A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 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 people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“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—as her great love has shown. But whoever 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.”
I’ve decided to study Jesus’ teachings (specifically parables and metaphorical teachings) for the next couple of weeks. Parables stir my heart like no other. I thank God for what He has done with these analogies to bring hope and understanding into my life.
Today’s text in Luke 7 finds a woman noted to be sinful, who brings upon quite a dramatic scene. While she is completely weeping, she wets Jesus’ feet with her tears, wipes them with her very own hair, kisses them, and finally anoints them with ointment. Then a pharisee points her out by asserting to Jesus that she has no right to do what she was doing - “for she is a sinner.” (Lk 7:39)
So the first thing we see is some self-righteous religious guy that despite seeing this completely humbled and weeping woman clean Jesus’ feet, blasts her and makes note of her apparently widely known sinfulness. “For she is a sinner.”
Jesus then teaches a parable to him; there was two men in debt, with one man owing much more than the other. The moneylender then cancels both debts. Jesus asks Peter, “who will love him more?” Of course, it’s the man with more debt. He will love the money lender far more; he had much more that was forgiven.
Afterwards, Jesus tells the pharisee that he did not do anything that the sinful woman had done for him. The pharisee did not water his feet, wipe them with hair, kiss them, or had he anointed them with oil.
He finishes with this: “her sins, which are many forgiven - for she loved much (Jesus). But he who is forgiven little, loves little (Jesus).
After reading this, it definitely called for heavy meditation. What does this mean?
Sinful woman = Man with more debt = will love the money lender more = will love Jesus more
Self-Righteous Pharisee = Man with less debt = will love the money lender less = will love Jesus less
So does this justify sin? More sin = more forgiveness? Well we know Romans refutes this - we shall not sin that grace may abound. And if one does, then that person clearly does not understand the gift of grace.
So what does this mean? Who is the person with more debt? On a real-life application-basis. Clearly there it’s not telling us to get an ACTUAL statistic of how many sins we have committed. That is impossible for man to do. There has to be another meaning then.
When the Bible is describing one with less debt vs. one with more debt, it’s dealing with the issue of humility. There is another parable that Jesus taught about a tax collector vs. a pharisee. The pharisee was self-righteous - he tithes, and sees himself as sinless and clean. On the other hand, there is a tax collector who is quite sinful. Yet unlike the pharisee, he in humility, admits that he is depraved and needs forgiveness.
This is exactly what this parable is referring to. One with the more debt is the one who admits their sin - brings for their sin - shows the amount of debt, inequity, and fault there is. The other person with less debt is the one who does not admit fault, claims righteousness, and holds to self-righteousness that does not need outside assistance.
Jesus says the one with more debt will love Him more. This is because the one who admitted fault subsequently admits the need for help. The one who knows they are in dire sin is the one who loves Jesus because He is the only one that can do something about the condition. The one with less debt will undoubtedly love him less. He doesn’t need a savior. He is his OWN savior.
The sinful woman was deemed righteous because she deemed that she was not righteous. The Kingdom of God is for those who deny themselves / but accepts the King himself.
This was an amazing time of reflection for me. I must become lower to raise Him up.