Summary: Jesus contrasts the attitudes of the Sinful Woman and the proud Pharisee.
A family who moved into a new neighborhood had a late start one morning. As a result their six-year-old missed her school bus. Though it would make him late for work her father agreed to take her to school if she gave him directions. After 20 minutes of going in circles they finally arrived at the school, which turned out to be only a few blocks away from where they lived. Angrily, her dad asked why she drove him all over the place when the school was so close to home? "We went the way the school bus does," she said. "That’s the only way I know."
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every one us followed the way of Jesus Christ simply because it was the only way we knew? Wouldn’t it be marvelous if when we should take a long look at life for what life is, all we could see is Jesus Christ? Here in the text, a luxurious banquet given by Simon, a leader among the Pharisees in Galilee. He had invited Jesus to dinner because important people invite important people to dinner. When an important man like Jesus shows up at the synagogue, it was expected that an important person in the synagogue would invite Him to dinner. Jesus was the guest of honor; during these times dining was done very differently than what we today are used to.
The attendees would recline on one of the couches placed around a U-shaped table. And being that it was a public dinner, people from off the street would simply wander in and sat on one of the benches that circled the room so that they could hear the conversation and debate concerning the important issues of the day that would occur during the meal. Most of the people there came in order to see Jesus, most of the people were curious about Him because they heard stories about things He said and done. Perhaps the most curious was the host of the banquet, Simon the Pharisee, in fact Simon was extremely curious about Jesus and so this was the primary reason for the banquet—it was given to appease Simon’s deep curiosity. Simon wanted to see what he could see. Allow me to ask a question, it’s kind of personal but I’ll ask it anyhow—when you come into the house of God what do you come to see?
Some people come strictly to hear the choir sing and to see who will lead this song or that song. Some come to see what others are wearing, some come to see if they can walk away with some juicy gossip. Sometimes you can clearly identify who they are because just when the pastor takes to the pulpit in order to preach the Word that is when they put up what we just to call that old Baptist finger as a sign they are quietly tipping out because they saw all they wanted to see. What do you come to see in Church on Sunday? Well it ought to be no one but Jesus Christ. However, this was not the case with Simon the Pharisee. Yes he did want to Jesus but not for the right reasons. He was hoping to expose violations of Hebrew law regarding the washing of hands before meals? He believed Jesus might be a prophet, but he was hoping to learn more during the meal? His early condemnation of the Savior revealed a need of understanding and concern. He was a typical Pharisee whose life was dominated by tradition. And so, let us first look into what Simon the Pharisee saw that day.