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Lost And Found A Woman On The Loose Lk 7.36

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LOST & FOUND:  A WOMAN ON THE LOOSE

 LK 7: 36-50

INTRO: IT WAS JUST A LITTLE LIE (FUDGE OF TRUTH REALLY) BUT THE WEIGHT OF IT PULLS ON YOUR SOUL.  YOU ACCIDENTLY HIT YOUR HAND WITH HAMMER & CHOICE WORDS SLIP OUT & YOUR 7 YR OLD WAS STANDING THERE. THE TAX MAN CALLED & YOU MORE THAN YOU THOUGHT BUT IF YOU CAN NOT REPORT SOME OF THAT MISC. INCOME THE NUMBER WILL BE A LOT LESS—YOU SAY “DO WHATEVER IT TAKES”—WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN BURDENS PILE UP?  TO ADD TO THE MESS SOMETIMES WE PICK UP OLD BAGGAGE AFTER WE HAVE PRAYED---IT CLINGS TO US & DRAGS US DOWN.  GUILT IS HEALTHY WHEN IT CONVICTS THE HEART &LEADS TO CHANGE (2 COR.7:10) BUT UNHEALTHY GUILT DESTROYS—WHEN WE KEEP BLAMING OURSELVES FOR SOMETHING WE DIDN’T DO OR DIDN’T INTEND TO DO.  SOMEONE SAW A T-SHIRT THAT SAID “MY MOTHER IS A TRAVEL AGENT FOR GUILT TRIPS” –WE KEEP BEATING OURSELVES UP & SATAN LOVES THAT.  THAT GUILT IS NOT PRODUCTIVE & ROBS US OF JOY. SADLY, SOMETIMES THE CHURCH CAN FORGET JESUS WAS FRIEND OF OUTCASTS & SINNERS---SOMETIIMES THE CHURCH CAN BE UNFORGIVING & SHOOT ITS WOUNDED. ARE WE WILLING TO WELCOME & FORGIVE  THOSE WHOM GOD WELCOMES AND FORGIVES?  DO WE WANT PEOPLE TO FIND JOY & PEACE IN JESUS?

I.                  BACKGROUND

A.   DINNER PARTY WITH A PHARISEE:  IN JUDEA IN JESUS’ DAY TI WAS CONSIDERED VIRTUOUS TO INVITE A RABBI TO DINNER ESPECIALLY ONE FROM OUT OF TOWN OR WHO HAD TAUGHT IN SYNAGOGUE. IT WAS NOT AS COMMON IN GALILEE (YRS AGO IT WAS COMMON TO INVITE PREACHER & FAMILY TO DINNER (FRIED CHICKEN) –BUT THEN IT BECAME COMMON TO JUST ROAST THE PREACHER!)  MAYBE SIMON WANTED TO ROAST THE RABBI!—THIS ACCOUNT IS DIFFERENT FROM JOHN’S ACCOUNT (JN 12) WHERE IT IS MARY ANOINTING JESUS IN BETHANY. AND THE REASONS FOR THE INVITAITON SEEM LESS THAN HONORABLE—AT LEAST THE TREATMENT OF JESUS AS A GUEST LACKS COMMON HOSPITALITY. WE KNOW JESUS OFTEN ATTENDED BANQUETS AND THAT BROUGHT CRITICISM—SOME CALLED HIM A DRUNKARD/GLUTTON---WHY DIDN’T HE FAST LIKE JOHN & HIS DISCIPLES?  YOU CERTAINLY WOULDN’T FIND JOHN BAPTIST AT ONE OF THESE FEASTS---JESUS VIOLATED MANY OF THE SOCIAL TABOOS AND ORAL TRADITIONS OF THE PHARISEES.  BUT ALSO A DINNER LIKE THIS WAS OPPORTUNITY FOR TEACHING. AT THESE DINNERS GUESTS WOULD RECLINE ON CUSHIONS AT A LOW U=SHAPED TABLE---LEAN ON ELBOW & EAT WITH OTHER & SERVANTS WOULD SERVE FROM MIDDLE.  THESE WERE ALSO HELD IN COURTYARD WHERE PEOPLE COULD STAND OR SIT AROUND SIDE—THEY COULD WATCH, LISTEN & EVEN TALK—SOME HOPED FOR SOME LEFTOVERS.

II.               THE CRISIS: AN UNINVITED GUEST

A.   A SINFUL WOMAN—A SINFUL WOMAN CAME UP BEHIND JESUS—WOMEN WERE NOT INVITED TO BANQUETS BUT SHE COULD HAVE BEEN AMONG THE ONLOOKERS—THAT SHE IS “SINFUL” IMPLIES AN IMMORAL LIFE—MAYBE FROM THE “RED TORCH DISTRICT”—IN OUR DAY SHE MIGHT HAVE RINGS/TATOOS/CUT-OFFS/EXCESS MAE-UP—SURELY SOMEONE WOULD ESCORT HER OUT BUT NO ONE DID. TWO RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN PERSENCE OF IMMORAL WOMAN & TWO DIFFERENT REACTIONS—BUT LUKE WANTS US TO SEE CONTRAST BETWEEN SIMON & THE WOMAN AND HOW THEY REACT TO JESUS. IT TOOK GREAT COURAGE FOR HER TO EVEN COME CLOSE TO JESUS & IT MAYBE SHE HAS ALREADY RESPONDED IN SOME WAY TO JESUS’ TEACHING BEFORE THIS MEAL—HEARD HIS WORDS OR SAW A MIRACLE & WANTED WHAT HE OFFERED—FORGIVENESS & NEW LIFE.  SHE WAS A LOST SOUL WHO NEEDED TO BE FOUND.  ITS POSSIBLE SHE CAME TO EXPRESS HER LOVE & THANKS TO HIM.

III.           QUESTION:  HOW CAN ANYONE FIND THIS FORGIVENESS AND NEW LIFE?

A.   GO WHERE JESUS IS---MATT. 11:28-30—SHE KNOWS SHE SHOULD NOT BE THERE—SHE HAS BEEN LOST & WANTS TO BE WHERE JESUS IS—SHE KNEW THEY WERE WATCHING HER—WHISPERING/GASPING/RAISING EYEBROWS.  HER HAIR HID HER SHAME & HER EYES WERE ON FLOOR.  (EX: ON WEDDING DAY A WOMAN’S HAIR WAS BOUND UP & SHE WOULD NOT APPEAR IN PUBLIC WITH IT UNBOUND) SHE STOOD BEHIND JESUS AND THE TEARS FELL (LIT. RAINED DOWN) ON JESUS’ FEET—THERE WAS NO TOWEL SO SHE WIPED HIS FEET WITH HER HAIR  (IT MAYBE SHE WAS REACTING TO THE LACK OF HOSPITALITY FROM SIMON) SIMON HAD OFFERED NO COMMON COURTESIES—SO SHE DID WHAT SIMON REFUSED TO DO.  SHE KEPT KISSING HIS FEET AND THEN SHE TOOK THE ALABASTER JAR FROM AROUND HER NECK & POURED OUT OINTMENT (IT WAS IMPORTANT TO HER WORK & WORTH LOT OF MONEY TO HER—MAYBE HER SAVINGS—SHE RUBBED OR MASAGED THE OINTMENT INTO HIS FEET. SHE DIDN’T CARE WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT—SHE WAS WITH JESUS AND THAT WAS ALL THAT MATTERED.  THIS WAS AN ACT OF SINCERE WORSHIP—AND JESUS RECEIVED IT!

B.   REALIZE HOW MUCH JESUS LOVES YOU—EPH. 3:17-19—THIS LOVE CANT BE EXPLAINED IT MUST BE EXPERIENCED—WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? HE WAS NOT UPSET OR EMBARRASSED AT HER ACTIONS. SHE DID WHAT WE ARE ALL TO DO—POUR OUT OUR LOVE ON JESUS—WE SEE HER HUMILITY/SACRIFICE AND THAT IS WHAT WE ARE TO BRING—A BROKEN/CONTRITE HEART (DAVID SAID)—AN ATTITUDE IN SPIRIT & TRUTH—NOT IN FORM OR RITUAL—JESUS IS THE TEMPLE & HE EMBODIES THE LOVE OF GOD---SHE UNDERSTOOD WORSHIP A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN SIMON WHO FELT HE WAS ALREADY WHOLE AND IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD—SIMON HAD NO IDEA ABOUT TRUE WORSHIP & HE WAS THE ONE WHO WAS REALLY LOST—HIS HEART WAS CLOSED TO THE LOVE/GRACE JESUS CAME TO OFFER—SO WILL WE IF WE KEEP ANAYYZING THE FORMS---HOLD BACK THE SPIRIT---WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS ARE THINKING. SIMON THOUGHT HE KNEW SCRIPTURE (WORE IT PROUDLY)—HE KEPT REGULATIONS OF LAW—HE TITHED AND FASTED TWICE A WEEK LIKE A GOOD PHARISEE BUT HE DIDN’T KNOW GOD.  THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE JESUS SAID “TO KNOW GOD AND HIS SON”----SIMON THOUGHT IF JESUS WERE REALLY A PROPHET HE WOULD KNOW THE KIND OF WOMAN SHE WAS AND HE WOULD NOT LET HER TOUCH HIM (THERE MAY BE SOME SEXUAL IMPLICATIONS IN THAT WORD TOUCH)—JEWS WOULD NOT SPEAK WITH RESPECTABLE WOMEN IN PUBLIC.  SO SIMON WAS CRITICAL AND OFFENDED. 

BUT JESUS REVEALED TO SIMON HE KNEW EXACTLY WHO THE WOMAN WAS AND HE ALSO KNEW WHAT SIMON WAS THINKING.

C.   TRUST IN THE GRACE JESUS OFFERS--- 

FORGIVENESS IS NOT BASED ON WORKS OR SERVICE (EPH. 2:8,9)—ITS NOT ABOUT KNOWING THE BIBLE OR ATTENDING CHURCH—SIMON HAD THE SRIPTURE/TASSELS/GREETINGS/TITLES.  SO JESUS TOLD A PARABLE ABOUT A MONEYLENDER & TWO MEN WITH DIFFERENT SIZE DEBTS.  ONE OWED 2 MO. SALARY & THE OTHER 2 YRS SALARY—NEITHER COULD PAY—BUT THE CREDITOR CANCELLED BOTH DEBTS.  THE QUESTION: IT WAS EASY—A 5TH GRADER COULD ANSWER IT—WHO WOULD LOVE THE CREDITOR MORE?  SIMON ANSWERED “I SUPPOSE” (AIR OF INDFFERENCE—LETS GET THIS OVER WITH) THE ONE WHO WAS FORGIVEN MORE—HE KNEW HE WAS NAILED WITH HIS ANSWER.  GRACE IS FREE BUT ITS COSTLY  9EX: DENNIS THE MENACE CARTOON—DENISE TELLS HIS FRIEND JOEY, “MRS. WILSON GIVES YOU A COOKIE BECAUSE SHE IS NICE NOT BECAUSE WE ARE.  IT COST THE MONEYLENDER A LOT TO FORGIVE THOSE DEBTS—AND GODS FORGIVENESS TO US COST THE LIFE OF HIS SON. THE SIN DEBT HAD TO BE PAID SO WE WOULD NOT HAVE TO—THAT IS HOW GREAT GODS LOVE IS. THERE ARE SINNERS WHO KNOW THEY ARE SINNERS & THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW THEY ARE BUT THEY ALL NEED THE LOVE/FORGIVENESS THAT IS ONLY FOUND IN JESUS.

D. LIVE AS THOUGH YOU ARE FORGIVEN---JESUS SHIFTED HIS POSITION. HE FACED THE WOMAN AND GAVE HER ATTENTION/ACCEPTANCE WHILE HE TALKED TO SIMON (V.44)—SIMON HAD REJECTED THE WOMAN & JESUS. NOW JESUS WOULD SHOW THAT HE REJECTED SIMON AND ACCEPTED THE WOMAN (BODY LANGUAGE).  SO AS JESUS LOOKED AT THE WOMAN HE SAID TO SIMON “SIMON DO YOU REALLY SEE THIS WOMAN?” SHE DID WHAT YOU WOULD NOT DO—YOU OFFERED ME NO HOSPITALITY—NO KISS OF GREETING; NO WATER FOR MY FEET; NO OLIVE OIL TO REFRESH ME. BUT THIS WOMAN WENT BEYOND THOSE SIMPLE ACTS. HER ACTS WERE OF REPENTANCE/WORSHIP. SHE HAD MUCH TO BE FORGIVEN AND SHE LOVED MUCH. SIMON DIDN’T THINK HE NEEDED FORGIVENESS SO HE LOVED LITTLE.  HER MANY SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN AND IN RESPONSE TO THAT SHE HAS SHOWN GREAT LOVE.  SIMON LET JESUS IN THE DOOR OF HIS HOME BUT NOT IN HIS HEART---AND THAT IS WHERE HE WANTS TO BE—TO DWELL IN US & WITH  US. HE DESIRES FELLOWSHIP BUT WE MUST CHOOSE.  JESUS SAVES THOSE WHO RESPOND IN FAITH/REPENTANCE. JESUS PUBLICLY DECLARED THIS WOMAN’S PAST SINS WERE FORGIVEN—AND SHE COULD GO IN PEACE—ROM.5:1,2—SINCE WE HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED BY FAITH WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THROUGH WHOM WE HAVE GAINED ACCESS BY FAITH INTO HIS THIS GRACE IN WHICH WE NOW STAND”   WHEN THE BURDEN OF SIN/GUILT IS LIFTED WE HAVE PEACE—WHEN THE PEOPLE HEARD THIS THEY WERE AMAZED—WHO IS THIS WHO FORGIVES SINS?

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