Summary: Soul satisfaction comes from a heart that is captivated with Jesus.
AT THE HEART OF THE MATTER IT’S REALLY A MATTER OF THE HEART
CPS: Soul satisfaction comes from a heart that is captivated with Jesus.
Today we are beginning our August emphasis: Finding soul satisfaction in God. Deep down we all want to be satisfied—content. Yet, how many of us are truly satisfied deep down in our souls? Too many of us are like the boy when he saw the Sears catalogue for the first time. After looking through it for a while he said to his mother, “I never knew there were so many toys I wanted.” I remember when I was a boy eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Sears Christmas catalogue. The yearly ritual was we boys would go through and circle all the toys we wanted Santa Claus to bring us. Then Santa would pick from the circled items. I would see page after page of toys and cowboy things I wanted. Like the little boy, I never knew there were so many toys I wanted. I always did wonder though how that Sears Christmas catalogue made it all the way up to the North Pole. But somehow it did because there would always be toys from the catalogue under the tree.
It’s no longer the Sears catalogue bringing the dissatisfaction to our souls but the television, the billboards, the magazine adds, etc. In this kind of world that is continually telling us we are not satisfied and at the same time promising something that will satisfy us--can you truly say today that you have a deep abiding soul satisfaction in God? Have you stopped looking in the Sears catalogue and starting looking in the Bible for satisfaction?
I sense there are many of us here who have drifted into spiritual apathy. We have lost our passion for Jesus. We are tired, exhausted—ready to sit on the sidelines. The root problem is we have lost our soul satisfaction in God. We are seeking soul satisfaction in other places. When we do this our hearts grow cold—lose our passion—we become weary.
In our passage today, we shall see two people. One had a soul satisfaction in God—the other did not. One had an overwhelming love for Jesus, the other did not. One’s heart was captivated with Jesus, the other’s was not. One was involved in church, the other was not. One was religious, the other was not. As we see these two people ask yourself if you were in this story which person would you be?
I. The Setup (36-40)
Our passage today has three primary characters, Jesus, Simon the Pharisee, and an unnamed woman who was probably a prostitute. As we see from our passage, Simon who was a Pharisee, invited Jesus to dinner. He considered Jesus to be a teacher that he wanted to get to know better. Jesus came in a reclined at the table. Remember they did not have chairs like we do but rather they would recline on one elbow with their feet pointing away for the low table were the food was. The dinners were fairly public events that spectators could attend and listen. As they were reclining at the table a prostitute come in and approached Jesus. She stood behind Him at His feet (remember He would have been reclining with His feet behind Him). She was crying so much that her tears were dripping on His feet. She began wiping His feet with her hair and kissing His feet and pouring expensive perfume she had brought on His feet. Can you see the picture?
When this happened, Simon the Pharisee was offended that a prostitute would crash his dinner party. He was also shocked that Jesus was letting this prostitute touch Him. He reasoned if Jesus was really a prophet, He would know this woman was a prostitute and would not have let her touch Him. Therefore, Jesus must not really be a prophet after all.
II. The Parable (41-42)
Jesus knowing what Simon is thinking tells him a parable about two people who both are debtors. One owed 500 denarii (around $21,000 in today’s currency) and the other owed 50 denarii (around $2,100 in today’s currency). When they both were unable to pay the moneylender gracious forgave them both. He erased the debts. They both owed nothing!
Let’s suppose you go to your mailbox tomorrow and find a letter from your mortgage company in it. You think, “Man, they are sending the bill early this month. I thought I just paid this thing.” You are a little irritated. You tear open the envelope and instead of a bill it’s your mortgage papers. You open them up at see in big red letters the words “paid in full” stamped across them. A letter included says someone has paid off the entire debt for you! The house is yours free and clear. How would feel? Would you want to find out who did this for you? Would you want to thank them in person? How would you feel toward this person?