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Luke 7:36-50 A Walk With God Series

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Luke 7:36–38 ESV
36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.
Luke 7:36–50 ESV
36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then 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 from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Luke 7:36-
The Awkward Dinner
The Formal Setting
The impression of the text is that this Pharisee is curious, though perhaps skeptical, about Jesus.
Darrell L. Bock, , vol. 1, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1994), 694.

At special meals the door was left open, so uninvited guests could enter, sit by the walls, and hear the conversation

That the woman’s action is rebuked and her presence is not suggests a special, public meal. Darrell L. Bock, Luke: 1:1–9:50, vol. 1, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1994), 694–695.
The Unashamed Shameful Lady
Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke 1:1–9:50 ii. Anointing of Jesus’ Feet by the Sinful Woman (7:37–38)

Interestingly, in the entire pericope, this woman says nothing. Her actions speak a thousand words.

Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke 1:1–9:50 ii. Anointing of Jesus’ Feet by the Sinful Woman (7:37–38)

The weeping is obviously significant, because the term used to describe it, βρέχω (brechō, to wet), is also used to describe rain showers (BAGD 147; BAA 294; Matt. 5:45; James 5:17 [twice]; Rev. 11:6; cf. Luke 17:29). This is more than light whimpering. She undoes her hair and wipes the tears away, an action that some might think immodest.10

Extravagantly Repentant
Luke 7:39 ESV
39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
See People the Way Jesus Sees People
Question’s Jesus’ status as a prophet
Condemns the Woman coldly
Luke 7:40–42 ESV
40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke 1:1–9:50 i. Jesus’ Reply: A Parable on Forgiveness and Love (7:40–43)

A denarius (δηνάριον, dēnarion) was a soldier’s or laborer’s daily wage (Matt. 20:2; Tacitus, Annals 1.17; Plummer 1896: 212; Heutger 1983: 98). To put these numbers in perspective, note that Cicero made 150,000 denarii per year; officeholders under Augustus, 2,500–10,000 denarii per year; and procurators like Pilate, 15,000–75,000 denarii per year (Nolland 1989: 355). So the wages in Luke are middle-class at best. Given the fluctuating values of money across time, it is better to figure the debt in relative terms of basic wages than to figure its current monetary equivalent: about two months’ wages versus one-and-three-quarter years’ wages (assuming a six-day workweek). The graphic picture will show how great God’s forgiveness is. The parable is basic to the story and is not a later addition; it is fundamental to the issue raised in 7:39 (Nolland 1989: 356; Wilckens 1973: 400–404).

Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke 1:1–9:50 i. Jesus’ Reply: A Parable on Forgiveness and Love (7:40–43)

It is Jesus’ awareness of how God can transform people that makes him, rather than dwell on their past, look forward to what God can make of them.

2. Jesus Challenges the Assumption of Simon
2. See Jesus for Who He Truly is.
Luke 7:43–44 ESV
43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then 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.
a. The Contrast Between Simon and the Woman
Luke 7:45–46 ESV
45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.
While the woman did all she could Simon literally did not even do the least he could have done.
You can see your understanding of the forgiveness you’ve been given by your devotion to Jesus. It’s not at that we are some how earning his love or buying our salvation.
It’s that we are so overwhelmed with joy because we so value the gift we’ve been given we just can’t help ourselves.
Luke 7:45-
Like Josiah when he gets excited about something we have just given him, he will run up and he’ll squeeze you so hard you feel like h may actually break your neck. He just can’t help it.
IT’s overwhelming to him.
But when they don’t get what they want or don’t think it’s a big deal we get zero response from them.
Luke 7:47–48 ESV
47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
3. See Yourself the Way that Jesus Sees You.
Luke 7:47
Luke 7:49–50 ESV
49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Maybe the hardest thing to let go of is the sin we have committed.
the mistakes we have made. I know sometimes we tend to wear the guilt we have from all the things we’ve done as almost a badge of honor.
Jesus pronounces peace over this woman because of her relationship to Him.
He doesn’t hold her past mistakes over her head. In fact he says go in peace.
Go in a fully whole life. Your faith has saved you.
So how many of you have ever had a vehicle that you felt like was just absoluetely out to get you?
I had one, it was actually the car I had always wanted.
I know it sounds weird but it was one of those high riding s-10 blazers, Zr2 was the name of them.
I loved that thing, it had skid plates underneath it. It was super short wheel base so you could climb any water bar you came to.
It was narrow enough I could make it down any trail I wanted to go down.
It was amazing.
Other than the fact that pretty much everything that could go wrong electronically with a vehicle did go wrong with it.
Like the 4 whell drive didn’t work
The fuel pump went out on it.
The power seat only moved every now and then.
Like the very first day I had it, I tried taking it up a water bar and had to back down and bent the tail pipe around the axel.
The battery would go dead so I had to unhook it when I got out.
And then I forgot to totally shut the hood one time I got in it going down the road and it flew up and folded back.
But
And maybe the most terrible thing about it was that the windshield wipers didn’t work. So that meant it would get super nasty on the windshield.
Right after we got married Crystal and I lived in a house with a pecan tree and that thing leaked all over my windshield.
So I had sap all over it and I couldn’t get it off.
Well I would take turns driving to seminary with a friend down the road from us.
One morning we were on the way in my Blazer and man it just so happened that we turned down a road and the sun hit that sap just right and I lost all vision.
Like I could absolutely not see anything in front of me.
But did I stop?
Of course not. I kept right on driving. Like a moron that I was.
Well for some reason I decided to swtich lanes.
And right after I did we passed a huge hole in the street Like bigger than my car. I came this close to going head first off in to that hole all because I couldn’t see where I was going.
I was blinded by the junk on my windshield.
And the truth is guys the same thing happens to me still today.
I get blinded by the junk in my heart spiritually.
I don’t see the things God wants me to see because I have built up gunk in my life.
And I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has blind spots in his life.
So I want to do with our time together is allow Jesus to scrape the junk off so we can see things the way he wants us to see them.
I want us to look at and talk about what it looks like to have Jesus change our view of life.
First I want us to see how he changes the way we look at the people around us.
Listen to verses 36-40
(ESV)
36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
So what we have here is an extremely awkward moment for everyone.
You guys ever have those awkward situations come up? You may be heading to one this afternoon as you gather with your family I don’t know.
But I do know I’ve had my fair share of awkward moments….
I had a friend come up to preach a revival at the church I had just started pastoring.
I guess I would’ve been 24 years old, he was the same age.
And we got invited over to a man from the church’s house for lunch.
It’s like the middle of August and super hot.
Well my friend wore blue jeans and flip flops. I wore a polo shirt and jeans.
Didn’t think anything of it.
But at lunch the guy looked at us and said you know I’ve never had a preacher sit at my table in flip flops before. Or jean and a shirt.
Like he expected us to be in suits. It was awkward, we were not doing what he expected religious leaders to do.
That’s sort of like what we see here. Here is a man who is one of the most morally upright, uptight,
guys in town and Jesus is sitting there eating lunch, some sort of public gathering is taking place and they are all talking and exchanging ideas.
And in the middle of everything a woman who lived in the city heard that Jesus was at this guy’s house so she runs down there as quickly as she can and brings her alabaster flask of ointment with her. Or really expensive bottle of perfume.
Scholars tell us that this perfume could have cost the equivalent of a year and three quarters wages per pound.
Now that’s some expensive perfume isn’t ladies?
Now in that culture they ate sitting on the ground with their feet out behind them.
This woman is standing behind Jesus at his feet.
She is anointing his feet with this oil.
And as she is doing this she is crying so hard she is having to wipe up the tears off his feet with her hair.
Now I don’t know about ya’ll but this has to be quite a scene.
I get emotional every now and then. And it is not pretty, and that’s typically more of a single tear at best. If it’s an all out ball session I’m out the door right?
But this woman right there in front of everyone is just balling her eyes out anointing Jesus’ feet.
And while this is going on the guy who’s house they are in is getting more and more upset. This was his special day, his time to be the star, to show everyone how important and awesome he is. To show off his home and his religious ability.
And here this sinful woman is taking up his time.
He is thinking to himself as this is all going on.
Hmm some prophet he is, if he was a for real legit prophet he’d tell this woman to get away from him, she’s a sinner.
She’s most likely a prostitute. And here she is using perfume that was probably bought with money from prostitution to anoint this so called holy man’s feet.
This guy is disgusted. He is in disbelief. He is angry, he is judging him, her and everyone else.
You see Simon looked at this woman and all he saw was what she had done wrong.
When Jesus looked at this woman he saw all that she could be through the power of the gospel.
He didn’t see what she had done he saw what he was going to make her.
He saw someone who was in need of forgiveness.
When you look at people in your own life what do you see?
Are you blinded from their potential by the sin in their lives?
Are you blinded from their need by your own self righteous attitude?
Does your judgment of them so cloud your vision that you can’t see what Jesus can do with them?
But Jesus doesn’t just change our perspective on other people he changes our perspective on Himself.
(ESV)
40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Sounds like a pretty good deal huh?
So Jesus is like which one loved this guy more when it was all said and done.
And Simon answers….I love this guys…
He says I suppose. This word suppose is one of waffling, it’s the way your kid answers your when they know they are in trouble.
Did you break that window son? Yeah dad I guess I did.
Well I guess it would have to be the one who got the bigger debt forgiven Jesus.
Now we can already see where Jesus is going here and I’m sure Simon know Jesus is about to make him look dumb so he’s getting ready for that.
Jesus is like correct! You get a star sir!
44 Then 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 from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Here’s the point Jesus makes, this woman is excited to see Jesus.
Simon could care less. Simon you didn’t give me anything to wash my feet with but this woman is washing my feet with her tears.
You didn’t give me the customary greeting of a kiss on the cheek but this woman is kissing me on the feet.
You didn’t give me any oil to anoint my head to make me smell good before we ate.
But here she is anointing my feet with 50000 dollar a pound perfume.
So guess what Simon.
I know that she’s a sinner, you think I don’t but I do, in fact I know everything about her. I know everything she has ever done.
And guess what she is a big sinner, she has a lot of sins but they are all forgiven, washed clean because she loved much!
This woman just heard Jesus was coming to town and she got more excited than kids at Christmas.
Simon has Jesus come to his house and he doesn’t treat him as anything special at all.
He treats him as at best a normal ole buddy. The kind of friend you don’t even cleanup for. The kind of friend that may or may not even say by when they leave.
Why? Because Simon sees no real need for Jesus in his life.
This woman however. This woman understands and values Jesus more than everything else in her life.
She gives up any dignity she had, it had to be humiliating to walk into this man who she knew would stare her down and laugh in her face call her mean names.
It had to be humiliating to ball her eyes out while everyone else is sitting around staring at her.
It was going to cost her her friends, her way of life and a lot of money. But she doesn’t care about any of that. All she cares about is Jesus.
Why?
Because she has been forgiven much. She has been washed clean.
This Woman is at Peace because she knows the debt she has been forgiven.
She knows who she is, Jesus knows who she is, but here’s the deal, Jesus offers her hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope for transformation for escape from the life she’s been living to a life of renewed purpose of cleansing.
She has no doubt that she has been forgiven much. She has been given a great gift of love from Jesus not because she deserves it but because Jesus offers it freely.
You see this Woman was able to see Jesus for Who He truly is,
Her savior.
Why cause her windshield is clean, it’s not gunked up with selfrighteousness
But Simon. Simon has his heart blocked off from seeing this truth.
You see my knee jerk reaction to this passage is to see that Simon needs to stop judging people.
That’s true, but the solution isn’t just stop judging.
No it’s get a different view of Jesus.
You see Simon’s problem really wasn’t what he thought about this lady.
His problem was what he thought about Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t say Simon quit judging people he says Simon this woman loves me, you know how I know she loves me look at all she has done for me.
Look at the expensive perfume she has poured on my feet. Look at the tears she has shed to wash my feet look at the way she is kissing my feet. Look at the shame she is enduring just being here right now.
Simon you don’t love me, you know how? How you didn’t do squat for me. As this woman has done all of this for me, you have sat there and watched you couldn’t even be bothered to greet me when I came in.
You see guys our problem is not a judgmental problem it’s a wrong view of Jesus problem
The more we worship the less time we have to judge.
The point here is not to not judge, but to love Jesus.
It’s about seeing him for Who He is and Loving Him for what He has done.
The more aware we are of His grace love and forgiveness the more serious we will be about worship.
When is the last time you worshipped him extravagantly.
When is the last time you were humilitated because of your walk with Him.
When is the last time you just absolutely made a fool of yourself because of the passion you have for Christ?
Simon doesn’t care for Jesus because he sees no need for forgiveness. He is moved with little passion for Jesus.
This woman though she gets it and understands the gift she has been given.
Look at
(ESV)
48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
So everyone else sees a sinner Jesus says she is a saint. She is clean, she is pure she is a child of the king.
Guys if we are going to walk forgiven we have to see Jesus as He sees us.
As forgiven as cleansed.
She is cleansed from all her sins and shame and it really doesn’t matter what any of the rest of the people sitting there think about her.
To answer their question, who is this that even forgives sins? Well that would be God in the flesh there boys.
And guess what he gets final say and he says that he doesn’t care what you think cause it is not up to you.
So stop staring her down judging her and offer her the same forgiveness that I’m giving her.
So he says to this woman your faith has saved you, your trust in me, your turning from your sins and placing your hope in me.
Your belief that I’m better than everything else in this world, has made you whole.
Now you go out in peace, peace is the favor of God the smile of God, the love of God the approval of God.
The assurance that the King of the Universe loves you and accepts you and it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
You don’t have to please anyone but him. You perform for an audience of one.
Peace comes from Pleasing only Jesus
Simon did not gain peace that day.
Simon went on as far as we can tell trying to prove himself to God and everyone else, caring what everyone else thinks about him, trying to please everyone around him. trying to prove that he is worthy of God’s love. Trying to impress everyone.
Is that you?
Are you so worried about what everyone thinks that you can never really be at peace?
Worried about what that guy at work thinks?
Or that person next door, or that cousin or that mom or that dad or that son or that daughter or those people at church?
Can I tell you to just stop right now and realize that there is one person you need to please. That is the Lord Jesus. Give him all your love.
What if you started just chasing Jesus not caring what everyone else thought. Knowing he has forgiven you of all that you have done?
How differently would your worship look like?
Not just on Sunday but on Monday when you get home from work and the house is a wreck, or
Tuesday and you get that call that your kid is in trouble again.
Or Wed. and your wife tells you that she has messed up.
Or Thursday and husband yells at you.
Or Friday and your mom forgets your lunch.
Or Saturday and the lady at Walmart doesn’t put all your groceries in the bag.
Or Sunday and you don’t feel like getting up and coming to church.
What if you responded to your life as if you have been forgiven of the greatest debt in the universe and you’re only job is to please Jesus who forgave you?
Guys imagine with me for just moment a church full of people like this woman right here.
A woman who could care less who is watching as she is worshipping the savior.
A woman who doesn’t not care what it is going to cost her
who is willing to give the most prized things in her life for Jesus.
A woman aware of her sins, too aware of her sins to worry with anyone else’s.
There’d never be another church fight. We would see a church explode in growth as we go out with this message of good news that Jesus offers forgiveness and peace.
Our lives would match what our mouths claim.
What would that do to your marriage?
If instead of focusing on how bad your husband or your wife messed up you focused on your own mistakes and how you can fix them? Showing forgiveness even as Christ has forgiven you?
What would that do to your work environment?
Or to your parenting?
Guys when you get ahold of this or when this truth gets ahold of you it changes everything in your life, every relationship every situation.
It’s no longer how others have wronged you, or are doing wrong, it is I’m a sinner who has been forgiven of the greatest debt and I couldn’t love Jesus more!
You stop worrying about everyone else’s opinions and just focus on the one who matters. Jesus.
What would your life look like if you quit living for everyone else and started just loving Jesus?
Here’s what we are called to do. To come and give ourselves, our whole selves to him asking his forgiveness and seeking his approval and his alone….
To say Lord I’m a sinner and I need your forgiveness.
Notice in this passage the woman actually never says a word.
At least not recorded because what she was going to say didn’t matter.
You may think you don’t know what to say or what prayer to pray. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you realize you’re a sinner in need of grace and stop chasing your sin and start chasing Jesus.
If you say to Jesus I’m a sinner he’ll say your sins which are many are great but you are forgiven as you believe in me. As you put your faith, your hope your trust in me.
Would you do just that this morning?
Put your faith in Jesus?
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