Luke 7:36-50 (NIV) 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 alabaster 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.” 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 denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled 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. 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.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 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.”
On verses 36-50: Here we see one of the most beautiful and intimate acts of worship that anyone would show Jesus during his time on earth. While Jesus is having dinner at the home of a Pharisee called Simon, a woman shows up having come from a notoriously sinful past and brings with her an alabaster jar of expensive perfume. She wets Jesus’ feet with her tears, wipes them with her hair, kisses them and pours perfume on them. Simon the Pharisee is appalled by this woman and also by the way Jesus receives her offering. In response, Jesus tells Simon a parable about forgiving debts and how the more we realize just how much God has forgiven us, the more we will respond to God with humble service and great affection. Because this woman had a big revelation of how much mercy Jesus had shown her, she responded with humble service and great affection. Compare this to Simon who was hardly aware of the mercy Jesus was showing him, and who responded with mediocre service and lacklustre affection.
What can we learn from this? Those who realize just how much mercy God has shown them will tend to love God with great affection, whereas those who are ignorant of or have taken for granted God’s mercy will only love God a little (“But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” – verse 47). Since you and I have been forgiven much, let’s love God much. Let’s pour out our praise and affection to Jesus in response to the way He lavished His love and forgiveness on us.
There is much more we can learn from this passage. I look forward to sharing it with you at a Thrive service today. Hope to see you there!
Lord Jesus, may I never take for granted the kind of mercy You have poured out on my life, lest I give You less than the love and worship You deserve from me. Just as You poured out Your love on me, may You get all the worship and praise You deserve from me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!