Ses'khona means "we are here" in the SiSwati language. This is Part 6 of a 10-study series about presenting Christ in the HIV/AIDS crisis.This study approaches the delicate topic of sexuality. What does sexual wholeness look like and what can we do to ask for help from Jesus?
We are here...
- To look to Jesus
- To stop and care
- To reach out to those who need healing
- To challenge gender perceptions
- To face temptations and addictions
- To know sexual wholeness
- To repent from judging others
- To know the Father's forgiveness
- To cope with death and dying
- To live in the hope of ressurection
Having a conversation about sexuality is difficult in any society or age group. As a group, take only three minutes to list or brainstorm the personal, social, and cultural experiences that people may bring with them into any conversation about sexuality, thus making the topic a very delicate matter.
What is Biblical Sexuality?
Try to reach an agreement about which of the following statements are closest to the Bible's understanding of sexuality:
- Sexuality is a discussion about sex.
- Sexuality concerns the ways we understand ourselves, relate to others, and live in the world.
- Sexuality cements a relationship between a man and a woman.
- Sexuality is a biological and genetic formula for human life.
Getting into Roles
In this study we meet Jesus as he lives out his own sexuality in a sexually-charged situation. The characters present in the room are: Simon the Pharisee, Jesus, a woman, the disciples, and the other guests.
To help us identify with this story better, ask each group member to choose one of the above characters and "to be" that character throughout the story. We will read the story scene by scene. After each scene is read, spend a little time reflecting and imagining what your character thinks and experiences.
Setting the Scene
Background information: In Jesus day, when people were invited out to eat, it was common for them to recline on a pillow using the left arm, with legs extended to the side, and feet to the back. As a group, rearrange yourselves in this way before you read, to help you get into the story. Imagine or visualize your character's thoughts, feelings and reactions.
Scene One: Luke 7:36-39
Briefly share the different thoughts, feelings and reactions that the characters experienced.
What role does sexuality play in each of the characters' actions and reactions?
Is there evidence of healthy and unhealthy sexuality in these characters' reactions?
Scene Two: Luke 7:40-43
Reflect on the thoughts and feelings that were experienced by the characters as Jesus and Simon speak.
Ask the Jesus character in the group why he told Simon this parable?
Ask the Simon character in the group how he was feeling when he answered Jesus at verse 43.
Scene Three: Luke 7:44-47
Spend two minutes just pondering in silence how your character feels, looks and acts during this scene.
Jesus now turns to face the woman and has his back to Simon as he speaks the words in this scene. What do you think is His motivation for turning to face her while asking Simon these questions?
How is she affirmed as a woman by Jesus' action and words?
Jesus ends this scene with the words: "Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." How do these words remind Simon of the parable Jesus told?
Is healing of the woman's sexuality part of Christ's gift of forgiveness to her? Explain your insights to the group.
Scene Four: Luke 7: 48-50
Briefly share with the group the thoughts of your character.
Jesus just tells her to go in peace with no further instruction. What is the connection between his forgiveness and how she should live out her sexuality?
Now take a little time alone to apply today's story to your own life. Writing may be helpful to you:
1. When you have struggled or even failed in the past, how can this story help you to live out your sexuality in healthy ways?
2. What areas of your sexuality need Jesus' forgiveness and healing?
Prayer of Confession and Petition
Ask one person in your group to pray on behalf of everyone, for the Father's forgiveness, asking Him to restore you to sexual wholeness. Ask a second person to give thanks to Jesus for the way he knows every human temptation from experience and yet is the unblemished Lamb of God. Ask a third person to pray for the Holy Spirit's practical help and closeness at moments of temptation and in struggles with addiction.