Summary: Jesus tells a parable about two people whose debts were forgiven. In doing so, Jesus was teaching about God’s grace and challenging some religious perceptions of his day and perhaps ours.

Parables of Jesus

Become an Exhibitionist

Luke 7:36-50 (41-43)

April 19, 2009

We’re beginning a new series on the parables of Jesus. We will look at several parables over the next several weeks to try to understand how Jesus was using these parables to teach kingdom principles and challenge common misperceptions of the day. As these stories are often used as illustrations and kind of indirect ways to get people thinking, it will be important that we view these stories within their contexts. In other words we need to try and understand how Jesus was each particular story.

This is important because it can be real easy to misuse the parables and even manipulate the texts to draw meaning from them that would be quite foreign to what Jesus was trying to say. It can then lead to all kinds of abuses.

For example, some of Jesus’ parables were told as allegories such as the seed and the sower where Jesus explains that the different seeds that sprout up represent different types of responses to the gospel. This is an allegory. The good seed represents those that hear and put into practice the kingdom message bringing forth good fruit. However, some try to assign meaning to every little detail in the story (which Jesus did not indicate) and then some have tried to allegorize every parable of Jesus, which again Jesus did not always intend. Therefore it can lead to misuse and even abuse the very words of Jesus.

Speaking of abuse… have you seen those energy drinks that are out there. This may not always hold true but it seems to me that these often are marketed to promote the potential abuse of caffeine. Caffeine isn’t that bad, you may say. It isn’t like a narcotic. But I wonder if we abuse something less addictive like caffeine doesn’t set in motion the idea that I can handle this so I can handle other perhaps even more damaging things.

Have you seen them? Five hour energy drinks. Twice as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. I guess the root of these goes back to Jolt. Anyone remember that? Of course these drinks are marketed with the express intent to give the consumer an instant fix. Have you seen them? What are some of them? Red bull. Amp. There’s one get amped up. Then there is Full Throttle. What a name! Full throttle.

Obviously these are geared toward a younger crowd. Full Throttle. I’m getting old. I admit it. I’m forty-one. I don’t need to go full throttle, OK? The last thing that I need is a drink that makes me go full throttle. I’m not sure that I even have a full throttle in me. Somewhere along the line, God must have installed a governor in me because I don’t go full throttle. And the last thing that I need is this instant jolt of sugar and caffeine. If anything, it would make me go full throttle for the bathroom. In fact, I was thinking about suing this company for misrepresentation because if anything it should be called Crash & Burn. That’s what will happen if I drink it. I’ll probably go into overload and just stare at the wall.

I probably would have loved it at 18. Except at 18, I didn’t need that much energy because I already had plenty. Do you know what I used to eat for breakfast? Two chocolate poptarts and a can of Pepsi. For two hours, I was flying and then… the bottom falls out. I remember asking the doctor about the shakes that I would get mid-morning and bottoming out. When I told him what I ate, he just looked at me with this classic, “Are you stupid?” look. Duuuhhh. “Uuhhh,” he said, “don’t eat that kind of breakfast.”

Anyway, let’s read Luke 7. The parable Jesus tells is located in verse 41-43 and is response to what is happening at Simon the Pharisee’s house.

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and 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.

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."

Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."

"Tell me, teacher," he said.

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