A Banquet with Simon
Step 1—Read the Bible Story
This week’s Bible story is the Banquet with Simon. This is the version from the Spark Bible that we use in Sunday School. Read this story. Older kids could read it to you.
The Banquet with Simon
Jesus was invited to dinner at Simon’s house. Knock, knock! “Thanks for coming, Jesus!” Simon led his guest through the dark door to a low table. “Dinner is served!”
Jesus was ready to eat his bread when he heard a woman at the door. When she saw Jesus, she started crying. The woman was known to have done many things wrong.
“Please pass the grapes!” Jesus started to eat. Drip. Drip. Drip. The woman bent over Jesus’ feet and cleaned them with her tears.
“Please pass the cheese!” Jesus said. Wipe. Wipe. Wipe. The woman dried the tears on his feet with her long, dark hair.
Jesus put down his bread. The woman was kissing his feet and rubbing them with oil.
Simon was upset! He said, “I didn’t invite that woman! What is she doing?”
Jesus cleared his throat and told a story. “One person owed a bank 500 coins. The other person owed 50 coins. The bank canceled the payments for both people. Who was more thankful?”
“The one who owed the most, right?” asked Simon.
Jesus nodded yes. “I’m like the bank,” he explained. “I forgive and forget big and little mistakes.”
He put his hand on the woman’s head. “This woman made many big mistakes. She needs a lot of forgiveness so she shows me great love.”
“You’re my host, but you didn’t greet me as a special guest. You have little mistakes for me to forgive, so you give me only a little love.”
“Dry your eyes, my friend. I forgive all you’ve done wrong,” Jesus said to the woman in a kind voice. “You have a strong faith.”
Simon learned a lesson that day. All people are important and equal to Jesus. God forgives and forgets mistakes of all sizes.
Step 2—Talk about the Story
Ask your children a few questions about the story:
- What is a banquet? Who would you invite to a party if Jesus was coming? What would you serve?
- When you make a mistake is it hard to ask for forgiveness? Is it hard to forgive others?
- What lesson did Simon learn in this story? Is this lesson important for us today?
Step 3—Do an Activity
Select an activity to do with your child. This can take as much or as little time as you need.
- For Families: Make a forgiveness tree. Cut a tree out of paper and stick sticky notes on it whenever you need forgiveness for something. Talk about sins against each other and forgive together.
- Younger Kids: Help set the table—banquet style! Use fancy plates and decorations. Or use pretend food and plates.
- Older Kids: Do some online research about different kinds of dining room furniture. Imagine what banquets were like in Bible times, medieval times and all times up through today.
Step 4—Say a Prayer
Close in a prayer. Read it with your children or speak and repeat with younger ones.
Thank you for sending Jesus to teach us.
Help us love all the guests in our lives, even surprising ones.
We remember Jesus’ love for us in every meal we eat.
In your name we pray,
If you are looking for more activities to do at home related to this Bible story, or any other story we’ve covered this year, check out the Family Take Home pages on the Grace Education Page. You’ll find ideas for art projects, drama lessons, games, cooking, music, science and more!