Summary: Many people often came to peoples houses at that time to listen to what an important guest might have to say.
**36And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. 37And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, --
In taking their meals in those days, the people in that part of the world reclined on a small couch, leaning on the left elbow, with their heads towards the table, and their feet being naked as their sandals had been previously taken off by the servants, were turned the contrary way, so as to be easily accessible to those who came behind the couch, where the servants were waiting.
This is how the woman could come up behind Jesus and wash his feet.
When you had guests in that day, your neighbors had a right to come in and stand along the wall or sit on their haunches and watch. They didn’t come to comment, only to watch.
So this woman came in and took her place behind the Lord Jesus. And as she stood by the feet of the Lord Jesus, weeping, she began to wet His feet with tears and wipe His feet with the hairs of her head. Then she kissed His feet and anointed them with the costly ointment.
**36And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. 37And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. 40And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. 44And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. **
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 sinner.
Here we see demonstrations of gratitude and of ingratitude, I wonder are we showing our gratitude so as others can see that we appreciate what He’s done for us?
Simon, a Pharisee, invited Jesus to dinner. Why He invited Christ, we do not know, most likely it was to try and meddle as to just what Jesus was up to, if any thing.
maybe Simon was curious about Jesus having heard so much about Him and wanting to converse with Him on an informal basis.
Jesus excluded no one from His love or attention. He accepted the invitation.
Simon was a rich man.
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. This Sinful woman sensed her need and went to Jesus.
Her notoriety in the city was well known – notice Simon’s response to her presence and actions in verse 39.
39Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.