Summary: I believe that there are people who will be surprised at many things. People will someday stand before the judgment of God & express surprise that they are lost. (PowerPoints Available - #271)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #271.)
ILL. The A P Wire Service reported this story out of Nashville, TN a few years ago. A TN Highway Patrolman stopped a car that was a total wreck. It had 3 flat tires. Every window had been broken out, & the roof was caved in, indicating that it had rolled over. This car had been wrecked, but it was still going down the highway.
When they stopped it, the woman who was driving expressed surprise that her car had been wrecked. In fact, she said she didn't realize that she had been in an accident until she started to roll down the window to talk to the arresting officer. When she saw that the glass was shattered, she knew that something must have happened.
When they questioned her a little further, she admitted that she had had 2 or 3 beers. But the alcohol breath test revealed that it had to be many, many more than just 2 or 3.
Here was a woman who had wrecked her car, rolled it over, & was so drunk that she didn't even realize that she had been in an accident. (From a message by Ben Merold at the Rendezvous, Honobia, OK)
I believe that there are people who will be surprised at many things. People will someday stand before the judgment of God & express surprise that they are lost.
They are the ones Jesus talked about, who said, "Lord, Lord... in your name we have done many wonderful works." Some of them will even say, "We did miracles in your name." But Jesus will tell them, "I never knew you: depart from me..." (Matthew 7:22-23)
God has written in His Word what He expects us to do. If we don't do it, we have ignored Him. And to stand in the judgment & be surprised that we are lost, is like this woman expressing surprise that her car had been wrecked.
Our scripture text this morning is Luke 7:36-50. And I want to read vs's 36-39 to you right now. "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.'
I have just 2 points to my sermon this morning. #1. We will consider the story with some explanations. #2. We'll consider its lessons with some applications.
I. LET'S LOOK AT THE STORY
Jesus had been invited to the home of a Pharisee by the name of Simon. That is quite something because the Pharisees saw Jesus as a threat to their power, their teachings, & to their very legalistic system.
They considered Jesus an enemy. Not all of them did, but most of them resented Him & His teachings.
A. In that day in Israel, houses of well to do people were usually built around an open courtyard. Many times there were flowering plants or a fountain there, & often it was the best place to eat their evening meals when the weather was hot.
It was probably in such a setting Jesus had been invited to eat on this occasion.
Now they had an interesting custom in Israel. That custom was this: When a Rabbi was visiting & you were out in the courtyard, anybody could come & listen to the conversation in order to learn from the Rabbi.
B. You also need to know that when a guest arrived, it was customary to make him feel welcome by going through certain common courtesies.
First of all, his feet would be washed. A guest's feet would be caked with dirt after walking in sandals on the dusty roads. So a servant would greet him at the door with a basin of water, & would wash & dry his feet.
After his feet had been washed, the host would greet him with a "kiss of peace" to make him feel welcome, & let him know that he was an honored guest.
Then it was a matter of courtesy to anoint the head of the guest with some sweet smelling oil. Maybe it was because of the hot oriental sun. Maybe some of the men were thin on top & slightly sunburned. I'm not sure exactly why, but it was customary to use oil to anoint the head of a guest.