October 11: Matthew 8 & Luke 7
39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
She is a Sinner
Jesus received a lot of criticism for His association with sinners; this passage from Luke 7 describes one such time. Before we offer too much criticism of this Pharisee, we must be careful to observe our own lives to see if we exhibit the same kind of prejudice.
A Pharisee invited Jesus to his house to eat; while there, a woman came and began washing Jesus' feet with her tears and hair. The Pharisee drew back in horror to think that Jesus' would allow this sinner to touch him. In answer to his reaction, Jesus told a story.
41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Put in those words, it is not hard to get the right answer, is it? The chief difficulty that the Pharisees faced was their own self-righteousness; they just did not believe that they were sinners. Unfortunately that attitude is predominant in our own culture. When we compare ourselves to each other, we see ourselves as being just as good as the next guy--maybe even a little better.
We live in a very critical society; just watch the group mentality when several are sitting together and one leaves. Almost immediately the topic of discussion will change to criticism of the person who just left. That is how we justify ourselves; if we can criticize our neighbor then we can elevate ourselves to a higher level.
But, what happens when we compare ourselves to God? Ah, now we can see our own sin which appears as black as coal.
When people look at us and say, "She is a sinner!" Our response should be, "Yes, a sinner saved by grace!"
Pray today that God would graciously restore to you the joy of your salvation.
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.