Summary: We will continue our look at the Pharisee Syndrome.
INTRO: STAY FERVENT IN LOVE. Fervent is a word that speaks of intensity and determination. It is an athletic term for stretching to reach the tape. Have you watched the fellows and gals who run the dash? When they come around that last turn and they’re pressing for the tape, they’ll get right to the end and then they’ll lunge forward. I’ve even seen them fall right there on the track, because they’re pushing to reach the tape ahead of the one they’re competing against. It’s the idea of intensity at the tape, stretching yourself. Those who do the long jump leap into the air and throw their feet forward and they, with intensity, stretch every muscle of their bodies to reach as far as they can. The same with the high jumpers or with the pole vaulters, they stretch to the uttermost to reach the limit. That’s the word fervent.
-Love. If we could only increase our love and draw closer to the source, oh, how love would abound.
-The Pharisees love very little because, in their eyes, they have very little to be forgiven for.
Summary: I’ll review for those who’ve missed. We’re looking at the Pharisee Syndrome. Jesus had his harshest words for these religious leaders because they were supposed to be leading people to God but were leading people to eternal damnation.
1. The Pharisees distorted and diluted the word of God so much that when it hit the hearts of the people it had little or no impact on them.
2. The Pharisees were convinced they were holy by what they did and didn’t do. True holiness is never a system, whether oral or written. True holiness comes forth from a relationship with the Holy One (Jesus).
3. The Pharisees were a very legalistic group. Their problem was that their legalism gave them a false sense of holiness.
TITLE: What Every Christian Should Know – Part 3
TEXT: Luke 7:36-47
I. Dinner with a Pharisee. We learn the difference between great love and little love.
A. Jesus not only accepted hospitality from the publicans and sinners, but also from the Pharisees. -They needed the word of God, too.
1. We don’t know the motives of Simon. Whether they were good or bad is uncertain; but one thing is known, Simon learned more about himself than he cared to know.
2. Simon operated in an unusual breach of cultural protocol. Simon was interested in Jesus only enough to invite him in.
a. Instead of being given a proper welcome for a guest, Jesus was treated as a servant would be.
B. Simon, the critical host (vv. 39-43), didn’t treat Jesus as an honored guest.
1. Simon was embarrassed, both for himself and for his guest, when this wicked woman was weeping and crying over the feet of Jesus.
2. People had been saying that Jesus was a great prophet (Luke 7:16), but he wasn’t exhibiting much prophetic discernment if he allowed a sinful woman to anoint his feet. He must be a fraud.
3. Simon’s real problem was blindness: He could not see himself, the woman, or the Lord Jesus. -It was easy for him to say, "She is a sinner," but impossible for him to say, "I am also a sinner."
Thought: The parable does not deal with the amount of sin in a person’s life, but the awareness of that sin in his heart.
C. How much sin must a person commit to be a sinner? Simon and the woman were both sinners.
1. Simon was guilty of pride while this woman was guilty of sins of the flesh.
-Her sins were known, while Simon’s sins were hidden from everyone except God.
Truth: Both of them were bankrupt and could not pay their debt to God. Simon was just as spiritually bankrupt as the woman, only he did not realize it.
-In his own eyes he thought he was better. He was the standard of holiness because, after all, he was a Pharisee, a respected religious leader.
ill. The Uninvited Guest. It was customary in that day for outsiders to hover around during banquets so they could watch the important people and hear the conversation. Since everything was open, they could even enter the banquet hall and speak to a guest.
A. In this culture at this time, women were not invited to banquets.
1. Jewish rabbis did not speak to women in public, nor did they eat with them in public. A woman of this type would not be welcomed in the house of Simon the Pharisee.
2. Get the picture: The Pharisee has invited Jesus to this black tie dinner and this street woman has shown up. She’s hanging on his feet, crying and whimpering, and wiping his feet with her hair because her tears are landing on his feet.