Summary: Christ receives sinners. Just so, the assemblies of our Lord should be noted for welcoming those who are identified as sinners, since we each were once estranged from the Lord until He welcomed us.

“One of the Pharisees asked [Jesus] to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. 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, 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. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him 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.’ And Jesus answering said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ And he answered, ‘Say it, Teacher.’

“‘A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.’ And he said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Then turning toward the woman, he 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. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.’ And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this, who even forgives sins?’ And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace’” [LUKE 7:36-50].

Parties in the news usually means the celebration got out of hand. One news account reads, “Teenage revelers trashed a Spanish mansion worth $8.6 million—after the student host posted an open invite on the online social networking site Facebook. Over 400 teens crashed Jodie Hudson's 16th birthday bash in Marbella, Spain, then stole $11,800 worth of jewelry, swiped designer clothes and threw a TV in the pool. Police had to be called to put an end to the wild party, but they did not arrive in time to stop the drunk teenagers wrecking the seven-bedroom luxury home.” [2] Another account informs, “A Bronx birthday celebration which ended in a teenager's death erupted into chaos when more than 300 uninvited people crashed the party, police sources said Saturday. Word of the Sweet 16 bash at Maestro's Caterers on Bronxdale Ave. in Van Nest made its way onto social media sites, prompting scores of teens not on the guest list to show up… The party crashers sparked a fight with invited guests outside … according to authorities. During the brawl, [an] uninvited guest jumped into a black Honda and opened fire into the crowd as he drove off. One of the bullets hit 16-year-old Sincear (Sin) Williams in the neck… Medics rushed him to Jacobi Medical Center, where he died.” [3]

Today, party crashers almost always guarantee trouble. That may sound as if I’m painting with a broad brush, but crashing a party can be problematic. Throughout the Gospels, we note that Jesus was frequently the honoured guest at dinner parties. Unlike this present day, dinner parties in that ancient day seem to have actively encouraged uninvited guests to attend. These uninvited guests were not participants; rather, they were expected to be observers. They would come merely to watch the invited guests dine. I suppose it was a way for the host to inflate his stature in the eyes of those observing. Thus, the lustre of Jesus’ presence would rub off on the host and all those observing His presence would think more highly of the host.

However, one dinner party Jesus attended didn’t go exactly as expected. In a shocking twist, one of the observers became a participant in the party. This wasn’t expected, and the fact that she was central to what would take place was even more surprising. Because the woman was well-known to the populace of the town, her presence threatened to be a dark blot on Jesus’ reputation. You see, she was a sinner. A sinner! To be classified as a “sinner” could only mean that she was recognised for some grave character flaw. Her sin was more than a mere faux pas. Her life was flawed, marred by choices she had made, choices that even some at the party may have taken advantage of. You mentioned her name at the risk of sullying your own reputation.

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