We continue our weekly Bible study with tremendous help from Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart in their book “How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth”. Our study brings us to the Parables. We see in Luke 7:36-48 (NIV) that Jesus had been invited to dinner by a Pharisee named Simon.
“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
As Gordon Fee explains, each parable has a specific audience, and a specific function. In this case, Jesus explains the parable to the audience, and He explains the purpose of the parable. Jesus used a story about money to teach us about forgiveness. Both debtors in this story owed more money than they could repay. (One debtor owed over a year’s wage). So, the moneylender cancelled both debts.
We all have a sin debt we can’t repay. So, Jesus came to die on the cross for our sin. Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world on the cross. Romans 5:8 NIV “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The woman gives us a powerful demonstration of what it means to love God. She probably gave up everything she had to put the oil on Jesus’ head, and to wipe His feet with her hair. Jesus gave up everything and went to the cross for our sin. He paid for our sins in full, and our debt is forgiven.
There is a simple truth in the parable of the two debtors: Jesus paid for the sin we could never pay for, and we are free. John 8:36 NIV “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
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Pastors Willie and Rochelle McIntosh
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