Summary: God’s people should be known for being forgiving...not fault-finding!
“MORE FORGIVING, LESS FAULT-FINDING!”
INTRO: It is so easy to get into the trap of judging others unfairly!
ILLUS: Chuck Swindoll told of his being at a pastor’s conference where he would be speaking. The first day there a man approached him and said how greatly he had looked forward to hearing Dr. Swindoll speak and his delight at now finally being able to realize that desire. That evening Swindoll noticed the man was sound asleep only a few minutes into of the sermon. Swindoll thought to himself that perhaps he was tired after a long day’s drive and couldn’t help himself - but this continued to happen night after night. Dr. Swindoll soon became very upset in his spirit with this man! On the last night the man’s wife came up and apologized for her husband’s inattention to the messages. She then explained that he had recently been diagnosed as having terminal cancer and the medication he was taking to ease the pain made him extremely sleepy. But it had been one of his life-long ambitions to hear Dr. Swindoll speak before he died, and now he had fulfilled that goal. Source Unknown.
If there is a group of people in the world that know how to forgive lavishly and fault-find sparingly, it is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s important to learn to become known as a people and place of forgiveness instead of being known with having a reputation of fault-finding.
Like Pastor Swindoll, we can think everyone else has the problem and we alone are in the right!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus willingly forgives those with even the most faults in their lives.
INT.SENT: What is the basis of God’s forgiving heart?
TRANS. SENT: Extending life changing forgiveness to people whose lives have been messed up with sin is the heartbeat of Jesus. As we examine this topic of forgiveness and faultfinding in Luke 7:36-50, we’ll learn how we can imitate the Lord Jesus Christ – extending more forgiveness instead of continually looking down at others in their faults.
I. SIMON’S CONTINUAL FAULTFINDING
A. Desired Fellowship Luke 7:36
1. “Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him.”
2. Hospitality is a very strong value in the Near East and they typically go all out for their guests.
3. A basin would typically be provided so guests could wash the dust of the road from their feet.
4. Scented olive oil was sometimes offered to anoint a guest’s hair.
5. And beloved guests would be kissed as they were greeted welcoming them with joy!
a. With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays coming around, perhaps we could use a lesson on treating our guests with such care!
b. Would it make any difference if Jesus Himself were coming to your house with your relatives during this season?
c. What kind of extra preparation would you make if you would be hosting the Son of God for Thanksgiving dinner?
6. We see that Simon offered none of these marks of a gracious host. It wasn’t so much that Simon wasn’t interested in spending time with Jesus, but he just wasn’t putting his whole heart into it!
7. In spite of Simon’s lack of warmth, Jesus readily accepted this dinner invitation.
a. Jesus is willing to associate with people of all kinds.
b. He is the Savior of the rich just as much as He is the Savior of the rejected!
c. No matter what Jesus said or what He did, there was always plenty of critics and fault-finders around!
d. Luke 7:34, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”
8. Fault-finders are always looking for something to criticize in others!
ILLUS: An older lady, who had no affinity for con¬temporary worship, was complaining about a particular song used in the worship service at her church. A fellow worshipper responded, “That is not a new song - it is a very old song! David sang that song to Saul.” The older lady replied, “Well now, for the first time, I understand why Saul threw the javelin at him when he sang.”
9. Fault-finders often try to hide their own faults by casting a negative light on others!
a. Perhaps there is someone you are constantly critical of.
(1) Focus on their good qualities – look to compliment instead of criticize.
(2) Try seeing that person through the eyes of God’s loving grace.
(3) Walk a mile in their shoes. Many adults grew up with harsh parents always bringing up the bad and never good.
B. Disturbed Focus Luke 7:37
1. “And behold, a woman in the city…”
2. While Simon apparently was curious to learn a little