Object Lessons of Jesus – Sinful Woman

Object Lessons of Jesus – Sinful Woman

Object Lessons of Jesus – Sinful Woman.

“One of the Pharisees asked Jesus over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the house of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at His feet, weeping, raining tears on His feet. Letting her hair down, she dried His feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man was the prophet I thought He was, He would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over Him.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to tell you.’ ‘Oh? Tell me.’ ‘Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?’ Simon answered, ‘I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.’ ‘That’s right,’ said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, He said, ‘Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.’ Then Jesus spoke to her: ‘I forgive your sins.” (Luke 7:36-48, MSG).

HUMAN OBJECT: Right from the start of Jesus’ arrival at Simon the Pharisee’s home, Simon is disrespectful and inhospitable. He didn’t offer Jesus the common courtesies due to any guest. He didn’t offer water to rinse Jesus’ feet. He didn’t welcome Jesus with a customary kiss on the cheek or hands. He didn’t offer some olive oil to anoint Jesus’ head. He did none of that. Simon’s behavior would be considered highly insulting to a guest. Simone offered no special care or affection for his guest, no doubt a popular rabbi getting a lot of attention. It appears that Simon thought Jesus to be of an inferior class, not a member of the religious elite, that He didn’t deserve basic politeness and respect, no less honor. Jesus had just been teaching in Simon’s village, so it could be that He considered Jesus to be a renegade rabbi who is not obedient to Temple authority. Throughout the situation, Simon never offered an apology or sense of regret for the way he treated Jesus.

Unexpectedly, the village prostitute, “a great sinner,” enters Simon’s house and stood directly behind Jesus. She proceeded to kneel at Jesus’ feet out of respect for him. She wet His feet with her tears of repentance and gratitude. She unloosed her hair and dried His feet with her hair. She honored Jesus by kissing His feet, and then anointed His feet with expensive perfume. The contrite sinner provided all the respect due a rabbi, and all the courtesies of hospitality that Simon lacked. The woman’s actions were all very scandalous of course, and considered outrageous by the religious leaders, to be sure. But Jesus didn’t mind. He knew she sought forgiveness for her sins. He wasn’t the least put off by the woman’s actions, even though it made Him ritually unclean in the eyes of the authorities. Jesus shocked everyone present in Simon’s house by praising this sinful, rejected woman. Jesus made her the center of an important object lesson. He made her the good example of repentance and respect. Jesus complained to Simon about his spiritual pride and his glaring lack of respect. And Jesus pointed to the spiritual humility and the honor He received by this sinful woman. She went away affirmed and forgiven. Simon, on the other hand, was left stinging at Jesus’ rebuke. We hope Simon learned his lesson.