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Summary: When we understand the grace of Jesus we will not point to others and be offended by their sin - instead we will see that we have a sin debt.

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Message

Have you noticed how easy it is to get offended by the actions of others?

You are watching TV ... it is a really good show (if there is such a thing). Then someone in your family comes along and takes the remote and switches channels.

Hey I was watching that.

How dare you.

And you get all upset because you would never do such a thing to them ... would you!! NOT.

That is just a little example isn’t it?

Everyone else is a bad driver.

Everyone else cheats and lies.

Everyone else behaves badly.

How easy it is to see the short-comings of others – how hard it is to see it in ourselves.

Jesus found Himself in exactly that situation.

Let’s Read Luke 7:36-50

When you first read a passage like this you think, “Isn’t it nice that Simon the Pharisee has invited Jesus over for dinner. Finally the Pharisees are behaving.” But looks can be deceiving – because this is still an example of Pharisees behaving badly.

Normally the host would provide guests with a bowl of water to wash their feet – it was a very necessary custom in a culture where everyone walked on rocky and dusty roads. And Jesus walked all the time so His feet would definitely be dirty.

Normally when a guest entered a home they would be greeted with a welcome kiss. It was a sign of respect and an expression of appreciation that the guest had accepted the invitation.

Often, but not always, oil was put onto the head of a guest. Palestine has a hot climate – and these are the days before deodorant and soap were invented. The oil was not only a sign of welcome, it was used to tone-down the body odour; especially when people were eating together.

That is what usually happens – but not when Jesus comes to Simon’s house.

It was rude and disrespectful.

It was meant put Jesus in His place.

It showed Simon’s true heart.

Jesus was there, but He was being kept at arm’s length.

So here they are having dinner – I’m guessing it isn’t the most relaxed atmosphere. All of the sudden this woman appears.

Which seems strange. Imagine you are having people for dinner and suddenly someone comes in off the street to kiss and oil your guest.

You would have guests coming to your house all the time wouldn’t you.

Hey, go to the Quak’s house – you get dinner and a show.

Very strange ... to us. But not in Jesus’ day. When anyone in town was entertaining an out-of-town VIP – then it would be common for others in the town to come along and stand around the wall of the room listening to the goings-on. It is what they did for entertainment.

So who is this woman? Verse 37 describes her as a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town – this is a round-about way of saying “she was a prostitute”.

Now don’t have in your mind the prostitutes in Hollywood movies … Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” or Nicole Kidman in “Moulin Rouge”. Pretty. Warm-hearted. Able to blend into a crowd. Instead replace that picture with a woman who has caked-on make-up, showy jewellery, syphilitic sores, an unstable personality and a haunting fear of AIDS.


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