JESUS SHOWS A PHARISEE HIS LACK OF GRATITUDE

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    [Luke:7:36-50].

    Lesson No.: 
    43
    Class: 
    Junior
    Memory Verse: 

    "Thy faith hath saved thee,  go in peace" (Luke 7 :50).

    Notes: 

    Jesus Invited to Dinner
    One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to come to his home for dinner. After what we have learned about the character of the Pharisees, we wonder what interest he had in the Lord. Did he wish to find fault with Him? It seems that that is what the Pharisees usually did, although there were a few who really loved Jesus and honestly asked about His doctrine. Nicodemus was one of them. He came to Jesus and asked how to get saved; and we believe he was honest with God, for he helped in the burial of Jesus after the crucifixion.

    Jesus' Love for Sinners
    But even if Jesus was not loved very much by Simon, the Pharisee, He was always willing to meet people more than half of the way, and if He saw a chance to help someone, He would not shrink from the slights He might receive. He went to eat with sinners so He could tell them about the Kingdom of God. The Pharisees criticized Him for that, thinking He made Himself unclean by eating with people who did not keep the Jewish law concerning food. They called Jesus a "gluttonous man, and a winebibber a friend of publicans and sinners." How thankful we are that Jesus was the friend of sinners, or we would never have been saved!

    Perhaps Jesus knew, when He accepted the Pharisee's Invitation to dinner, that the sinful woman would also come. We read of many instances when Jesus went out of His way because He knew He would meet someone who was hungry for the truth: there was the Samaritan woman at the well, and the demoniac in the tombs; there was the instance when Philip was taken from his revival meetings in Samaria to go into the desert to meet the eunuch; Jesus always sees the heart that is longing for the truth, and will do anything He can to help a person gain eternal life.

    When the woman came to see Jesus, she came in repentance. She came weeping because she was so sorry for the sins she had committed. "A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Psalm 51: 17).

    Jesus loved her, just as He loves every sinner who comes before Him in repentance. He did not object when she washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. The Pharisees were careful that sinful people did not touch them, and this Pharisee said if Jesus were a man of God He would have known that she was a sinner and would not have let her touch Him. But Jesus said that He came to call the sinners, not the righteous, to repentance.

    Oil of Joy
    The woman brought an alabaster box of ointment, to anoint the feet of Jesus. In breaking the box, she had to use all that was in it. It was the custom in Bible times to use oil or ointment for anointing the head and body, especially at festivals and joyous occasions. Thus it came to denote joy and gladness, and the people refrained from its use in a time of sorrow, as we read in [2 Samuel:14:2]. The ointments were olive oil, which was often perfumed and spiced; and that used by wealthy people was often very expensive. This was indeed a time of rejoicing for this woman because her sins were forgiven.

    When the Pharisee complained about what the woman was doing, Jesus told him that he was not a very good host. It was a matter of courtesy in those days to provide water and towels for guests to wash their feet. They wore open sandals, and the roads were dusty, and they felt much more comfortable when their feet were washed. But the Pharisee had not given Jesus any water for His feet. Neither had he kissed Jesus, which was their method of greeting. The woman had done these things, washed His feet, kissed them, and anointed them, because she did not feel worthy to anoint His head.

    Go in Peace
    Jesus saw the repentance in the heart of the woman and gave her more than she could ever have gained in the world: He forgave her sins. How happy she must have been when all her sins were gone, and she was pure and clean again! And Jesus told her to go in peace. All the turmoil and unrest in her heart was gone when Jesus spoke forgiveness to her. See how much she gained by coming to Jesus in repentance? The Pharisee certainly did not get any blessing out of treating Jesus as he did.

    When someone asked Jesus a question, many times He would not answer immediately but would ask a question in turn. When the Pharisee said, even to himself, that Jesus must not be a prophet or He would know what kind of woman was kneeling at His feet, the Lord did not defend Himself but told a little story which illustrated the lack of love in Simon's heart. Simon could see that the person to whom most was forgiven would love the most, but it is doubtful if he applied the parable to himself. He did not even ask Jesus to forgive his sins -- in fact, he probably did not think he was a sinner.

    The Poor Honoured
    Jesus appreciates everything that is done for Him. What if a person does not have very much to give? Does Jesus love that person less? We read of the widow who came to the Temple to put her offering into the treasury. There were rich men there ahead of her who put in large sums of money, but they did not miss it because they had so much more. But the widow had only two mites, and she put it all in. The Lord mentioned her in the Scriptures as the one who was blessed. Jesus never asks more of us than we have to give, but how He rewards us when we give Him our whole life!

    All for Jesus
    Little Emma was a child who had been brought to a mission school from a low dance-house. She was very ill, and about to die. Her parents were very poor. When she was left alone with her grandmother, she said "Granny, will you bring me my purse?" The little purse was brought to her, and she counted out forty-eight cents, and said, "Granny, this is my money that I have saved for Jesus, to give to the mission school. Dear Granny, see that Jesus gets it all!" That little girl received a reward with those who gave all, when she went to be with Jesus. She loved Him so much that she wanted Him to have everything she could give. Jesus is looking for that love in the hearts of His children that will hold the things of this world with a loose hand. The true Christian is laying up his treasure in Heaven, where it will never pass away. "Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD" (I Chronicles:29:9).

    Questions: 

    1 Did the Pharisees love Jesus? How did they usually treat Him?
    2. Did Jesus love the sinful woman? Does He love all sinners? How do we know?
    3. What was the parable Jesus told Simon?
    4. How much does Jesus expect us to give Him?