Summary: a message on forgivness
NOTHING TO PAY
Luke 7: 36-50
Three miracles are recorded in Luke 7. First there is a great miracle, the healing of the centurion’s servant. Second there is a greater miracle, the raising of a young man from the ;. Lastly there is the greatest miracle of all, the forgiving and restoring of a sinful woman.
I believe that forgiveness of a lost sinner is the greatest miracle our Lord ever performs. Forgiveness
produces the greatest results. Most of all, forgiveness requires the greatest price.
It costs very little for God to heal the sick, but it cost His Son’s on a cross for Him to forgive sinners.
Why Simon the Pharisee invited Jesus to his home for a meal we do not know. Perhaps it was, mere curiosity. After all, Jesus was popular, a great Teacher, and a miracle-Worker. Perhaps it was concern about what Christ’s ministry meant to his own religious profession. It may be that Simon wanted to criticize, to find some fault with Jesus. Whatever Simon’s motive, this much is certain: the dinner did not turn out quite the way he had planned.
When you or I give a dinner we invite our guests and exclude others. However, this was not the custom in our Lord’s day. The houses of well-to-do people were built round an open courtyard, and there in the warm weather meals were taken. It was the custom that when a Rabbi [Teacher] was at a meal in such a house, all kinds of people came in - they were quite free to do so - to listen to the pearls of wisdom which fell from a Rabbi’s lips.
However, the appearance of this woman was certainly an embarrassment to Simon.
However, Jesus used her interruption to teach some important lessons about forgiveness, and He uses the parable of the two debtors!
I. The MUST OF FORGIVENESS
Simon, the Pharisee and the woman (who was known to be immoral illustrated different kinds of sins. and that the fact that everyone needs God’s forgiveness.
A. There are sins of the flesh and sins of the spirit.
Maybe Simon was not guilty of immorality, but he was still a sinner. Simon was guilty of the sin of pride. He wrapped himself with the mantle of self-righteousness; satisfied with his own goodness, dignity, and importance. He looked down at her in order to exalt himself. Simon compared himself with this woman instead of with the Lord.; the common mistake so many make.
Now Jesus stated the woman was a sinner (vv. 47-48). She was guilty of gross sins of the flesh, but Simon was guilty of sins of the spirit. The late British Bible expositor, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan called these "the sins in good standing."
B. There are sins of commission and sins of omission.
Simon knew what the woman had done, but forgot what he himself had not done. He had not even shown Jesus the common courtesies of the home - the kiss of welcome, water for His feet, and oil for His head. It iso bad that this woman fell into sin, but it is even worse that Simon was living in sin and did not know it. The person who does not do what God requires is just as guilty as the person who does what God
C. There are open sins and hidden sins. Everyone at the feast knew who the
woman was and what she had done with her life. Her sins were open. But only Jesus (who can read men’s hearts) knew the sins in Simon’s life.
It is important to realize that we are sinners whether we feel guilty or not. That is the whole point of the parable of the two debtors (Luke 7:41-43). Both of the men were in debt and were bankrupt. The difference between 500 pence and 50 pence is not a difference in guilt, for if we disobey in only one of God’s laws we are guilty. The two amounts represent a difference in their sense of guilt. The woman was not more lost than the Pharisee. She only felt her guilt and need for mercy far more than Simon did.
Thank God for people like the unnamed woman, who feel their need and come to the Saviour! We cannot help but pity people like Simon.
II. THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS
Forgiveness is a gracious gift of God. Forgiveness is the greatest miracle God ever performs. Notice what is involved in this miracle.
A. FACT OF THE DEBT
Both men were in debt. This was their condition. They were unquestionably in debt. If they could have disputed the creditor’s claim, no doubt they would have done so. If they could have pleaded that they were never indebted, or that they had already paid, no doubt they would have been glad to have done so; but they could not raise a question; their debt could not be denied.