Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: 1. Our love for Jesus must be motivated (vs. 36-42). 2. Our love for Jesus must be demonstrated (vs. 37-47). 3. Our love for Jesus must be communicated (vs. 48-50).

Showing our Love for Jesus

Luke 7:36-50

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - April 14, 2013

*Our baby, Katie, is 26 years old now, but I still keep this note from her in my wallet. Katie gave it to me 18 years ago, when she was 8. On the outside it says: "Keep forever." And on the inside it says: "I love Dad. I love Dad. I love Dad. I love Dad." Twenty-four times, "I love Dad!" Then it says, "P.S. And it’s true."

*Katie wanted to show her love for me. And God wants us to show our love for Him. How can we do that? How can we show our love for the Lord Jesus Christ?

1. First Church: We must have love's motivation.

*The woman in our Scripture today had this kind of motivation. Her strong love was motivated by God's mercy. Please take another look at her in vs. 36-38:

36. Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee's house, and sat down to eat.

37. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,

38. and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.

*To get the picture here, we need to know that the Jews of that day did not sit at tables in chairs the way we do today. They leaned on pillows toward the table, so their feet were angled away from the table. And when you invited a guest into your home, other people would gather around the wall to watch and listen. (1)

*The woman in our story was watching the meal from behind. And she was a sinner, a notorious sinner. She was someone who had a terrible reputation. She may even have been a prostitute and a criminal. We don't know her name, but she was surely someone who needed to be saved. And she was saved! She was forgiven by Jesus in a big, big way. Thank God we have a merciful Savior who is willing to forgive us so much!

*The self-righteous Pharisee in today's Scripture was named Simon. And he was repulsed when Jesus allowed this wicked woman to wash and kiss His feet. Luke explained it this way in vs. 39: "Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, 'This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.'"

*It is easy for us be like that Pharisee, and set ourselves up as better than this woman, because most of us have not lived notorious lives. But the truth is that all of us needed a big forgiveness. We all needed big forgiveness, because even one sin was enough to send us to hell for all eternity. And we have sinned countless times in our thoughts, attitudes, words and deeds.

*Of course, Jesus knew what this self-righteous Pharisee Simon was thinking. And starting in vs. 40:

40. . . Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you.'' And he said, "Teacher, say it.''

41. There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.

42. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?''

*You may remember that a denarius was equal to a day's wage for a working man. So one of those men owed 500 days' wages, while the other owed 50 days' wages. But we must understand that all of us are the debtors Jesus mentioned here.

*And 500 days' wages may not seem such a high hurtle to us. But in Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus told another parable about our giant sin debt and our need for forgiveness. In this other parable, the servant owed his king "ten thousand talents." How much debt was that? Well, the heavy common talent used in New Testament times weighed 129.6 pounds. So ten thousand talents of gold would be 1,296,000 pounds of gold. At Thursday morning's price of $1,565 per ounce, that would be $32,451,840,000!

*That kind of financial debt would crush just about anyone, but our sin debt is infinitely higher than that. How many sins have you committed in your life? -- Surely not 32 billion, but you have sinned a lot. And you have sinned more than you think, because every time we sin, we are not doing something good we ought to have done.

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