Summary: Forgiveness. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:


Reading: Luke chapter 7 verses 36-50.


• A man asked his wife what she would like for her birthday.

• She replied; “I would love to be eight again!”

• On the morning of her birthday;

• He arose and made her a great big bowl of Cocopops.

• Then he took her off to the local theme park.

• What a day it was! He put her on every ride in the park:

• The Death Slide, The Wall of Fear, The Screaming Monster Roller Coaster,

• The Octopus Whirl, The Tower of Terror and then more, much more!

• Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park;

• Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.

• Right away they drove off to a McDonalds where her loving husband ordered;

• A Happy Meal with extra fries and a refreshing milk-shake.

• Then it was off to the movies to watch the latest Walt Disney blockbuster;

• Accompanied by hot dogs, pop-corn, ice-cream, sweets and all the coke she could drink!

• What a fabulous adventure;

• Finally she wobbled back home with her husband and collapsed onto the bed exhausted.

• Feeling pleased with himself,

• He leaned over to his precious wife with a big smile and lovingly asked;

• “Well dear what was it like to be eight again?”

• Her eyes slowly opened and her expression changed

• “I meant my dress size you blithering idiot!!”

• The moral of the story (came from a ladies magazine) is;

• Even when a man IS listening; he’s still gonna get it wrong!

• Mistakes of course are part of life;

• And some of us seem to make more than others!

One mistake Jesus was accused of making was to keep the wrong company!

• Quote George Washington:

• “Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation”.

• Quote Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes:

• “Tell me what company thou keepest, and I’ll tell thee what thou art”.

• Both these people are plainly telling us,

• “That a man is known, by the company that he keeps”.

That was the problem for the Pharisees (religious leaders) in these verses;

• At the time of Jesus there were about 6,000 Pharisees,

• The word "Pharisee" meant "separated one".

• A Pharisee was a member of a particular a sect or party among the Jews.

• They were known for a very strict and formal observance of the Jewish Law.

• Pharisees were ordinary Jews, not priests.

• Equivalent to a modem day politician.

• Alongside the religious leaders the scribes and the priests,

• They held power of all the people and no-one in their right minds argued with them!

• Pharisee’s always came from good families.

• One did not get to become a Pharisee without a lot of money;

• And without certain family connections.

• A Pharisee was expected to be refined and to exhibit a certain kind of social grace.

• The Pharisee was well connected, he knew how to act in sophisticated circles.

• He had a sense of being on top of society.

• So these Pharisees are looking at Jesus and the company he keeps;

• And there is a problem,

• They are putting 2+2 together,

• Only the answer they are coming up with is 5!

The previous verses in this chapter (i.e. verse 34);

• Show to us the criticism Jesus experienced;

• He was accused of spending time with the “tax-collectors and sinners”:

• “Tax-collectors” were considered the lowest of the low, by the Jewish people.

• E.g. They worked for the enemy (Roman oppressors) and they also cheated their own people.

• “And sinners”

• (ill: chose to live outside the law ill: work on the Sabbath).

It is true to say:

• That Jesus did not care too much for his reputation,

• And he did not care too much for the company, the circles in which he mixed.

• He mixed with the religious and the non-religious,

• The rich and the poor, the Jew and the Gentile.

Note: For Jesus accepting Simon the Pharisee’s invitation is a courageous act:

• Simon may have been indifferent regarding Jesus,

• But you could bet that many of his religious colleagues were not.

• i.e. Pharisees are mentioned 28 times in Luke’s gospel,

• Each time they are seen in hostility to Jesus.

The Pharisee in this story is a man called Simon:

• His Invitation would appear to be a sincere one,

• He did not seem to have any ulterior motive for having Jesus in his home.

• If he did, his plan backfired,

• Because he ended up learning more about himself than, perhaps, he cared to know!

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