Summary: We see a great contrast in how to receive people in how Jesus and Simon received this woman. Jesus seeks a relationship, moves towards her and forgives her. Simon the Pharisee worries about her reputation, distances himself from her and dismisses her
Theme: Jesus' Open Heart/Door Policy - How to Treat Others Jesus' Style
Proposition: We see a great contrast in how to receive people in how Jesus and Simon received this woman.
1. Jesus seeks a relationship.
Simon worries about her reputation
2. Jesus moves towards her
Simon distances himself from her "kind"
3. Jesus forgives her and transforms her life.
Simon does his best to disregard her and dismiss her
Question - Are we more like Jesus or Simon?
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son our LORD JESUS CHRIST!
What do you think is the typical greeting that is used by more than 60% of retail stores as someone walks through their doors? If you said - "CAN I HELP YOU?" you would be right. And do you know what most people say in return? "NO THANKS, JUST LOOKING."
The problem with that exchange is that when a person walks into a store very few times are they actually "just looking." Most people enter into a retail store, a restaurant or a business with a plan in mind. They may say that they are just looking but more often than not they are looking for something to buy. Saying, "CAN I HELP YOU?" has proven over time to be a lousy selling strategy.
Do you know what the top three things to say to a potential customer or someone who walks into your store, bank or business? The best thing you can do is to recognize them and if possible call them by their first name. The second thing is to complement them and try to engage in some type of small talk. That way they know that you are interested in them as a person and not simply as someone who is going to spend some money.
Jeff Mowatt, a customer service strategist1 shares on his web site six of the worst greetings you can give a potential customer or client. They are as follows:
1. A stare — like employees are watching to see if you’re going to steal something.
2. The daze — they pretend they’re so busy they can’t see you.
3. (As you enter a restaurant) “Just one?”
4. “Can I help you”
6. A canned phony sounding speech.
In our passage this morning, Jesus provides for us the best way we can greet anyone while Simon, the Pharisee on the other hand provides for us the worst way we can greet someone.
Let's look at our story and see how we can be more like Jesus this morning than Simon.
St. Luke sets up for the scene: Jesus and his disciples are still in the town of Nain. A local Pharisee by the name of Simon is throwing a dinner party. Simon has invited a number of prominent people around the area including Jesus. Since Jesus' raised the widow's son from the dead, Simon and some of his friends have wanted some private time with Jesus. Simon's party was a way for them to do that away from the hustle and bustle of the common people. They wanted Jesus all to themselves so they could size him up.
At first, everything seems to be going quite well. The food is good and the company is enjoying one another. Jesus is having a great time and Simon and his friends are learning more about him. It appears that they may even invite Jesus into their inner circle. If things continue to go as they are then the party will be seen as quite a success.
But then we come to verse 37. Crashing the party is a rather unwanted and unsavory woman. She just shows up. She wasn't on the guest list but since there wasn't any body guards to stop here she just walks in and joins the party. Her mere presence interrupts the meal. Luke informs us that she possessed a rather bad reputation. She was one of those "sinners". She is an outsider. Her kind didn't belong here at Simon's party. As you read the story you can almost feel Simon's embarrassment as his guests start to stare and whisper.
"What is she doing here?" "Who invited her?" I can't believe she would have the audacity to come here on all nights." "How does Simon know this woman?" "Is there something he has not told us?"
Her being here is bad enough, but Luke goes on to tell us that she began to lavish attention on the young rabbi Jesus. At first she just stands behind Jesus weeping. Everyone could hear her blubbering as she couldn't hold back the tears. Who in their right mind comes to a party and just starts bawling? Someone really needs to get here out of here before she ruins the party.