Luke 7:36-48 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. (37) And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, (38) And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. (39) Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. (40) And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. (41) There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. (42) And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? (43) Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. (44) And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. (45) Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. (46) My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. (47) Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (48) And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
We will break this lengthy reading into two separate RTS’s so that I do not write too lengthy of a post today. Today, I want to focus on verses 36 through 39.
To set the stage, a Pharisee, (typically an enemy of Jesus, for they were continually trying to catch him in error), invited Jesus over for dinner. We do not know Simon’s motives for we are not told. My impressions are that he was at least somewhat open minded to learning more about Jesus. I conclude that because the Pharisees typically wanted to publicly ridicule Jesus and Simon’s invitation indicates that he wanted to talk and discuss privately.
While they were dining, a woman from town, who had heard that Jesus was there, came to wash his feet and and head with oil and her own tears. The important thing about this passage is that the Bible clearly identifies her as a SINNER!. I think we are suppose to read between the lines here to understand that this woman was a woman of “reputation”. She was known in that area for her widely public and notorious sins; probably for both the quantity and the shameful nature of them.
Even though she may be entrapped in these sins, we must not conclude that all people that are clearly living in sin are there because they want to be. Yes, sin is ALWAYS a choice, but life’s circumstances can wrongly lead folks to believe that sin is the only solution. Satan is a master at that!
2 Corinthians 11:13-14 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
The text clearly indicates that this “woman of sin” was not happy about her circumstances because she washed Jesus feet with her mourning tears. She came to Jesus because she did not like the predicament that she was in and most likely thought that Jesus was here ultimate solution. That brings us to the point of this lesson...Verse 39.
Luke 7:39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
Simon the Pharisee is clearly put off, by both this woman’s behavior and Jesus’ reaction to it, or more specifically his lack of a “proper” condemning reaction. He was offended that Jesus would allow such a woman to interact with a man proclaiming to be a prophet, teacher and more specifically the Son of God.
We must be very careful that we do not have the attitude of Simon. Somehow, we can tend to think that OUR sin is not so bad, but other’s are inexcusable, shameful, disgusting. Before we get on our high horse, we need to remember a few priceless principles.
1. All Have Sinned!
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
No one is perfect, save Jesus. Therefore, we must not act as if we are “better” than others.
2. ALL Sin Separates from God!
Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: (2) But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
There is no such thing as “good” sin and “bad” sin. No “white” and “black” sin. Just sin and every sin has the potential of separating us from God.
3. Because of one’s own individual sin, All need to their sin Washed Away!
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
4. Since Sin takes us to the same place of Despair, We, the forgiven, need to have compassion, and Love for those still Entrapped in Sin!
Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Let us all have the same attitude as Jesus about those that are trapped in sin. Sin should NEVER be condoned, however, Jesus was always willing to help those that wanted out, to get out of sin. We must love as Jesus loved. A condemning attitude towards “sinners” will never endear them towards christianity. However, a loving, forgiving, helping and understanding attitude may actually give them an understanding about the forgiving nature of our Loving God.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.