A Sinful Woman Forgiven

Luke 7:36–50

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.              A Pharisee invites Jesus to his home for a meal. A woman, known to be sinful, enters the house of the Pharisee uninvited.

2.              Jesus, like all the others, is reclining at a table, and the practice was to lay on the left arm, head toward the low-lying table, about one foot off the floor, with legs extended out.

3.              The woman, standing behind Jesus, at His feet, begins to weep, the tears falling on His feet. She begins to wipe or clean Jesus’ feet with her hair. (Long hair was a symbol of a prostitute).

4.              She also has brought with her an alabaster flask, a soft stone jar used to hold perfume, which she uses to anoint Jesus’ feet. Not only did she do this, she also kissed His feet.

5.              The Pharisee, witnessing this extremely bizarre event, said to himself, “Well, this Jesus could not be a prophet because if He were, He would have known what an awful sinner this woman is.”

6.              How Luke could have known about what was in the mind of the Pharisee at that moment prompt some to speculate that it was an indication that the Pharisee, at some point, became a follower of Jesus.

7.              Jesus, figuring out what the Pharisee, whose name is Simon, was thinking, poses a question. (Simon was a common Jewish name.) Two debtors, one owing a huge amount of money to a moneylender, the other owing ten times less, find that  the debt of both are cancelled.

8.              Jesus then poses the question, which one would love the moneylender more? The answer is clear, the Pharisee gets it, perhaps grudgingly, and answers Jesus correctly.

9.              Jesus then turns to the woman and announces that her sin is forgiven. Those who heard this so very incredible pronouncement say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

10.           The incident concludes with Jesus saying to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” This is what Jesus says of us also at the moment of our salvation.              

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