LIFE OF CHRIST

 

LUKE 7:36-50

MAKE A CHOICE

LIFE OF CHRIST #22

 

Life is full of choices. Every day you are invited to pick. You pick what you are going to eat, what you are going to wear, how you are going to act, what you are going to do, and where you are going to go.

 

In this morning’s message you also have a choice.

You chose who you are like in this Bible story, the Pharisee or the woman. It is your pick.  The good news is, if you want to change your choice at the end, you can.

 

Vs. 36 – After the incident involving John the Baptist, a Pharisee, one of a strict sect that was very legalistic, invited Jesus to dinner.  As the story unfolds, we will see that he did not invite Him out of belief in or love for Jesus.

In fact he probably either invited Jesus out of curiosity, or in an effort to find a way to find fault with Jesus either in word of deed.

 

Vs. 37 - We need to understand something. Dinners in those days were different from dinners today. The guests would have reclined, leaning on their left arms and reaching for the food and eating with their right hand. Everyone would recline facing the table. That's why the woman in our story could reach Jesus' feet.

 

There is another thing you must realize. Banquets like this were "open" in the sense that anyone who wanted to could walk in. Uninvited guest could come in and sit along the wall, listen to conversation, and even speak to the guests.

 

This woman could enter into the banquet, and although certainly not welcome, could not be stopped from being there.

 

To make matters worse, this woman was a known sinner.  Most people seem to think that she was what we might call a woman of ill repute or a prostitute.  She did not have a good reputation.

 

It is evident that this lady had already had an encounter with the Lord Jesus. Her life had been changed.  Earlier in this chapter Jesus talked to a crowd  about John the Baptist. According to Matthew, after He talked about John, Jesus said more, including this great invitation:

 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

 

Perhaps it was at that time that she placed her faith in Christ. This time she came to show her appreciation. She brought with her an "alabaster box of ointment". This was a bottle or jar that contained precious perfume! This was the good stuff! It was expensive! Her show of appreciation was to anoint Jesus with this perfume.

 

Vs. 38 - This woman was evidently overcome with the reality of our sin.  She probably realized how much Jesus had forgiven her. She was overwhelmed with the greatness of her sin and the greatness of her forgiveness. She began to cry, and the tears fell on the feet of Jesus.  She dried his feet by loosening the tresses in her hair and using her hair as a towel. And out of love she kissed his feet, and anointed Jesus feet with the perfume.

 

Vs. 39 - Simon, the Pharisee, is scandalized.  Here was a woman with a terrible reputation, and Jesus was allowing this terrible sinner, to wash, kiss, and anoint his feet.

 

The Pharisee's conclusion is, "This man is no prophet! If he were a prophet he would know about this sinful woman! He would turn her away, if he knew the type of woman she is!

 

Vs. 40 - Jesus tells Simon that he has something to say.

             And whether Simon wants to hear it or not, he's polite enough to give Jesus permission to say what was on His heart.

 

Vss. 41-42 - Jesus tells a story of a moneylender who has two clients who owe him money. One owed him the equivalent of 50 days wages for the common laborer. The other owed Him the equivalent of 500 days wages.

 

Neither of them could pay the moneylender, and he freely forgave both of them.

 

This story reminds me that in man's way of thinking, some are not as big sinners as others. 

 

Looking at the woman in the story, it is clear that she was a great sinner, and owed a debt for her sin that she could not pay.

 

There are other people, like this Simon, who especially in front of others, do not appear to be very big sinners at all. They appear to be good, moral people.  Their sins are not as great or as obvious.

 

But before God, whether a person is a moral sinner, or an immoral sinner, he or she is a sinner who owes a debt for their sin to God. Isaiah 64:6, Ezekiel 18:4

 

My dear friend, no matter how little or how great a sinner you consider yourself to be, you are bankrupt!  You can not pay for your sin!

 

Only Jesus could pay for your sin, and He did! 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

2 Corinthians 5:21 - For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

Jesus already paid the debt for your sin.

All you had to do is apply it to your account! Romans 6:23, John 3:16

 

What gave this woman in our story her forgiveness? Was it the tears? Was it the foot washing? Was it the expensive perfume?

 

NO! IT WAS HER FAITH!

 

Luke 7:50 - And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

 

It is not our actions that save us. It is our faith that saves us.

Our actions are a reflection of our faith. Our actions show that we have faith!

 

The difference between the Simon the Pharisee and this woman was, she knew she was a sinner who needed a Savior. Simon did not consider himself a bad enough sinner to need a Savior! He was wrong, along with any who might have the same attitude.

 

Vss. 42-43 - Jesus asks Simon "Which one of these two, the man who was forgiven for 500 pence, or the one that was forgiven for 50 pence, would love the moneylender most?"

 

Simon supposed the one who had been forgiven the most.

Jesus assures Simon that He has answered correctly.

Now Jesus applies the story to Simon and this woman.

 

Vs. 44 - It was a common courtesy of that day to have a servant wash the feet of a guest.  They wore open sandals, and though every other body part might have been clean, feet very easily got dirty. A servant was sent around to wash the feet. Simon failed to do this for Jesus.

 

The woman, on the other hand, not only washed Jesus feet, but used her own tears, and dried the feet with her own hair.

 

I believe this action of the woman speaks of acknowledgement.

This woman looked back at her past life.

This woman looked back at her failures.

This woman looked back at the forgiveness which Jesus gave her and shed tears of sorrow and gratitude.

 

You have met ungrateful, forgetful people who have not remembered the kindness shown to them.  Eventually they might even turn on the people who had been so kind to them.

 

I wonder how many of us have been forgetful about how much the Lord Jesus has done for us.

We need to remind ourselves of what we were before we were saved.

We need to remind ourselves that we had past failures, many of them, but Jesus has forgiven every last one of them.

We need to remind ourselves that even today, when we sin we have a Savior who forgives us, and restores us to fellowship as we confess. 1 John 1:9

 

It wouldn't hurt us to shed some tears of sorrow and gratitude for what he has done.

 

This morning we will celebrate what is called the Lord's Table, or communion. Jesus says to us, "Do this in remembrance of me".

We are to acknowledge before God and others just what sinners we were and what a Savior we have!

 

Acknowledgement

 

Vs. 45 - Another custom of that day was to greet a guest with a kiss on the cheek.  Simon did not offer that kiss.

 

The woman however covered Jesus feet with kisses! Now I don't know about you, but I'd far rather kiss somebody on the cheek than the feet!

 

This woman not only acknowledged her sin, but she showed her affection for the Lord Jesus. She loved Him for what He had done for her!  The kisses were the sign of her affection.

 

How do your loved ones know you love them?

You tell them.

You thank them for the things they do for you.

You are loyal to them.

You are there when needed.

You will do whatever you can to help!

 

How does your Lord Jesus know that you love Him?

Do you tell Him that you love Him?

Do you sing songs of praise and worship from the heart?

Do you thank Him for all that He's done?

 

How does your Lord Jesus know that you love Him?

Are you loyal to Him?

Do you spend time with Him?

Do you speak up for Him?

 

How does your Lord Jesus know that you love Him?

Are you there when needed?

Will you do anything that He asks?

Before you say, "Yes". Let me ask you another question. Have you been baptized since you were saved? How can you say you are loyal, if you haven't taken the first step of obedience?

 

How does your Lord Jesus know that you love Him?

Will you do whatever you can to help?

What if He wants you to join this church?

What if He wants you to teach for Him?

What if He wants you to help with the young people?

What if He wants you to serve on council?

What if He wants you sing in the choir?

What if He wants you to be a pastor or go to the mission field?

 

This woman acknowledged her sin.

This woman showed affection.

 

Vs. 46 - Another custom was for a host to anoint his guest's hair with oil. Simon had offered no oil!

 

The woman took a flask of expensive perfume and anointed Jesus' feet.  She showed her appreciation for all that Jesus had done for her.

 

Has it occurred to you that what we give to the Lord is an indication of how much we appreciate Him.

 

When we give our tithe to the local church, we are showing our appreciation.

When we give to missions we are showing our appreciation.

When we give to those in need, we are showing our appreciation.

 

2 Corinthians 9:7 - Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

 

Vs. 47 - The woman's love for Jesus was a reflection of how much she had been forgiven.

She realized just how great a sin debt had been paid!

Oh, may we realize the great debt of sin that has been paid for us, and may we love Him accordingly!

Have you been forgiven much?

Do you love the Lord Jesus accordingly?

 

Vss. 48-50 - The woman was reassured, and those who didn't believe didn't understand that Jesus could forgive sin.

 

But now it's time for you to Pick One!

Right now are you like the Pharisee who:

Shows no acknowledgement of sin

Shows no affection for Jesus

Shows no appreciation for Jesus?

 

Or are you like this woman who

Acknowledges sin.

Shows affection.

Shows appreciation.

 

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