Summary: Our identity is found only through an understanding of the grace of Jesus Christ

Discovery: Labels Lie

Luke 7:36-50

Where do you see yourself in this passage?

1. Too many times we see ourselves like Simon the Pharisee: labeling others

2. Too many times, we see ourselves like the woman: labeled by others

3. Too few times we see ourselves like Jesus: seeing self and others correctly.

Begin reading passage Luke 7:36-60

comments: v.36 (on screen) reclined at table (davinci’s “last supper”(pic) is absolutely incorrect; table 18” high with them laying on side (pic) (act out); the Pharisee wanted to size up this Jesus for Himself; the Pharisee wasn’t going to grill steaks; he was going to grill Jesus.

v.37 (on screen) Some have identified this woman as Mary Magdalene, but in all likelihood that was not the case. Luke doesn’t identify WHO she is, only what she is known for. In small towns, everybody knows your dirty laundry, right? This woman had a rough past; in all likelihood she had been sexually promiscuous.

alabaster jar of fragrant oil Probably this woman had lots of fragrances since the prostitute would wear a generous amount of it and also she would sprinkle it on her bed before each customer.

v.38 (on screen) Oil was normally applied to the head as a sign of respect, but here the woman applies it, not to the head of Jesus, but to His feet.

hair It was a disgrace for a woman to let down her hair in public; usually only prostitutes did so. So this woman has barges in to a private dinner, with her hair down and begins anoint His feet with her tears and perfume.

v.39 (on screen) Now this religious leader has a chance to respond to this beautiful picture. But he doesn’t see it as beautiful, but reprehensible.

v.40 (on screen) this is not Simon Peter, the disciple; this is a Pharisee named Simon.

Now Jesus tells a brief parable. Remember a parable comes from two Greek words: (build) para: alongside; ballo: to throw down; a story thrown down next to a truth to illustrate the truth.

vv.41-42 (on screen) a denarii was about a days wages; these were significant debts. 50 denarii would be about 10 weeks of your annual salary. 500 denarii would be 2 years of your annual salary.

Jesus turns the spotlight off the woman and on to the Pharisee.

vv.43-44 (on screen) Turning to the woman, He said to Simon Jesus is talking to Simon, but who is He looking at? The woman. I think Jesus wanted Simon to feel ignored, and He wanted the woman to see the love and compassion in His eyes.

No water for my feet In the day where the common man had no transportation but his feet, and if he had any kind of footwear, it was just a pair of sandals, and when you walked, you walked on the same roads and paths that livestock walked, you can imagine the…stuff that would be on your feet. So if you came to someone’s house, the first thing the host would do would be to get your feet washed; either the host would do it, or one of the children, or if he was well to do, one of the servants. You wouldn’t want that stuff in your house, and given that as you ate dinner, those feet were going to be right behind you. Yuk!

vv.45-46(on screen) The 2nd thing you would do as a host is to kiss the person on each cheek as a sign of welcome and hospitality—try it!! The 3rd thing you would do is put a little oil on their head as a sign of respect.

vv.47-49 (on screen) The fools missed what Jesus was saying to them. Instead they got all hot and bothered about Jesus forgiving her sin.

v.50 (on screen)

Where do you see yourself in this passage? Only 3 characters mentioned here: Simon the Pharisee. The unidentified woman. And Jesus. Where do you see yourself in this passage?

1. Too many times we see ourselves like Simon the Pharisee: labeling others

How did Simon see this woman? Because he labeled her as a sinner, as a prostitute, he could not see that she was more than his label: she was an entire person, body-soul-spirit. He couldn’t see that she was absolutely broken for her sin. He couldn’t see that she was absolutely repentant of her past. He couldn’t see that this woman was willing to risk scathing criticism and judgment just to show gratitude to our Savior.

We are so quick to label people, aren’t we?

#blacklivesmatter or #alllivesmatter or #bluelivesmatter Political pollsters break us into categories like “soccer moms,” “highly educated white women,” “African-American, ‘millenials,” “boomers”, “the Latino vote.” “working class” “blue collar/white collar” educated/uneducated. “I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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