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.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:40-50
Rather than condemn the woman as I am sure the Pharisee thought Jesus would do Jesus used it as a teaching moment. That is something we need to emulate. Jesus tells Simon a short parable which was a customary teaching tool of the day. Then Jesus compares the woman’s actions to Simon’s.
One Jewish custom was that when you had guests for a meal the first thing you did was have a servant wash the dust off their feet. The reason was that people ate at low table and sat is a reclining position and after walking through the dusty roads in Jerusalem one’s feet would be dirty. Simon had forgotten this very basic custom. Then there is the customary greeting of a kiss which it seems Simon also omitted. I find it hard to believe a Pharisee would forget these basic hospitality customs so he may have invited Jesus only to embarrass Him.
However, this unnamed woman washed Jesus feet with her tears and never stopped kissing Jesus feet. Then she anointed Jesus feet with the expensive ointment something one would do to an honored guest. Simon may have wanted to see a show from Jesus or maybe he wanted to embarrass Jesus or maybe just try to trick Jesus. Whatever his reasons Simon forgot basic Jewish manners.
After Jesus told Simon the parable He asked Simon who would love the moneylender more and Simon answered correctly, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” Then Jesus forgave the woman’s sins. This woman whose sins were many but who also loved much received Jesus’ forgiveness. Simon who in his minds had few if any sins and little love for Jesus, his sins were not forgiven.
When I look at the life they have lived and the many sins I have committed and continue to commit and I think that Jesus has already paid for and forgiven all my sins past, present and future how can I not love Him much?
Have a blessed day,