Summary: The joy and tears of forgiveness

Tears of Gratitude

Luke 7:36-50

April 6, 2014

Now that the weather is supposedly warming up, it’s also garage sale season. Have you ever had a garage sale, and you’ve wondered if some of the junk you sold is really worth something? Or maybe you’ve been on the lookout for something that’s worth more than what you’re going to pay. A woman named Teri Horton is a truck driver, she’s 73 years old and she bought a painting for $5. She thought it was so ugly, that she was going to have fun with it and throw darts at it.

This is what she bought! I’m not sure I would have spent $5, but that’s just me. It turns out it’s a painting by Jackson Pollock, and she’s been offered $9 million for this painting. That’s quite a find. Sometimes we make great discoveries when we least expected it.

And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. We’ve been looking at passages which focus on some aspect of tears. Most of the time it’s been tears of sadness, today, we’re looking at tears of sadness and joy; all mixed into one.

We’re going to look at a story from the gospel of Luke, the 3rd book of the New Testament. Our story is found in Luke 7:36-50. It occurs as Jesus has been asked to eat the home of a Pharisee named Simon. It’s the story of what happens during dinner. Let’s take a look at the story ~

36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table.

37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,

38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.

39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this, he said to himself, “If this Man were a prophet, He would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”

40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.

42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

44 Then turning toward the woman Jesus said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

45 You gave Me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss My feet.

46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with ointment.

47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven — for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”

50 And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Jesus was invited to dinner and accepted an invitation to eat at the home of a man named, Simon, a Pharisee. This is really an unusual request. Not that you couldn’t ask Jesus to dinner, but Jesus and the Pharisees didn’t mix. They were always butting heads and didn’t agree on anything. The word Pharisee means to set apart or separated ones. They didn’t want to have anything to do with society. They were so concerned about the downward spiral in their society and they would have nothing to do with it. They stood against it, and they tried to turn things around. They understood that the law of Moses was the way to go, and they were careful to obey it as best they could.

In fact, they were so careful to obey the law of Moses that they messed it up. Basically the law of Moses said to love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. That was basically it. Now, Moses had given them ten ways to love God and their neighbors, the Ten Commandments. However, that wasn't enough for the Pharisees.

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