081012 Luke 7.36-50 Simon's House A
36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume,
v Context starts in 7:1
v 7:11 word has gotten around
Ø Crowd followed. 9, 11,12, 24
Ø Centurion’s slave healed 3
v Scene is easy to miss 12-17
v Cured many
Ø had gone to see John in the wilderness
Ø saying “God has visited his people” 16
Ø acknowledged God’s justice 29
v Religious Leaders
Ø but the Pharisee’s reject it 30
Ø Jesus answers publicly their criticism
Ø But could it be true that he is a prophet?
v Likely - Check him out 36-50 at Simon’s house
Ø Answers the question about being a prophet – not the way Simon would have expected
v Jesus received sinners (tax collectors and the like)
v She is known to be a sinner
v Sinners like her could receive forgiveness
v That meant the grace of God was available to her – despite not being able to compensate
v He had set her free
v Jesus taught in the community about God’s love of sinners
v She heard it and believed it
v Desired to show her gratitude
v Someone told her, “He’s at Simon’s”
v Religious leaders
Ø Started as a movement several hundred years prior to Jesus – attempt to bring Israel back into holiness
v HOW TO TREAT A GUEST
Enter a house. Certain expectations.
Ø Hey John
Ø Would you like to come in?
Ø May I take your coat?
Ø Would you like to sit down?
Ø May I offer you something to drink?
Ø To eliminate the entire list would be very rude.
v What is missing? Polite greetings: Jesus points this out 44-47
v Jesus Reclined: took the elder’s position. Stunning.
v Repentance at that time: turn to God, desist.
v Contrition of heart, confession, compensation.
v Trap set by the world for a prostitute – you can’t compensate.
38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.
39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”
40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.”
v Perfume likely is a tool of her trade
v Not hoping to receive forgiveness – responding to forgiveness she already has
v Woman sees Simon’s rejection of him
v This beautiful person who set her free is being humiliated
v Weeps for him – for his public humiliation
v Hair down,
v Touched him: with her hair!
Ø Pious woman – hair up – even at home
Ø A new bride lets her hair down on the wedding night
Ø No one could miss the overtones
Ø She is pledging loyalty to Jesus
v Her total focus is on Jesus
v Simon’s agenda (Pharisees also?)
v Expects Jesus to avoid sinners – like her. But if Jesus is going to avoid sinners then he will have to avoid Simon as well
v Offended. Will return later with a bigger stick.
v Acknowledges Jesus as a scholar
Ø required special courtesies
v not insults
v Acts are not random
v Not entirely premeditated
v She can’t ask for water to bath his feet because they just want to humiliate him
v To wash his hands and anoint his head would be sexually improper. But to clean his feet – not so
v Jesus is expected to be embarrassed – touching in public
41 “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42 “When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”
v Creditor assumed to be God
v Sins: acts a pious person should not commit
v Debts: responsibilities left unfulfilled – used in the Lord’s prayer
v Wants to focus on her sins
v Two types of sinners
Ø Law keepers often condemn law breakers as sinners
Ø Law breakers often condemn law keepers as hypocrites
v Freely forgave both
v Simon rude – Jesus doesn’t ignore the insult
v Simon’s fault acknowledged
v Jesus takes a symbol of God and subtly points it at himself – defines himself
44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
45 “You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.
46 “You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.
v As a guest he criticizes the host’s hospitality – it’s unthinkable
v Jesus defends her – unthinkable! By attacking the host!
v Defends the woman – endorses her willingness to be hurt – costly and unexpected love
v Shifts the hostility from her to him
v Shifts the focus from her to the response of the forgiven woman
v Unexpected grace
v Doesn’t condone – Doesn’t condemn
v Law breakers – Law keepers
v Doesn’t pretend sin away
v Hers is greater – or at least she is more aware of hers than Simon is of his
v She “enters into” (emotionally) his suffering and rejection
v Religious community investigates
v Social rudeness
v Social taboos and Jesus response – he looks past them
v Her extravagant gestures to him – seemingly unafraid of the community’s condemnation
v Jesus extravagant gesture to her
v Ruffians – capture a man
v Strip him and beat him
v A woman slips into the circle and gives him a blanket
v Weeping she drops to her knees and kisses the captive’s hand
47 “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
v He forgives - outrageous
Ø For this reason I say to you
§ This is why I’m telling you this
§ Because she smeared perfume on my feet
Ø Forgiveness is first
v οὗ χάριν λέγω σοι, ἀφέωνται αἱ ἁμαρτίαι αὐτῆς αἱ πολλαί, ὅτι ἠγάπησεν πολύ· ᾧ δὲ ὀλίγον ἀφίεται, ὀλίγον ἀγαπᾷ.
§ For this reason I say to you, the many sins of her have been sent off because she loved much, but he for whom little is sent off who loves little,
· To release or remove; Release from a moral obligation, cancel, remit, pardon; Send away, depart
· Perfect: completed action in the past that produces a stat of being in the present
Ø Her love is second:
§ practice or prove love; take pleasure in; cherish
§ Aorist: snapshot event. In this case it was in the past.
v Talks to her in public – Rabbis warned not to do so – not even his own wife
v Jesus speaks to the woman in public
49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?”
50 And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
v Her faith? How is it expressed in this story?
Ø She doesn’t say a word but he commends her for her faith
Ø Faith in Jesus is composed of
§ Intellectual assent
§ Daily walk of trust
§ Response in obedience
§ It is never something that we merely think it is also something we do
§ She says nothing but her acts confirm her confidence that it is appropriate to thank him for forgiveness.
§ She identifies with his suffering
§ Her daily walk had already begun – it led her to Simon’s house
§ Her obedience as shown in entering into his rejection and suffering was daring and costly
§ She accepted his forgiveness
§ Did Simon accept it? We don’t know.
Ø Had heard him or heard of him
Ø Had seen what he was doing
Ø Approached him in public
v Broke every social taboo
v Forgiveness and love. More forgiveness from Jesus – more love offered to him
v Sin. Two types of sinner.
v The Cross. He offers her unexpected love. Exposes one of the deepest levels of his saving ministry.
v Faith, obedience, forgiveness, salvation, peace. Linked together in one story. She is forgiven, saved by faith which is obedience. Gives peace.
v Women. Jesus is willing to get hurt for a woman. Elevates her position.
v Prophet. The nature of a prophet is clarified. It is not avoiding sinners. It is offering love to them
v Jesus duplicates the action of the creditor. He confirms her forgiveness. She accepts. This type of thanks was to be given in the temple. Jesus is at the least saying “I am the unique rep of God to whom such thanks is appropriate”
v After this encounter the reader must be offended or believe. He is either an outrageous egotist or he is the unique agent of God mediating forgiveness
v Who are you in this story? The woman who has been forgiven? Simon the religious sinner? The community watching and judging?
v Have you experienced His forgiveness? If you have then how are you showing your love and appreciation? If not then won’t you take this opportunity to accept it?