Summary: This is a sermon about God’s forgiveness and grace.
“4 LIFE-CHANGING WORDS” Luke 7:36-50
INTRO – Heard on the news this week of a woman who was on an overseas flight. Called flight attendant over to her and told her she was having a heart attack. Flight attendant asked, “Is there a doctor on board?” At that point, 67 heart doctors stood up. They were all headed to a convention for cardiac surgeons.
Imagine her joy when she saw the doctors. They were ready, willing, and able to effectively diagnose her problem and prescribe the correct treatment. They had the knowledge, the expertise, and the desire to take care of her and meet her needs.
Friends, I want to tell you that today, our wonderful Lord and Savior stands ready, willing, and able to help you today.
- He has already diagnosed your problems.
- He has already prescribed the correct treatment through His Word.
- He has the knowledge He needs about you b/c He knows everything about you, even the things you haven’t told Him or anyone else.
- He has the expertise and the ability to take care of you.
- Greatest thing of all is that He has a deep desire to take care of you and see you made whole again.
This passage that we are looking at today is a wonderful passage.
- It is a passage about grace.
- It is a passage about love.
- It is a passage about mercy.
- It is a passage about acceptance.
- It is a passage about sacrifice.
- It is a passage about brokenness & repentance.
- It is a passage about you and me!
Where are you in this story? Who are you in this story?
The woman – v. 36-38 – Women not invited to nor accepted at banquets. 2nd class citizens. Jewish rabbis did not speak to women in public. They did not eat with them in public. A woman of this type would not have been invited to the house of Simon the Pharisee. Though her sins are not named, we get the impression that she was a woman of the streets w/ a bad reputation.
- She sensed a desperate need in her life.
- She knew she was a sinner.
- She was deeply convicted about her sin.
- She approached Jesus in spite of all the strikes against her.
- She gave her most highly valued possession – perfume.
- She surrendered herself in total humility.
The host – v. 39 – Simon, the wealthy Pharisee, was the host of this banquet. The homes of the wealthy always had an open courtyard, usually in the center of the house. Sometimes the host would allow the public to stand around the outside of the courtyard and listen to the discussions, especially when the guest was a great teacher or some celebrity.
- He, too, was a sinner in great need. But he did not realize it b/c his chief problem was blindness – spiritual blindness.
o Could not see himself, the woman, or the Lord Jesus.
o Easy for him to say, “She is a sinner!” but impossible for him to say, “I am a sinner!”
- He was considerate, but self-righteous.
- He considered himself better than the woman.
- He sensed no need for forgiveness in his own life.
- He was a good person – good in religion; good in outward behavior.
Which one are you today? All of us are in one category or another – either we sense our great need for forgiveness or we don’t. Look at Jesus’ words in v. 41-43. The parable that Jesus told does not deal w/ the amount of sin in a person’s life, but the awareness of that sin in his heart.
How much sin must a person commit to be a sinner? Simon and the woman were both sinners. Simon was guilty of sins of the spirit, especially pride, while the woman was guilty of sins of the flesh. Her sins were known, while Simon’s sins were hidden from everyone except G. POINT IS THAT BOTH OF THEM WERE SPIRITUALLY BANKRUPT & COULD NOT PAY THEIR DEBT TO GOD!
There we are! All sinners. All spiritually bankrupt. All unable to pay our debt to God. All in desperate need. All in the presence of the One who can forgive our sin and set us free.
What an incredible moment when Jesus said those 4 life-changing – “Your sins are forgiven” – v. 48. Listen to those words again. Say them w/ me. Take the statement apart:
“Your” – the pronoun of the 2nd person in the nominative, dative, & objective case, indicating the person or persons addressed. The form of the possessive case of the personal pronoun “you.”
In other words, He’s talking to YOU. He’s addressing YOU. He’s addressing ME. He’s addressing US. This is not some cold, impersonal, or flippant comment. He’s not talking about someone else’s sins. He’s talking to YOU. You can’t do anything about anyone else’s sin, so quit worrying about them, and start dealing w/ your own. Jesus is addressing YOU today.