Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Most Liberating Words Ever

LUKE 7:36-48 – One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.  Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”



THEME OF THE DAY:  THE MOST LIBERATING WORDS EVER HEARD.  The lesson in today’s scripture targeted Simon. He needed to understand forgiveness.  Might be a lesson we need too, if we are struggling to forgive someone but there is something else from this account.  And it is a big something else!  It concerns the woman. It concerns us.


First, the description of the woman is our description as well – a sinner.  Luke identifies her as “a woman of the city” and likely points to her immoral life as a prostitute. Now don’t be quick to look down upon her for her public sin.  We may not be guilty as she was, but guilty nonetheless we are. She is a sinner.  We are sinners.  And that is what makes this story so encouraging, so liberating.

Next, the response of Jesus which is the “big something” in this riveting account.  Notice she “crashes the dinner party.”  There is no way such a sinner was invited, but her guilt-burdened heart could not keep her away.  Jesus was there and she needed to get to Him.  And Jesus welcomes her.  He doesn’t shun her.  Another great lesson for us.  Don’t be a spiritually proud Pharisee. Don’t look down at other sinners.  They are not below us. We are in this together – all of us. Don’t grade sin.  Yes, the consequences of sin may vary, but all sin is abominable in the eyes of God.  The account continues with the repenting woman washing Jesus’ feet and the Lord dialoguing with Simon.  What about the woman? She is hoping against hope.  It feels like the Lord is ignoring her.  She washes feet. She sheds tears, and the conversation is all about Simon but not for long. Her hope is about to be realized.  From Simon to the woman, our Lord looks at her and speaks the four most liberating words ever heard – “Your sins are forgiven.”

Friends, no matter how difficult life gets, how intense our trials, and how difficult our circumstances, at the end of all things, the most uplifting and encouraging words we may hear from the Lord are “Your sins are forgiven.”  This is what matters most in life and eternity.  Praise His name for His amazing grace that forgives!


PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for the freedom to hear the words, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’”
QUOTE: “Nothing is more important and satisfying to the soul than to know God’s forgiveness.”


Because of Him,


Pastor Jim