FORGIVENESS FOR THE WORST SINNERFrom The Heart
Publish date: 10/03/1999
Luke 7:36-50 (NKJ)
36Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee's house, and sat down to eat.
37And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,
38and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.
39Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, "This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner."
40And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he said, "Teacher, say it."
41"There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42"And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?"
43Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have rightly judged."
44Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.
45"You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in.
46"You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.
47"Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."
48And He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
49And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
50Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."
The character of God is wonderfully revealed in this passage as we see Jesus' response to this "notorious" sinner woman, "a social outcast, devoted to sin" (Amplified Bible). He is eating at the house of a Pharisee called Simon, when this woman of bad reputation walks in with an alabaster box of precious ointment. The last place a sinner woman would willingly go would be to a Pharisees' house, because it was very likely that she would be stoned! But, she was so desperate for God's forgiveness, that she was willing to risk censure and even death.
Romans 2:4 (NKJ) says, "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?" Many sinners long for forgiveness and release from the bondage of their sin, but they are told by the religious leaders that God hates them and that He rejects them. When they find out the true nature and character of God and that He loves, accepts and forgives them, they
The Pharisee began to doubt that Jesus was actually a prophet because he thought that Jesus had not discerned what type of woman she was. In his mind, Jesus, the prophet, should have rejected this woman, but he had the wrong idea about God as many people do. But it is a lie of the devil! Romans 5:8 (NKJ) says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God loves sinners—He loves them right into His arms. Jesus Christ did not die for His friends, but for His enemies. He died for the unlovable and the unlovely.
The Pharisee, Jesus' host, did not wash His feet, did not greet Him with a kiss, or even anoint His head with cheap, ordinary oil. But, this sinner woman wet Jesus' feet with her tears, wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed His feet and anointed them with the rare, costly ointment. The woman had faith in the love and forgiveness of Jesus, the Son of God, and she received His mercy and forgiveness. Thank God—He loves us with an everlasting love that has nothing to do with our worthiness, but with His grace and His mercy extended toward us.