This is a story of ‘The Experience of Forgiveness’ and how that experience will effect those who truly experience it. It is also a cautionary tale about what happens when you become ‘self-satisfied’ in your relationship with God. When we get ‘Holier than thou’ and begin focusing on the judgement of other people’s situations, we become the same as the Pharisees.

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.

  • Why did he invite Jesus to dinner?
  • He was aware of the miracles Jesus was doing, It was probably a test / vetting
  • Woman ‘who lived a sinful life’ would have been a prostitute in that context
  • She too had heard all that Jesus was doing…and she brought the ‘Jar’
  • She didn’t let her sin keep her from coming to Jesus

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.

  • Coming face to face with God she seems to be under great conviction
  • The logistics of how it worked (she was in the background)
  • Her brokenness was such that she was without pretense or shame

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.

  • He said to himself (thought it) Jesus answered (knew what He was thinking)
  • He was figuring out how to discredit Jesus rather than how to believe on Him
  • He supposes he knows what the whole story is (playing ‘holy spirit’)
  • Do you approach Jesus with skepticism or with faith?

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, 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.

  • He tells the story do demonstrate the inequity of our transgressions
  • Yet he shows how God makes us all equal with His forgiveness
  • The awareness of sin & the depth of repentance (reality) is reflected in our love

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.

  • He demonstrates to Simeon what it looks like when you surrender to God
  • Her brokenness is to be our example

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.

  • The extravagance of her selfless actions opposed to his self-righteousness
  • Simeon didn’t recognize Christ in any way, she recognized Christ in every way

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.”

  • Jesus says her forgiveness is validated by what she does
  • The reality of her experience of forgiveness changes how she acts
  • Jesus tells her directly that she is forgiven, a sweet assurance

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.”

  • The question only has one answer: God Himself!
  • Jesus gives her and us assurance of salvation
  • He had not even died for her and yet she puts her faith in Him (God given faith)

1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases:

  • The Twelve (Special category) called to leadership
  • The Women were there as a result of being healed by Jesus

Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

  • They had been so impacted by Jesus (like the woman with the perfume)
  • They responded to what they had been given by giving
  • We see different roles played by different people in the community
  • What is your role in this community?
  • As a members there are some common roles we all play

We have two people, Simeon the religious leader & a Woman who lived a sinful life. Regarding the two of them, Jesus is going to basically say: be like her, not like him

Application Questions:

What are the specific sins that can keep you from being broken & intimate with Jesus?

Why should you not suppose to know what is going on in someone else’s spiritual life?

How do you specifically respond to God’s forgiveness? How much do you love?

How would you describe your experience of having your sin forgiven by Jesus Christ?