Pharisee was requesting Jesus to dine with him along with other Pharisees. Simon was not an open-minded inquirer, but had, like the majority of the Pharisees, already decided that Jesus was a blasphemer, arrogating to Himself the right to forgive sins that belonged to God alone (Luke 5:21).These self-appointed guardians of legalistic, external, ritualistic religion hated Jesus’ message of grace, repentance, and forgiveness, and His call for sincere love of God from the heart. They also hated Him for pointedly rebuking their hypocritical self-righteousness (Matt.23), and for associating with the outcasts of society (Luke 7:34). Having already reached a conclusion regarding Jesus, they were busy accumulating evidence against Him. Simon’s invitation to Jesus was part of that evidence-gathering process. No self-respecting Pharisee would invite any association with a blasphemer, except to do him harm.
~This week’s prayer: God loves me and wants me to love all others! Amen
There will be two more online lessons this March about the “Washed with Tears” story. Sunday School this month will met on fourth Sunday March 26 after church services. All are welcome to attend to join the discussion and enjoy a craft.
Until next week,