The Value of Salvation
The Value of Salvation
a. Great benefit of a capitalistic society- is choice-
i. Comes competition
ii. Comes lower prices
b. Our choice of goods is then based upon what is called value
i. You really want to get technical, the value of a product within the context of marketing means the relationship between the consumer's expectations of product quality to the actual amount paid for it. It is often expressed as the equation:
1. Value = Benefits / Price or Value = Quality received / Expectations
ii. Haircuts for instance
1. Sonny’s $10
a. For my wife, she would not find value with Sonny- she never liked my haircuts or for her, the quality received would and her expectations would be based upon the price- she would expect a ten dollar haircut
c. Placing value on a product or service is a powerful element of marketing
i. Once you are able to capture one’s emotional prowess to deem that they are receiving a value, a good deal, you have them
1. McDonald’s and the Value Meal
a. Cluster a burger, fries and drink, make a discount and call it a meal
i. You would just identify your choice by a number, made it as easy as possible
1. Everybody followed suit, even Costco
2. Then came the Super Sized Value Meal- we are Americans and more is better
ii. Movie came out- “Supersize Me”
d. What is value?
i. An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return.
e. One can not only define value in terms of economics but the idea can also extend over into other categories such as cultural, ethical, historical values and even moral values
i. Simple question we will examine today is how much is your salvation worth to you?
Reading the Passage
II. The Background
a. Luke’s Gospel
i. He was not an apostle, he was not even a Jew but a gentile
1. His occupation was that of a physician
2. He was a frequent companion of the Apostle Paul to until Paul’s martyrdom in Rome
ii. His style in writing is that of a scholar, being highly educated, therefore the text is more difficult to read in Greek to his extensive knowledge of the vocabulary and language as in contrast to say the Gospel of John, who was a fisherman
1. Luke was also a meticulous historian, often giving in depth details of events that Matthew or Mark may miss in writing of similar accounts
iii. The purpose of Gospel of Luke was to prove to the Gentile readers, those from the Pauline missions that the Word of God is true and is to be believed.
III. The Invitation of the Pharisee, v. 36
a. Jesus’ ministry was gathering momentum, He has traveled from Judea where he was baptized, traveled north through Samaria and He is now in Galilee, the region of His home, Nazareth
b. This specific event follows Jesus’ fellowship among publicans and tax collectors- where He calls Matthew into service as a disciple
i. As His popularity is not only puzzling the Pharisees, this act of socializing w/ tax collectors may have been the final straw- they were deemed traitors in the eyes of Jews
ii. How could you profit from your own people, which is against the Mosaic law and also do it under the banner of Rome?
c. Maybe the Pharisees had enough, the scriptures does not say that they colluded or conspired to trap Jesus, but Simon’s intentions are definitely calculating and this invitation is not one of genuine hospitality
IV. The Repentant Woman, vv. 37-38
a. Who was this woman?
i. “a woman in the city who was a sinner”
1. Woman of reputation- a harlot, a prostitute
ii. Clarity as to who she was not
iii. She was not Mary of Bethany, John12
a. Another woman who poured perfume on Jesus and was criticized for it
b. We know that because that took place in Bethany, which is located in Judea, near Jerusalem, which contradicts the location of this story
2. Mary Magdeline
a. The so called wife of Jesus according to Dan Brown and James Cameron
i. Mary Magdeline, who was a disciple of Jesus and was at the cross and at the grave was not a prostitute
1. That was a misinterpretation made by the Catholic Church in a sermon by Pope Gregory the Great in 591
b. She is not introduced to Jesus until the following chapter, 8
iv. We will never know the name nor the identity of this woman- there may be a reason
1. J.W. Sheperd, The Christ of the Gospels- The evangelistic record with delicacy withholds the name of the woman who was thus rescued by Jesus from a life of shame. Without tearing away the veil of delicacy spread by the Gospel over the name of the woman, may we not recognize that it would be the very spirit of Jesus to take the despised but repentant woman who had fallen to a life so low, and raise her to the heights sublime to a life of purity and holy devotion to a holy devotion to Him?
a. Is that not the glory of the Gospel?
i. We are all wretched sinners, but when the power of the Gospel takes hold of our lives- everything is forgotten, everything is forgiven
1. “Blessed is the man who sins are forgiven, whose trespasses are covered. Blessed is the man whose sins the Lord will not give account” - Romans 4:7-8
ii. Knowing what wretched sinners we were, we are to do the same, embrace those who repent and restore them in the spirit of forgetfulness
b. The Question might be asked, “How did this woman enter the home of Simon?”
i. It was customary in that day for outsiders to hover around during banquets so they could watch the “important people” and hear the conversation
1. In this day, woman were not allowed to enter into the banquet halls, they were not allowed to publically address a rabbi, and they definitely could not eat with them
a. So beyond the gender stigma, she was approaching Jesus crossing the moral stigma
2. Can you imagine the picture here- here is this group of people, men, gathered around the banquet table watching and listening to the conversation between a well respected Pharisee and this new rabbi, mystery man who was performing miracles, socializing with tax collectors and prostitutes
3. Here comes this woman, maybe she heard the invitation of Jesus as He preached in the streets, “Come unto Me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
a. Here she comes turning away from her sins, facing the hostile mob as they sneered, heckled her, but nothing will deter her from making her way to her Christ.
i. Some of us have trouble waking up for a 1 pm service to get to church
c. V. 38, her posture of repentance
i. she stand behind his feet, weeping out of desperation, filled with so much regret, so much pain, so much emptiness, she is literally broken
ii. as the tears fall on His feet, she is embarrassed that is not what she wanted to do
1. so she bends over to wipe them away, not with her robe or head covering
a. she uses her hair
iii. She begins to kiss them
1. Greek here, the verb is an imperfect, katephilei, continuous past action
a. She was kissing them over and over again- she adored Him
iv. great sign of her humility and respect for Jesus, she does what she came to do, she anointed His feet with perfume
1. it was common to pour oil or perfume upon someone’s head to bless them or a sign of respect- she dare not do that, in her repentance she knew her place
v. Amazing picture of repentance and worship
1. If you come before the Lord with such awe, such hope, expectation, with such humility, could you imagine what your worship experience would be like?
I. The Unrepentant Host, vv. 39-43
a. Simon, did not reprove the woman for it breached social etiquette but rather used the occasion to his benefit- it would serve as the basis of his own rejection of Jesus
i. He knew Jesus could not possibly be what the people claimed Him to be a prophet of God
1. For if He were He would not have touched or allow to be touched by a sinner
a. He truly was a prophet, he would have known the nature of this woman and her character
2. By letting her touch her, it brought upon Him ceremonial uncleaness
ii. Simon’s real problem was blindness: he could not see himself, the woman, or the Lord Jesus
1. it was easy for him to say, “She is a sinner!” but impossible for him to say, “I am also a sinner!”
2. Jesus proved that He was indeed a prophet by reading Simon’s thoughts and revealing his nature and his true character
II. The Revealing Story
a. The setting of the parable, vv. 40-43
i. Here are two men who owed a debt, different amounts
ii. Jesus poses a question- who would be more grateful?
1. What lesson was Jesus teaching the Pharisee?
iii. The parable does not deal with the amount of sin in a person’s life but the awareness of that sin in his heart
iv. How much sin must a person commit to be a sinner?
1. Simon and the woman were both sinners
a. Simon was guilty of sins of the spirit, especially pride, while the woman was guilty of sins of the flesh
b. Her sins were known, while Simon’s sins were hidden to everyone except God
c. And both of them were bankrupt and could not pay their debt to God. Simon was just as spiritually bankrupt as the woman, only he did not realize it.
b. The Impact of the Parable, vv.44-47
i. Jesus began to reveal that even though the woman was guilty of commission, Simon was guilty of omission
1. That he had not been gracious to Jesus as he should have
a. This is where it reveals Simon’s manipulative intentions
b. But in everything Simon neglected to do, the woman did and even better
i. He didn’t wash His feet,
1. she washed His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair
ii. He didn’t kiss him
1. She couldn’t stop kissing His feet
iii. He didn’t anoint His head
1. She poured perfume, expensive perfume upon Him
2. She understood the value of salvation
a. No matter how much the perfume cost, no matter how much she affection she could show- it was never enough for her Lord
i. That’s why she was crying- she realized the colossal debt she was in and she was moved to witness the height, the depth and the breath of the love of God
c. Let me give you the meat of the parable
i. If there was much benefit, there would be much love, as reflected by the woman, and if little benefit, little love
1. Conversely, much love, much benefit- little love, little benefit
d. This is where I find it so striking with many Christians
i. I cannot tell you how discouraging it is to listen to Christians complain
1. When you examine this parable, do you see yourself as the woman, extending much love upon Jesus or are you like the Pharisee, not moved at all, not desiring to serve Jesus
2. That is what the sin of complaint will do, blind you to service and your for Christ
a. How in the world can you praise God is your have unmet terms with Him?
b. Have we not benefited much, why then will we not love much?
i. Did not Christ save you? Did He not die for you?
ii. How great was the amount of your sins? According to this parable- that is not the issue
iii. Yet we live our lives as that is the parameter of our love for Christ
c. Maybe that is why we are not loving, why we are not grateful
ii. Different perspective if the benefit of your own salvation is not enough
1. Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:6-7
iii. If you feel discontented with your spiritual life, with church, with God
1. What have you sowed?
a. Are you sowing sparingly?
i. Rather than complaining which focuses upon yourself and your needs
ii. You sow like Christ
1. Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves - Phil. 2:1-3
2. Maybe you are still stuck in judging God’s goodness not based upon the gift His Son or salvation but worldly blessings
a. You are at the wrong church- there are churches like that
i. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matt. 6:33
b. So let me ask you, where are you sowing?
i. Is it for the kingdom of God or your own kingdom?
ii. I really don’t see many of you much
1. To many of you your spiritual life with Christ has come down to Sunday service
iii. The more you sow into the world, that is all you will reap from it- emptiness and discontentment so that you hunger for more
1. Yesterday Kylie and Katelyn got a haircut, very cute
a. Mom who shows her love and affection at times rambunctiously, kept messing up her hair, the more it got messed up, the more angrier she became
iv. Don’t you know your possessions are not your own- they are the Lords
v. Your job is not to meet your own ends but God’s
vi. Your friends, your company, your community are not for your benefit but to minister to encourage to Christ
vii. Your children are not your own- they are the Lords, we should follow in the example of Hannah- devoting them to the Lord
1. Everything is providential, for His glory, His kingdom
iv. Some of you say, well I am serving…
1. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor 9:7
a. Are you serving out of love? Or are you just going through the motions
b. Do you think Christ died for the church so that you can sit around complaining about it, scrutinizing it, Christ died for the church so that you could love it, be devoted to it, to serve it
i. To love Christ is to love the church
ii. To see the great love of God is to realize the great benefits He has given you
2. Friday night bible study, through Exodus- complaints of Hebrews
a. After witnessing their salvation out of the bondage of slavery, after the baptism of Moses through the Red Sea
i. They continued to complain- what was the outcome, Moses charged them with disbelief
ii. Their pattern of behavior led them to be rejected by God at the doors of the Promised Land
e. I don’t want to sound like a angry preacher or a judgmental Pharisee
i. It is out urgency that I am beseeching you brethren as Christ cries out of the power of the Gospel that you do not conform to the world but by the renewing of your mind- present your bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord which is your spiritual worship, that you may prove what the will of God is, good and acceptable and perfect
f. That is what the woman saw- the perfect will of God in her salvation
i. It was not her love for Jesus that saved her, as Jesus says in verse 50, “your faith has saved you”
1. But she loved because she was forgiven
a. What would you give to the Lord?
b. I want to play a song for you- it is based upon this passage
But God’s forgiveness is not automatic; we can reject His grace if we will. In 1830, a man named George Wilson was arrested for mail theft, the penalty for which was hanging. After a time, President Andrew Jackson gave Wilson a pardon but he refused to accept it! The authorities were puzzled: should Wilson be freed or hanged?
They consulted Chief Justice John Marshall, who handed down this decision: “A pardon is a slip of paper, the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged.”
If you have never accepted God’s pardon, now is the time to believe and be saved.