Adult 1 Sunday School Class October 27, 2019
Theme: People often respond to forgiveness with loving acts. What can we do to show gratitude to those who forgive us? In Luke, the sinful woman showed her gratitude to Jesus by washing his feet with her tears and anointing him with expensive oil.
Please interpret the meaning of the following verses.
The interpretation of the verses is in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
Luke 7:37, ” And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,” A Pharisee, Simon, invites Jesus to dinner. Jesus was not admired by the Pharisees so the invitation may have been a trap to expose His teachings. The table had selected guests around it, but other people were free to gather around to listen to what these upscale people had to say. An uninvited lady came into the room carrying an Alabaster box.
* v.38, “And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” This woman was of dubious character, and probably not welcomed; but because of her faith and humility she went directly to Jesus. She dried His tear-stained feet with her hair. Most women would not go out in public with their hair down or not covered. Her behavior was unacceptable to a gathering of Jewish men. She probably had heard Him preach repentance and was bound to see him. Her tears and her application of expensive ointment to His feet was an eloquent testimony of her gratitude to Jesus.
*v.39, “Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner,” Simon thinks that Jesus was not a prophet since he apparently didn’t “out her” as a sinner. Simon was probably appalled that Jesus was interacting with this “sinner”. Being a Pharisee, he was not to associate with sin or sinners, of which she was. Prophets were thought to be able to recognize a sinner when they met one, thus he doubted His prophetic ability. Jesus revealed to Simon that He knew both his thoughts and character, as well as those of the woman’s.
*v. 40, 41, 42, and 43, “And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43. Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.” Jesus’ parable concludes that one who is given the most will love him the most. With sin as the debt, the woman was thankful for Jesus’ forgiveness of her sins. When compared to Simon, he did not see himself as a sinner, and by his lack of hospitality toward Jesus did not demonstrate courtesies toward Him as the woman had: in washing His feet, a welcoming kiss and the anointment of oils to His body. The woman showed more gratitude than did Simon, for in his self-righteousness he did not see himself a sinner. The woman showed thankfulness in the things that she did and welcomed His forgiveness for her sins. (The one who is forgiven most, appreciates it more.) Simon, on the other hand, missed an opportunity to receive a blessing from God because of his self-contentedness.
*v.44 and 46, “And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.” Jesus makes the comparison between the two. The woman was grateful for Christ and showed that what she did was out of love, even before He granted her forgiveness. Jesus thought that the woman knew her shortcomings and truly understood herself, with her sacrificial and selfless actions. Whereas Simon didn’t understand himself and, in his self-centeredness, did not feel the need to be forgiven.
*v.47, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Based on her actions, which reflected true repentance of her sins. Jesus stated that her faith had saved her.
*v.48, “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” Her actions demonstrated true repentance of her sins. Jesus made it clear that her faith had saved her. Only God (i.e. Jesus) has the authority to forgive sin. This was one of the Pharisees’ issues, the forgiveness of sin by Jesus. For Christians our faith in Our Savior should increase when our sins are forgiven by Christ, who died for our sins and reconciled us back to God.