the story of Jesus evangelizing a Pharisee. He came to seek and to save the lost. Anointing of Jesus’s feet by a penitent woman.
FULLY FORGIVEN The Greatest Story Ever Told. The Melting Love of God. My Sin, Oh the Thought! The Tearful Woman.. The Meal in the House of the Pharisee. A Pharisee Evaluating Jesus?
Jesus is showing this self-righteous Pharisee what real transformation looks like
Pastor-Teacher Charles e Whisnant
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s 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 moneylender. 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 toward 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.”
42 “When they
Again, open your Bible today to
Luke chapter 7 and we’re going to be looking at verse 36 through verse 50, right to the end of the chapter. We can cover all of this because it’s one story and it needs to be dealt with as a unit.
When you think about witnessing, when you think about evangelism, when you think about missions, when you think about reaching lost people, what is it that makes the most impact?
Is it a logical argument? Is it reasonableness? Is it the promise of prosperity, or the promise of eternal life itself? What is it that can impact a person to embrace Jesus Christ?
First you have to proclaim the truth. You want to articulate the promises. This is true of course
But what really is powerful is the testimony of a transformed life. What makes the message believable is when it demonstrated transformed lives.
Jesus knew this. Jesus knew that in His own personal evangelism, in His own seeking the lost, it was powerful to present a transformed life.
Now obviously He couldn’t do that because He didn’t need to be transformed. But He on occasion used somebody who was transformed as an instrument to give the power of the gospel to somebody else.
And that’s exactly what happens in the account before us. Jesus, who came to seek and to save the lost, Luke writes in 19:10 is here seeking a lost man. And He uses the transformed life of a woman as the testimony to this man and all around the table at this occasion to whom He spoke.
Most people when they read this account identify it as the story of the immoral woman. It isn’t really that. She is, in a sense, only an element of the story.
It is the story of Jesus evangelizing a Pharisee. He came to seek and to save the lost.
They accused Him of being only interested in drunkards and tax collectors and being the friend of sinners. And He was, but He wasn’t just a friend of the outcast sinners, the riff-raff, the low life, He was even the friend of religious sinners like the Pharisee.
In fact, on a number of occasions in the book of Luke He has some meal with a Pharisee; right here in this chapter, then again in 11:37, 14:1, we see Him sitting down for a prolonged conversation obviously intended to expose the Pharisee to the reality of who He was and why He came.
Jesus was committed to evangelizing and presenting a gospel offer to all sinners, whether they were the low-life sinners, or whether they were the high-life sinners, whether they were the outcasts, and irreligious, or the very religious.
And on this occasion, in an act of irony, He reaches out to demonstrate His power to forgive sins to a hypocritical, self-righteous Pharisee by using the very person that the Pharisee despised the most, the low-life, reprobate, wretched, immoral prostitute whose transformation was very clear and inarguable.
This He uses as evidence of His power to transform even the Pharisee.
The story begins in verse 36. And here the narrative starts and it must be treated as a narrative. It’s a story
We just flow with the story. Here Jesus identified in verse 34 as “the friend of sinners,”
which demonstrates that He is the friend even of a sinning Pharisee, who, by the way, is the worst of sinners.
You say, “You mean worse than a prostitute?” Yes. The worst possible sinner, the most unredeemable of all is the one who thinks he’s not a sinner and doesn’t need redemption, who thinks that God is pleased with him the way he is. This is the worst of sinners.
Paul was one of these and that’s why he called himself “the chief of sinners.”
The worst kind of sin is the sin of self-righteousness, the assumption that you on your own by your own religious activities and moral merit can somehow earn a place in the kingdom of God. That is the most heinous crime of all for it treats the sacrifice of Christ with utter disdain, as being unnecessary and foolish. This then is a story of Jesus using a wretched sinner to reach an even worse sinner.
Now the story is not to be confused with another story that has some similarity. (What I learn by study, MacArthur pointed this out, and I didn’t know this, where was Raymond Barber in Life of Christ.)
There is a story of a woman anointing Jesus’ head. That story is recorded in Matthew 26. It is recorded also in Mark 14. It is recorded in John 12. Those three writers record that same story.
That’s not this story. This is another place, another time and different people. The differences are clear. The story the other three gospels record happened in Judea in the south.
Luke’s story happened in Galilee. In fact, it happened in the town of Bethany. And it happened much later. It happened right before Jesus went to the cross.
The writer in this story, in Luke, is a Pharisee. The writers in the other account, later on, is a leper.
In this story the perfume is poured out by the woman on the feet of Jesus. In that story it’s poured out on the head of Jesus. Different place, different time, different people, different circumstances and yet there are some people who want to blend these stories together and the reason is because the writer of this story is a Pharisee named Simon and the host of the other one is a leper named Simon.
And so some people conclude because you have the name Simon, it has to be the same story. Not at all; different place, different time, different people, different circumstances and
Simon is the commonest of names. Simon Peter, one of the apostles, Simon the Zealot, one of the apostles, Simon the father of Judas, Simon of Cyrene, Simon the tanner, Simon the leper, Simon the Pharisee, and on we go. It’s like Joe in English, plenty of Joes and Johns. So don’t necessarily equate these two accounts. They can’t be equated even though the name was the same.
Let’s look at the story, verse 36,