Summary: The Lord honors a contrite (broken) spirit more than a "religious" one. Often times traditons & doctrines of men appeal to the flesh but God is searching for a broken spirit to love, honor by His Presence and to renew.
God Honors A Contrite Spirit
Wed. Evening – July 12, 2006
I. Luke 7:36 (KJV) And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat (or food). The word “desired” isn’t used in other translations. Most of them say Simon “invited” or “asked” Jesus to dinner.”
A. Simon was a Pharisee. The Romans had power over this part of the world through government but the Pharisees controlled the people through “religion”.
a. Most likely Simon didn’t invite Jesus because he believed in Him as Messiah. He probably invited Jesus to dinner in hopes of catching Him saying or doing something that would prove He wasn’t really a prophet of God.
B. In the first few verses of this same chapter, Jesus had healed a centurion’s slave by speaking the Word. He had also raised a young man from the dead.
C. Verse 17 says, “And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.” So it was well known that Jesus was a worker of miracles.
a. People were flocking to Jesus. This got the attention of all the Pharisees because they controlled the people with religion.
D. In those days there was always someone claiming to be the Messiah. Some of them had a lot of followers. But they were looking for a leader who would overthrow the Romans.
a. Others who proclaimed to be the Messiah were not able to do the miracles that Jesus did.
b. Simon was curious, but he hoped to expose Jesus as an imposter.
II. Verse 37: Luke 7:37 (KJV) And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,”
A. “Behold”. In other words, “and know this”. This is something out of the ordinary.
B. The woman was a “sinner”. The Greek word for sinner was used for tax collectors and prostitutes. She was no tax collector. When Simon said, “Sinner” it was with a “hiss” and disgust.
a. This woman was a prostitute and had been around plying her trade long enough to be known by the whole town.
C. There is at least one other time when a woman anointed Jesus with oil from an alabaster box. It’s easy to confuse the two but they are not the same. The other time it was Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus.
a. Reading verse 11 of Chapter 7 you will find out this story took place in the city of Nain and the woman is not named.
III. Verse 39:“And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.”
A. Simon was probably very rich. It was customary to let others into the home to stand around during the banquets while they listened to what was being said during the meal.
a. Most of the noblemen of that day went to great lengths to satisfy their egos. They would let people in so they could see the lavish lifestyle and rich foods the host was able to offer his guests. The people would stand off to one side to hear the conversation taking place at the meal. They were permitted to ask questions periodically as long as it didn’t disrupt the meal.
b. The tables in those days were very low to the ground. They didn’t sit in chairs. The host and guests would always lie down with their feet extended behind them. They would rest on one arm and eat with the other.
c. Women were never invited to such a meal. They were free to stand off to one side and listen. We don’t know how this woman got in so close to Jesus. She sure wasn’t invited.
d. Since this woman was well known, it’s hard to know how she got in without being noticed but she may have covered her face with a veil.
B. As she stood behind Jesus she began to weep.
a. The word for “weeping” is the same word used to describe the crying of someone who is mourning the dead.
b. These were not just a few tears that she shed. She was crying very loudly and the tears were like rivers pouring out of her.
c. Her tears literally washed the Feet of Jesus.
C. You have to understand the traditions of that time to get the full affect of what took place that day. Remember, it was hot, dusty and dry in that part of the world.
a. In that day people wore sandals that were open, much like the “flip-flops” of today. It was customary for the host to wash the feet of his guests. Servants did the actual washing. Jars of water were kept nearby the door just for this purpose.