Summary: An in-depth look at the emotional and spiritual workings that take place in the heart of a woman who comes in contact with the Son of God.

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Luke 7:36-50

INTRO. Note the order of events briefly.

(vs. 1-10) Jesus at Capernaum - heals the centurion’s servant.

(vs. 11-17) Jesus in Nain (20 miles from Capernaum) - The widow’s son raised from the dead.

(vs. 18-23) John the Baptist sends disciples to question Jesus.

(vs. 24-29) Jesus’ testimony to John the Baptist.

(vs. 30-35) Jesus rebukes those who do not accept John’s message.

Notice the word "sinner" in vs. 37. It actually means sinful. It implies one who was openly immoral or unchaste. Most writers agree that it probably means that this woman was a prostitute.


A. However, the word does not imply that this woman actually enjoyed her position in life. Since there is no mention of a husband we may assume that perhaps she was widowed...or maybe she was left to try to make her own way the best she could. It is most likely that this kind of lifestyle was not what she really wanted for herself. But feeling like she had no other options, she did that which came naturally for her.

Imagine for a few moments:

1. Somewhere within the shadowy hovels of the city, a poor woman prepares for her nightly escapade. She is a great sinner and regularly goes out to break the heart of God. She arms herself with the weapons of her trade.... her long hair flowing down her back (which was very unseemly in that day), her hard and calloused emotions, and an alabaster bottle of perfume. Then she steps out into the street to sell herself to the highest bidder.

2. Down the street she spots a crowd. Hearing the voice of only one speaker, she steps forward and comes face to face with Jesus.

3. We can only guess the nature of His message......perhaps we can get an idea from the corresponding passage in Matt. 11.

{a.} note the disciples of John coming to Jesus

{b.} Jesus’ dissertation on John

{c.} (Luke does not include this) He then begins

to pronounce divine judgment upon the cities

that have turned a deaf ear to His message. (He spoke as one having authority.)

{d.} Then He prays. Notice that this prayer almost seems to be about the woman who now stands

before Him.

{e.} Then the invitation to come [read vs. 28-30]


A. Whatever it was that she heard from Christ, it surely touched her soul. Soon she forgot her purpose of coming into the city and began to retrace her steps back home.

1. She had met Jesus and the words He spoke could never be forgotten. They had changed the way she felt and the way she thought. She could never look at life in the same way again.

a. She felt unclean; and hardly knew what to do; she loathed herself. She was beginning to see herself in the light of God’s holiness and she hated what she saw.

b. The Word of God had done that which it set out to do. She was convicted of her sin and realized her need to get right with God.

2. How many will hear the compassionate call of the many will have their hearts pricked by the message of the Word of many will feel the urging of the Holy Spirit to come to forgiveness and everlasting life....but because of the hardness of their heart they will not accept?

a. "There is none righteous, no not one"

b. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

c. "Come unto me all ye that labor..."


A. Mechanically she lifted her precious bottle of ointment, and as her fingers closed around her treasure, she made her greatest decision. If she was going to accept and follow the Master’s way of life, she would never again need this questionable adornment. The purpose for which it was meant would be non-existent in her life.

B. She did not know how she would earn a living, but she knew that she had to brake all ties to the old life. She decided that she would give all she had and all she was to Jesus.

C. First she had to find Him. She went back to where she had heard Him speak but the people said that He had gone to Simon’s house. Great, just great. Simon the Pharisee!

1. (Describe how Pharisees would have treated a prostitute.)

2. On her way to Simon’s house she probably rehearsed every word that she would say to Jesus. She would acknowledge her sins. She would beg for forgiveness. She would promise to keep the law and make restitution for all the wrong she had done.

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