Summary: To establish that the Jesus Christ had power while on earth to forgive sins; because He was not only the Son of Man, but also the Son of God – sharing His rightful place in the Godhead. This lesson deals with the deity of Christ! The great "I AM."
1. The Pharisee’s Feast
2. The Savior’s Feet
3. The Sinner’s Forgiveness
1. In our text Jesus was invited into a Pharisee’s house to dine. Jesus kept company with all kind of people. Some of nobility and others the Pharisees call sinners. Simon was going to be shown, just how little he loved the Lord. It was customary for those of prominence to recline during the meal. The text indicates such is the case.
2. First we will notice Jesus’ visit to a Pharisee’s house for a feast. While reclining during the meal, a woman appeared at the Pharisee’s house with an alabaster box of ointment and stood behind the feet of Jesus, where she began to wash his feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. The Pharisees found fault in Jesus’ for allowing her to touch him – seeing the Pharisees separated themselves from sinners. Our Lord’s purpose of coming into the world was “to seek and save that which was lost,” Luke 19:10. This woman was the reason for the Lord’s suffering, death, burial and resurrection. The Pharisees on the other hand, “separated themselves from sinners.”
3. Second, we will consider a woman’s humility at our Lord’s feet. The Saviour recognized the problem and spoke to the Pharisees in a story involving two debtors. In this story he was setting the stage for what would happen later – that is; his forgiveness of this woman’s sins. The conclusion of his story to them was that “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little,” Luke 7:47. Jesus and His disciples were often criticized for “eating and drinking with publicans and sinners,” Matthew 9:11.
4. Lastly, we will discuss the woman’s forgiveness at the savior’s feet. When Jesus had obtained the response he desired from Simon to his question, he directed his compassion and forgiveness to the woman. He said to her: “thy sins are forgiven” – and – “thy faith hath saved thee – go in peace.” How welcoming these words must have been to her! Our Lord’s entire work while with us on the earth was one of love and compassion. Mark describes His ministry as this: “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things,” Mark 6:34. Jesus would become our great shepherd; who we willingly followed, John 10:11; John 10:27.
BODY OF LESSON
I THE PHARISEES’ FEAST
A. Simon was a Pharisee – one who felt righteous and justified before God. These religious leaders would not keep company with “sinners.” And would scorn anyone else who would involved themselves with those – they deemed unworthy of God’s grace and mercy. Simon was not aware he too was a sinner; and one of the worst kinds. A hypocrite, Matthew 7:1-5; Matthew 23:13-15, Matthew 23:33; Romans 3:23. Illustrate: Hypocrite or Masked.
B. Simon invited Jesus to eat at his house. An invitation He readily accepted. He would find this as an opportunity to teach a powerful lesson on love and forgiveness to the Pharisee. Our Lord will use this visit to demonstrate a compelling example of true righteousness. This same author would write of the Lord, “of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,” Acts 1:1. There is nothing more instructive than a good example! Notice Paul:
1. First, he writes, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ,” 1 Corinthians 11:1.
2. Further, “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me,” 1 Corinthians 4:16.
3. Finally, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample,” Philippians 3:17.
4. Leaders, ministers and members should always be “good examples” of what they preach, teach and believe.
C. The Pharisee was told that he was a poor host. He did not provide water for Jesus to wash his feet nor a towel to dry them. This was customary in the first century. The traveler’s worn sandals and their feet would become dirty and would be washed after entering into the guest’s house. Notice:
1. Abraham offered the angels water to wash their feet. “Let a little water I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree,” Genesis 18:4.
2. The first century widows not only “lodged strangers, but washed the saint’s feet,” 1 Timothy 5:10.
3. Jesus washed the disciple’s feet, John 13:1ff. Illustrate: Feet wetting rather than feet washing. Some religious people want to enjoin feet washing with the communion service because Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. No example of such a command in the New Testament, Illustrate: Upon the First Day of the Week, 1 Corinthians 11:23-30; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Acts 20:7. What these religious groups practice today is feet “wet ‘in – and not feet wash ‘in.”