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The Creditor and the Two Debtors – Luke 7:41-44 – Inductive Bible Study

These small group study notes on the parables of Jesus contain in depth analysis, spiritual truths, outlines, cross-references, discussion questions, and lessons to learn. Feel free to print them, copy them, or share them. I only ask that you remember these are are personal study notes and are only meant as a supplement to your own study, not a replacement. I hope they help you to gain a deeper understanding into Jesus’ parables in the Bible and that this insight can change your life to be more like Christ’s. Visit our inductive Bible study main page for more topical or book by book studies. See the bottom of the page for more inductive Bible studies on the parables of Jesus

The Creditor and the Two Debtors – Luke 7:41-44 – Inductive Bible Study

Luke 7:41-44

41 “A moneylender had two debtorsone owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  42 “When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?”  43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”

  1. What title do you give to this parable?

Forgiven Much

Gracious Forgiveness

Love is the Response to Forgiveness

  1. What other parables have similar characteristics or theme?

The Unforgiving Servant

The Two Sons

The Good Samaritan

The Lost Son

The Unjust Steward

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

  1. Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave this parable?

Luke 7:40

40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.”

He was speaking to Simon, who was the owner of the house in which He was dining. His disciples and others were present as well.

  1. What was the context for this parable?

Luke 7:36-39

36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.  37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”

A woman who was a sinner wet His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. Simon, the Pharisee host, questions that Jesus is actually a prophet since He apparently did not discern that this woman was a sinner.

  1. What are the main elements of the parable and what does each represent?

41 “A moneylender had two debtorsone owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  42 “When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?”  43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”

    1. Moneylender – God
    2. Two Debtors – Two Sinners
    3. One (Debtor) – One sinner
    4. Five Hundred Denarri – Many sins
    5. Other (Debtor) – Another sinner
    6. Fifty (Denarri) – Fewer sins
    7. Unable to pay – No sinner can save himself. We were all dead in our sins.
    8. Graciously Forgave them Both – God mercifully forgives any repentant sinner
    9. Which of them will Love Him More? – Greater mercy produces greater love!
  1. What spiritual principle(s) does this parable teach?
    1. Jesus knows all our thoughts without them even being spoken. v. 39
    2. Some people have been forgiven more than others.
    3. The one who is forgiven most loves the most.
    4. The woman who was wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair had been forgiven much.
    5. Since we are all sinners, we are all debtors to God
    6. Some people, like Simon, think that God is a debtor to them.
    7. Spiritual pride is a huge obstacle to repentance.
    8. After we have been forgiven, we should continue to humble ourselves before the Lord.
    9. Those who are spiritually proud think that others should share their disdain for sinners.
    10. No one is able to repay the huge debt he owes the Lord.
    11. God’s forgiveness springs forth from His compassion.
  1. Cross references to this parable?

Gen 50:17

17’Thus you shall say to Joseph, “Please forgive , I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.”‘ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. This is the first occurrence of the word “forgive” in the Bible.

Ps 103:12

12 As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Isa 1:18

18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”

Says the LORD,

Though your sins are as scarlet,

They will be as white as snow;

Though they are red like crimson,

They will be like wool.

2 Chron 7:14

14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Isa 55:7-9

Let the wicked forsake his way

And the unrighteous man his thoughts;

And let him return to the LORD,

And He will have compassion on him,

And to our God,

For He will abundantly pardon.

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.

9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways

And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Matt 18:24-27

24 “When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.  25 “But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.  26 “So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’  27 “And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.

Luke 16:4-6

4′I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’  5 “And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’  6 “And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’

Luke 3:3

3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;

Luke 13:3

3 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent , you will all likewise perish.

Luke 15:7

 7 “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance .

Luke 23:34

34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”  And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

Acts 7:60

60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.

1 John 4:19

19 We love , because He first loved us.

Eph 2:3-4

3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

Titus 3:4-5

4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

Neh 9:27

27 “Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them,

But when they cried to You in the time of their distress,

You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion

You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors.

Ps 86:5

5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,

And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.

Ps 86:15

15 But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,

Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

Ps 103:8

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,

 Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

Lam 3:31-32

31 For the Lord will not reject forever,

32 For if He causes grief,

Then He will have compassion

According to His abundant lovingkindness.

1 Peter 1:3

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Ex 34:6

6 Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;

John 1:14,17

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth . 17 For the Law was given through Moses;grace and truth  were realized through Jesus Christ.

Luke 18:10-12

10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  12 ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

Matt 18:21-22

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Eph 2:1

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

Nobody is capable of paying for their sins.

John 12:3,7,8

3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

7 Therefore Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial.  8 ” For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”

  1. Questions or problems with the interpretation of this parable.
    1. Why does Jesus compare sin with debt?
    2. Why didn’t the slave in Matt 18 who had been forgiven 10,000 talents not seem to love much?
    3. Is it necessary for someone to repent before we forgive them? Why or why not?
    4. What are the consequences of not forgiving someone?

                                                              i.      In the life of the one who has not been forgiving.

                                                            ii.      In the relationship between the individuals.

    1. What are the obstacles to forgiving someone?
    2. What are the obstacles to asking forgiveness of someone?
    3. How does asking forgiveness impact a relationship?
  1. Based on this parable, what changes in my life does Jesus want me to make?

Be quicker and more complete when I forgive others.

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