I’ve read the story of Luke 7:36-50 many times before and have always loved it. Jesus allows a ‘sinful woman’ a prostitute come to Him. As I read it this time I received a fresh revelation of God’s forgiveness through this story. Maybe, like me, you have read this story many times before and have heard different preachers preach it, but I encourage you to keep reading as you too may receive a revelation of God’s goodness for you.
The story starts off telling us that one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to his house for supper. The Pharisee must have wanted to get to know Jesus better. I know any time someone asks me over to eat it’s because we are either good friends and want to hang out or the person wants to get to know me a little better.
Simon, the Pharisee, received an unexpected guest at this supper. Here he wanted to get to know Jesus and find out what He was about. He didn’t expect to find out this way. This woman must have quietly snuck into the Pharisee’s house. When people get desperate to find Jesus they will do anything to get near him.
This woman was willing to risk her very life to get near to Jesus. The Pharisees were very mean when it came to sinners. They thought that they were ‘too good’ to be near a sinner and now Simon has one in his house. The first reaction this woman had was to run straight to Jesus.
“And behold, woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair on her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke within Himself saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” Luke 7:37-39
Can you hear the judgement in Simon’s voice? First off, how and why was this sinful woman sitting at his table? Who invited her? Who allowed her into his house? He was ‘too righteous’, to have such a sinful woman in his house. Simon didn’t realize the beautiful thing that was happening, he just saw the sinfulness. He couldn’t see that Jesus had changed this woman’s heart.
Jesus begins to correct Simon with a parable about who would love their master more. Simon replied that it would be the person who had been forgiven more. It was an obvious answer. Of course, the one who had been forgiven a greater debt would love their master more.
It’s then that Jesus begins to refer to the woman and explained to Simon what the woman was doing. She washed and wiped His feet, kissed Him and anointed Him. All this Jesus had expected from the Pharisee but he didn’t do it. The Pharisee was ‘too righteous’ to touch Jesus’ feet and treat Him the way He should be.
A Revelation of God’s love
“Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7:47
Wait a minute. She did this before Jesus said she was forgiven. However Jesus said that she did this because she had been forgiven. Before Jesus said anything to her directly. She knew her sins had disappeared. Just being in Jesus’ Presence was enough for her to know that she had been set free. She had a revelation of God’s forgiveness.
Many Christians go throughout life without really knowing that they’ve been forgiven. Some will go to their pastor’s office every week just to hear that Jesus has forgiven them. They have never received the revelation. This woman received revelation just by being in Jesus’ Presence.
What should this teach us? Get into Jesus’ Presence. If you want a revelation of God’s forgiveness to you, you must get into His Presence. The more we get close to Jesus, the more we realize His goodness.
God is so good! No one compares to Him. It doesn’t matter how great your sin is or what other religious people have named you. Maybe they have said that you were a sinner. Jesus says “your sins that are many, have been forgiven you.”
Receive this revelation! Nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38,39) There’s nothing greater than knowing our sins have been forgiven! Come to Jesus and see that you have been set free!