Summary: An invitation to see the Savior this woman saw.
Do You See This Woman?
Woodlawn Baptist Church
November 19, 2006
Read Luke 7:36-50.
Throughout this chapter Luke has shown Christ at work doing what He clearly set out to do. You may remember Him standing in the synagogue of Nazareth, reading these words,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
In chapter 6 Jesus preached about how those who are spiritually bankrupt, those who hunger, those who weep, and those who mourn will be blessed. On the other hand, those who are rich and full and lifted up in pride would find the tables turned. He said to love our enemies – to be good to others regardless of whether they were deserving of that love and goodness. Now in chapter 7 Luke has shown that Christ is fulfilling all of that. He healed the Centurion’s servant, raised a dead man to life, exorcised demons, gave sight to the blind, made the lame to walk, gave hearing to the deaf and continued to preach the gospel to the poor. He was spending His time in the company of people who were outside the good graces of God. According to the traditional thinking, these people wouldn’t have been in the shape they were in had they not done something to deserve their misfortune. The people God had obviously blessed were the Pharisees and their friends. They were wealthy, clean and religious.
Many people were really having great difficulty making up their minds about Jesus. Was He the Messiah or not? Was He sent from God or not? His miracles were certainly wonderful, but the people He associated with and His attitudes were confusing. He was a friend of sinners, a glutton and a drunkard. How could He possibly be the Messiah?
To His credit, Simon invited Jesus to His home for further questioning. He was one of those doubters I spoke about last week. Jesus came into Simon’s house and reclined at the dinner table. While He was stretched out, probably after eating, this woman, a sinner, a prostitute, a common whore, filthy and vile came into the room and began to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears and hair. Verse 38 says that she went so far as to kiss His feet and anoint them with the ointment.
Verse 39 indicates that while Simon wanted to know who Jesus was; his thoughts reveal that he was really wrestling with the issue. If Jesus really was the prophet people claimed then He would know not to be letting this woman put on such a shameful display. He was supposed to be a holy man! If he really was a prophet He would know better! The godly don’t associate with the wicked!
Jesus then told a parable to help Simon think through the issue, and though Simon gave the right answer he still couldn’t seem to make the connection…this was a sinful woman! The woman on the other hand was through wrestling; she was through doubting. She had figured out what a group of religious leaders were stumbling over. She came to faith in Christ while they were fumbling around with their criticisms.
Notice again the parable.
“There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.”
Now watch this. Jesus turns and looks at the woman, but He addresses Simon. “Simon, do you see this woman?” Now this is important, because Jesus isn’t inviting Simon to look at the woman so much as He wants Simon to really see her: to see her motives, to see her love, and ultimately to see the Savior that she was able to identify. If we look carefully at the woman, we will notice that she was able to see in Jesus what the Pharisees could not see.
In fact, her actions indicate that while the Pharisees saw Jesus as someone who was careless about God and keeping the Law, she saw a benevolent, merciful Lord. When Jesus touched a dead man, the religious leaders were offended, but those who mourned saw an act of love and compassion. The Pharisees thought Jesus a fool for reaching out to people whose sins had caused the cursings of God. The people Jesus spent time with were social outcasts, low-lifes, nobodies. But the very fact that Jesus spent His time with those people made them recognize all the more His mercy!