Luke 7:36–50 (NKJV)
36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a 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, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to 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 7:36-39
A Pharisee invited Jesus to dinner. There is little said about the dinner until a woman brings an alabaster box of ointment in to wash His feet with her tears and anoint them with the oil. She was a sinner. The reaction to the anointing by Simon was quick and harsh. He accused Jesus of tolerating a sinner woman–or a woman at all–touching Him.
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”Luke 7:40-50
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 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.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
The reaction of Jesus to Simon’s criticism is poignant and deep. He began with a story about creditors who owed differing amounts, but both had their debts forgiven. Which one would love the creditor more? The one with the larger debt! Jesus affirmed the fact and related the woman anointing Him to the larger debtor who was forgiven. He then turned to the woman and forgave her sins. The onlookers were puzzled by His forgiving anyone.
This story is a picture of forgiveness and its results. All have sinned. Everyone has a need for God’s forgiveness. Some are more grateful than others. The weight of our sin is often proportional to our gratitude. In this story, the Pharisee is more concerned about the impropriety of the encounter than the depth of the forgiveness offered. Every Christian should be overwhelmingly grateful for salvation. Never get to the place of complacency in your walk with God that you forget from whence you came. We were all lost, we were all sinners, we were all destined for damnation when Jesus found us. Be thankful and deeply grateful for the redemption wrought by Christ. Wash His feet, kiss His feet, anoint His head with oil. He is always worth it.