Small Group Studies

Greater Than Week 6 Study


Whether we want to admit it or not, we all carry baggage. We all carry baggage from our sins, our fears, the regrets we have made, and many more things. While we may be tempted to deal with and carry our baggage on our own, there is a better way. Christ offers to not only carry our baggage but eliminate it from our lives if we come to Him. The truth is, there is no baggage, not even the baggage from our sin, that is too big or heavy for Him. Today we are going to look at the story of a woman who learned just that.


What is the heaviest a piece of luggage had weighed when you checked it at an airport?


Bible Study Questions

1. What types of emotional baggage do you see people carrying around today?


2. Read Luke 7:36-39. Based on these verses, what do we know about the woman in this story? What do we know about Simon the Pharisee?

Luke 7:36-39

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

3. Read Luke 7:40-50. Compare and contrast the woman’s response to Jesus in this story and the Pharisee Simon’s response to Jesus?

Luke 7:40-50

Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”

“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.

Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

“That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”

And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

4. What do you think was the woman’s motivation for anointing Jesus’ feet?



5. Who do you relate more to in this story: the woman or the Pharisee Simon? Why?

6. Is there anything that you are currently carrying that you need to give to Jesus? What is it?

7. How have you personally been changed by Christ’s forgiveness? How does His forgiveness affect you moving forward?


Hopefully, you have shared with your group who you relate to more: the woman in this story or Simon the Pharisee. If not, share your answer with your group now. If it is the woman, how can you, like this woman, take a step away from your sin and turn to Christ this week? If it is Simon the Pharisee, how can you take a step away from an attitude of judgment toward Christlike love and forgiveness? Share these things with your group, and commit to holding each other accountable this week to take those steps.

Going Deeper

Our final study of the armor of God in Ephesians 6 ends with the shoes, the Gospel of Peace. This piece of armor is a bit different because Paul talks about the effect that this armor has on us rather than our enemies. The Gospel of Peace gives us readiness. Readiness is a term that has been associated with military effectiveness since ancient times. It is still used today to capture and quantify a unit’s capability to meet its mission requirements. It indicates preparedness. Bringing this idea back to the armor of God, the good news that brings reconciliation and restoration in our relationship with God literally affects every step that we take. It changes how we walk through life. And that change should be apparent to others. Let’s take some time to see what other passages of Scripture teach about walking in the Gospel of peace and sharing the hope of Christ with those around us.

Stand Firm:

“Stand your ground,” he writes in Ephesians 6:14. If you’ve ever played a sport that involves physical contact, your coach likely spent time helping you develop a strong base or footing to stand your ground. Be it boxing or judo, basketball or hockey, you must have a firm foundation. As you compete, you have to lean into the contest. You can’t be caught on your heels by your opponent, or you will risk defeat. You must stand firm. The same applies to physical and spiritual battles. Standing firm is critical if we are going to carry out God’s purpose for our lives. 

Verses to Read:

Ephesians 6:15.

  • Look up a definition of the word “gospel.”
  • According to this verse, what is the result good news of the Gospel?

Read Romans 1:16.

  • How does Paul define the Gospel?
  • What is notable about Paul’s definition for Gospel?

Read Matthew 28:16-20, which is a clear picture of Jesus calling His disciples to put on the shoes of the Gospel of Peace. In verse 19 of this chapter of Matthew, Jesus said to His disciples, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” The word “go” is an imperative verb, meaning that it is a command, not a suggestion. “Going” is a call for every single follower of Christ. This command to go is a command to intentionally change our course of behavior and focus on making disciples. This does not mean we have to go to another country if we want to make disciples. In fact, some biblical scholars understand this command “go” to mean “as you are going.” We can make disciples right where we are as we go throughout our days, but we must be intentional. Discipling others is the end goal and main crux of this instruction from Jesus.

  • What was Jesus’ command in these verses?
  • What was the basis of this command?
  • What is the promise Jesus gives to His followers as they go and make disciples?

Questions to Ponder:

  • After reading the verses above, what is the “Gospel of Peace” that we are to put on as shoes?
  • Looking back at the above verses, do you see a sense of readiness involved with walking with the shoes of the Gospel of Peace? Why or why not?
  • Why is this command to carry the Gospel everywhere you go so urgent?

We must be prepared at all times to spread the Gospel, the good news about Jesus. But are you prepared? Does your relationship with Jesus affect every step you take? Is the life-changing power of the Gospel evident in your life? Would your family, your coworkers, or your neighbors agree with your answers? How about your group? During this coming week, ask God to reveal to you those areas in your life where you need to grow or change. Pray that God would bring more people into your life who are far from Christ. Before you end your group, pray for one another. Pray that God would speak clearly and directly to each of you and show you how to walk with readiness, wherever you go. As you conclude this prayer, pray for the boldness and courage to continue sharing your faith.


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1 John 4:12

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.