|Create Date||February 7, 2017|
|Last Updated||August 30, 2017|
Sermon summary (Click on the title) JESUS FORGIVES Luke 7:36-50 (NIVUK) CHRIS KHOURY - 5 FEB 2017
Luke 7:36-50 (NIVUK)
Jesus anointed by a sinful woman
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisees house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisees house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is – that she is a sinner.’
40 Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to tell you.’ ‘Tell me, teacher,’ he said.
41 ‘Two people owed money to a certain money-lender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?’43 Simon replied, ‘I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.’
‘ You have judged correctly,’ Jesus said.
44 Then he turned towards the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.’
48 Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’
50 Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’
Let’s explore this narrative and see what gems of wisdom we can discover. I think you may be surprised!
Reclined at the table.
Recline on a “chaise long”. Lay on left side and ate with your right hand.
A woman of ill repute - she was recognised as a sinner. Perhaps she was a prostitute - it is not clear. Strange that she should be allowed into a dinner party. Not an uncommon practice in those days. At a dinner like this the house would be open and people would come in and watch. It gave the host status, importance. Jesus after all was famous. This was a feather in the cap of the pharisee. But a woman who was a sinner would definitely not be welcome in that setting. For her to do what she did took great courage. She would have approached him from behind.
Simon had neglected the normal courtesies. The woman does what the Pharisee failed to do. Jesus, in a very gracious way points this out to Simon.
Pharisees would have no contact with sinful people. Especially not a woman who was recognised as being sinful. Separation was the name of the game. He concluded in his own mind, Jesus could not be a prophet if he did not know who and what this woman was. Jesus turns the tables on Simon by showing him that he knows his thoughts. So he tells him a parable.
THE PARABLE The story is simple. Their are two debtors. (People who owe money to someone else). One has a debt 10 times greater than the other. Both cannot pay the debt, both are forgiven. Which one would be more grateful? Simon judges correctly. The one who was forgiven more.
PICTURE THE SCENE.
The woman cries over the feet of Jesus, let’s her hair down and wipes his feet with her hair. Undoing her hair was culturally shocking. She kisses his feet. This was an expression of intimacy shunned in this culture. She cracks open an expensive bottle of perfume and anoints his feet. To those gathered the woman’s contact with Jesus is outrageous, scandalous, intolerable. Yet she does it. Jesus allows her to do it. Everything about her actions is offensive, except for the attitude that fed it. This Jesus recognises.
Alabaster was a translucent, soft stone that had could be carved into a jar to store the expensive perfume. It was both precious and expensive. This was a scene of great pathos and emotion. She had come prepared. As she massaged and kissed the feet of Jesus the aroma of the perfume filled the house. This anointing recognised him as being the Messiah, the anointed one.
She cries tears of repentance, of gratitude, of love and deep sorrow because of the sin in her life. She had sinned much and was forgiven much. Great forgiveness provides the opportunity for great love. The strength of her love causes her to be bold. When Jesus declares her sin forgiven, he is not saying that it is by her works that she is saved. Only grace allows the debt to be removed.
YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN
Jesus declares her sins forgiven. This is for those gathered, a massive problem. Only God forgives sin! Only he has the authority! How dare Jesus make himself equal with God? Here is raw authority.
We have all sinned. Whether little or much does not matter. We are all in debt to God our Father. It is more than we are able to pay. Silver or gold, are no good, all our acts of righteousness are of no value. Our sacrifices, or offerings won’t cut it.
In the words of the song we have just sung.
“Because of his great love He gave his only son. Nothing we do can make him love us more.” We think our sins are so bad that God will not forgive and because we repeat the same sin over and over again, surely God is not so gracious.
“Nothing we have done can make him close the door.” Nothing! Look what Jesus did for this woman! “Come to the Father. With broken hearts and broken lives. Though your gift is small. Everything was done so you would come!”
JESUS FORGIVES: He says to every one of us,
“Your faith has saved you! Go in peace!”