September 30 - Luke 7:36-50

Monday, September 30, 2013

Luke 7:36-50 – A Sinful Woman … Forgiven

Just after Jesus separates those who accepted baptism and repentance from John and the Pharisees who rejected John’s ministry, a Pharisee named Simon invites Jesus to his table for a meal. Jesus was willing to eat with sinners like Matthew as well as the more pious folk. While they were at the table, a woman came in. Luke politely tells us that she was a prostitute and her arrival is a surprise. In Luke 7:38 she is standing behind Jesus, not in front of him. No one expected her to come in to where they were sitting.

Luke makes another clear distinction between the woman who was weeping in repentance for her actions and Simon, the Pharisee. Perhaps she had been baptized by John, we are certain that Simon had not.

The tears from her weeping created enough liquid to wash Jesus’ feet, an honor which a proper host should provide. Her hair represented the towel to dry the feet and the anointing of oil from the alabaster flask and kissing his feet were a symbol of very affectionate gratitude.

The woman welcomed Jesus Christ in a manner that the host refused to offer, again signifying the great distinction between those who were in desperate need of forgiveness and the pious religious folk who had decided they had no need of anything other than their rules and rituals.

Simon was highly offended and figured that Jesus should have known exactly who the woman was and stopped it. An unclean sinner was never supposed to touch a pious religious person. But, Jesus seemed to be encouraging her with his actions.

Jesus knew exactly what the man was thinking, even though Simon hadn't voiced those thoughts out loud.

Who is more grateful for forgiveness? Jesus asked. The one who has the larger debt. Who will end up being more loving? The one who has been forgiven much.