The Bible speaks of a time when Jesus went to have dinner in the home of a Pharisee. A “sinful” woman came into the home and made a scene. This painting tells that story.
The Bible really doesn’t say exactly what her sins were, but it seems they were of a moral nature.
Those kinds of sins are the ones a lot of people focus on but they aren’t the only sins.
Here’s how the story played out.
36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an ala-baster jar of perfume, 38 and 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.”
The pharisee was so focused on the woman’s sins that he overlooked the more press-ing issue, the one issue he could do something about, his own sins. He had them you know and they were many. Worse than that, he was so focused on the woman’s sins that he found himself sitting in judgement of Jesus. This was simply unacceptable.
He was disqualifying Jesus in his mind because Jesus was doing what He came to do, seeking and saving that which was lost. Jesus needed to straighten him out so he told him this story.
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred de-narii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he can-celed the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Jesus can see he understands the basic point and yet there is a disconnect between his clear understanding and his judgement in the case before him.
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—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
Jesus is telling the pharisee to clean up his own house. His pride has blinded him to the condition of his own soul. He neglected even the most basic of social graces while the woman the pharisee despises has gone above and beyond. Let’s make sure we don’t fall into the same trap. The Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all have our own mess and in truth only Jesus can clean it, we owe Him our obedience and love. The people we might be tempted to look down on when we play the silly game of your sin is greater than my sin are people Jesus loves. They are not to be looked down on, they are our mission field. We’re here to love them, serve them and invite them to the table. We all need the same thing, the same one, We need Jesus. He’s the one who forgives and the one who heals.
Remember what Jesus said “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
Whether you know it or not, you have been forgiven much… so love much.
Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
1Kings 3-4; Psalm 73
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