Summary: Two individuals demonstrating two different reactions to Jesus Christ. It is a contrast between the attitudes of the self-righteous and the repentant sinful. Here we see demonstrations of gratitude and of ingratitude, of appreciation and of depreciation
In this passage of Scripture, we find two individuals demonstrating two different reactions to Jesus Christ. It is a contrast between the attitudes of the self-righteous and the repentant sinful. Here we see demonstrations of gratitude and of ingratitude, of appreciation and of depreciation. As we consider this incident, ask yourself,, “How am I showing my appreciation to Christ for what He has done in my life?”
I. The Setting – (verse 36)
A. Simon, a Pharisee, invited Jesus to dinner. Why He invited Christ, we do not know.
1. Based on his reaction in verse 39 he does not appear to be a follower of Jesus.
2. Perhaps he was one who tried to impress people by hobnobbing with “celebrities”.
3. Perhaps he was curious about Jesus having heard so much about Him and wanting to converse with Him on an informal basis.
B. Jesus excluded no one from His love or attention. He accepted the invitation.
C. Simon was a rich man. The houses of the rich always had an open courtyard around which the house was built. Occasionally the rich would allow the public to stand around in the courtyard and listen to discussions, especially when the chief guest was someone of prominence.
II. The Attitude of a Repentant Sinful Woman – (verse 37-38)
A. A Sinful woman sensed her need and went to Christ.
1. Her notoriety in the city was well known – note Simon’s response to her presence and actions in verse 39.
2. She had undoubtedly heard the message of Christ and of His gracious invitation recorded by Matthew, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
B. She was gripped by her sense of lostness and helplessness
1. She was overcome with conviction and emotion.
2. She falls at Christ’s feet weeping.
3. None so blind as those who won’t see.
4. The man who knows his sins is greater than one who raises a dead man by his prayer.
5. I John 1:8-9 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
C. Humbling herself, she gave public demonstration of her love and appreciation to Christ.
1. She was oblivious to the glaring eyes and the critical looks of the bystanders.
2. She surrendered her heart and life to Christ.
3. Out of love for Christ and gratitude, She gave Him her most priced possession – an alabaster box of precious ointment.
4. In a supreme act of humility, love and surrender, she anointed the feet of Christ.
5. We need to forget what others may say or do and concentrate on our relationship to Christ. Roy M Pearson – Being humble involves the willingness to be reckoned a failure in everyone’s sight but God’s.
6. Humility is a necessary prerequisite for grace. When you are humble yourself in His sight, grace is on the way.
7. Psalms 34:18 "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit."
III. The Attitude of a Self-Righteous Religionist – (verses 39, 44-46)
A. Simon considered himself better than the sinful woman.
1. Romans 12:3 "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
2. Billy Graham – The smallest package I ever saw was a man wrapped up wholly in himself.
B. Simon felt he was good enough.
1. A Pharisee – an observer of the law, purist.
2. Nothing blinds the mind to the claims of Jesus Christ more effectually than a good, clean-living, upright life.
3. Thomas Wilson – The greatest of all disorders is to think we are whole and need no help.
4. Philippians 3:8-9 "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"
C. Simon’s Action revealed that he was not truly grateful for the presence of Christ. He didn’t even show common courtesies due Christ.
1. Luke 7:44 "And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, do you see this woman? I entered into your house, thou gave me no water for my feet: but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.