Forgiven is a sermon teaching us to expect people to do you wrong, it is part of the sinful nature that is in this world. But you can overcome that with what the bible teaches about forgiveness.

Key Verses:
Luke 7:36-50

Have you ever felt shame for something you did wrong? You might say it is a silly question to ask. Or perhaps you found yourself in a deep financial situation and could not see a way out. Maybe you had situations that you encountered in your life and ask how could it have happened and think you are never going to get out of it because it is too deep of a hole.

Have you ever looked down on somebody or think that you are better than they are, or more advanced than that person? Or perhaps you may think your boss is like that, that he thinks he is better than you, but think that you are actually better than him. These situations occur in life and what matters is how you react to them. You may come to a point that maybe you need to change your thinking or the way that you view things.

Wanting to Know More

In Luke chapter 7, the beginning of the chapter talks about the Centurion’s servant being healed and then the widow being raised from the dead. The next thing that happened was Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist. At that point, the Pharisees and other people had a dispute about the Lord Jesus. But then one Pharisee wanted to know more about who Jesus was and what He meant when He spoke to the people, so he invited Jesus to come to his home for a meal.

Luke 7:36: “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.”

We ought to forgive everybody, all people no matter the cost because Jesus forgave all our sins. We will look at an example of a woman who was forgiven and someone who scoffed at the idea. We will see how it ties into our own lives today and how it ties to salvation.

The Pharisees thought they were righteous, better than everyone else. You may know people who think they are better than you or other people. Sure, there are people with better skills than others or you have, but everyone has a skill they are good at doing. Sometimes people think they are superior to others. But we should be doing things because we love the Lord.

Luke 7:36: “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.”

Luke 7:37: “And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,”

Luke’s gospel is very detailed. He includes facts that make us wonder why he did that. Luke is a physician and as a doctor, provides specific details in their diagnosis, prescriptions, treatment, etc. Luke was detailed and precise in how he worded things. He highlights the fact that this woman is a sinner. Some speculate that she sinned abundantly, someone well-known to have done a lot of bad things such as being a harlot or a habitual sinner.

The Woman at Jesus’ Feet

The woman brought an alabaster box of ointment when she knew Jesus was at the Pharisee’s house. Some speculate she is Mary Magdalene, but nowhere in scripture does it say that.

Luke 7:38: “And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.”

Why was she weeping? There could be a number of reasons as to why she is weeping. One aspect is that She wept because she had something lacking in her life. She knew she needed a Savior. Our conscience reveals to us that we need a Savior.

People question how everyone is going to hear the gospel. This is revealed in Romans chapters 2 and 3. In Romans chapter 2 we read that the gentiles will hear the gospel because of their conscience. Their conscience will tell them that there is a God. The Jews fall short of God because of the law, their Mosaic law reveals to them that they need a Savior. Everyone is going to know Jesus and everyone will be accountable to Him.

Obviously, the woman’s conscience revealed to her that she needed to find a way to get to Jesus and that she needed Jesus. We may not know many women who want to wash feet with their tears and wipe them with her hair. But why was this going on? Commentary by A.T. Robertson says that in the Jewish tradition, it was shameful for a woman to let down her hair in a public place, but she makes this sacrifice because she shows her humility and sorrow. She publicly shows she is a sinner in need of a Savior. It is a tradition that someone takes off their shoes as they enter someone’s house and sometimes, they would have their feet washed. The woman shows remorse for her wrongdoing by washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, wipes them with her hair, and anoints them with ointment.

The Pharisee’s Thoughts

Luke 7:39: “Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.”

The Pharisee questioned within himself as to what she was doing. He reasoned that if Jesus only knew that she was a sinner, but Jesus did know that, and not only that, He knew what the Pharisee was thinking. Jesus is all-knowing, omniscient. Jesus knew what the Pharisee thought in his heart and what the woman was trying to do.

The Pharisee thought within himself that this woman had a bad reputation and Jesus, a perfect man, is allowing her to touch Him and wash His feet. The Pharisee thought that it was beneath his level of righteousness. It is the Pharisaic, holier-than-thou mentality.

A Lesson from Jesus

But what did Jesus do? What was Jesus’ main purpose for coming to Earth? Luke writes, “ to seek and to save that which was lost.” Was she lost? Absolutely. How do we know that? She indicated that she was a sinner. Can she go to Heaven because she is a sinner? No, she needs to be a sinner saved by grace.

Jesus uses this event as a teaching lesson. First, we have seen the servant. Secondly, we see Jesus telling a parable with the following verses:

Luke 7:40: “And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.”

Luke 7:41: “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.”

Luke 7:42: “And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?”

Luke 7:43: “Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.”

Without speaking directly to the Pharisee, Jesus openly tells the lesson to one of his followers, Simon. He uses the parable to address the thoughts that the Pharisee had in his heart. In the parable, the debt of two debtors was forgiven. Who would be more grateful? The one with the greater debt.

Always Forgive

Thirdly, we learn to forgive always in the following verse:

Luke 7:44: “And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.”

Jesus wanted the Pharisee to know what it meant to be forgiving. Although it is a tradition to wash the feet, the woman used her tears and hair to clean Jesus’ feet.

Luke 7:45: “Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.”

Luke 7:46: “My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

Luke 7:47: “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”

The woman’s sins which were many have been forgiven. There were many sins that she enjoyed which she thought would be to her benefit. The Pharisee on the other hand was a self-righteous guy. Either way, both the sins of the woman and the sins of the Pharisee can be forgiven. The ones who feel they are self-righteous have a harder time accepting that Jesus paid it for them. Whereas, the person who sinned a lot, realized what great gift salvation is.

Maybe you’ve heard testimony where someone accepts Jesus as their Savior, they have a long story of how they had grown up and have gone through many different trials and tests in life, then Jesus finally got a hold of their hearts and changed their life completely. Jesus came and took them out of a life that they should not have been living, they got saved, and now they are doing all these great things for Jesus. We think it is a great testimony. And then you hear of the short version of someone who was saved when they were very young. It doesn’t change the significance that both were saved by the same Savior. The key thing is that they both got saved, they were both freed from the penalty of sin. Everyone needs a Savior, everyone needs to be forgiven.

Luke 7:48: “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.”

Here, the Pharisee is watching Jesus do that, forgiving her for the things she’s done wrong – a genuine occurrence of salvation is happening here.

Luke 7:49: “And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?”

Luke 7:50: “And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

When you come to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, He has that eternal peace. It doesn’t matter how it happens, it doesn’t need to be some grand story, Jesus forgives all. It is such a beautiful example that the scripture gives to us in that He forgives her. We don’t know how much sin she committed, but she was forgiven.

Forgiveness Today

How does this apply to you and me? How can we share Jesus with others? These passages of scripture focus on the principle of forgiveness:

Ephesians 4:32: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

What ought a Christian do? Be kind. Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, and forgiving one another. How hard is it to forgive someone when they have done something wrong? Jesus forgave all of us. We are not perfect like He is, but He set forth the principle of forgiveness for us to follow. And if Jesus can forgive, we too can forgive no matter how big the wrongdoing against us might be.

Perhaps the person owes you a lot of money, maybe you can give him a break and forgive them. Remember, as believers our God will supply all our needs. If you can help someone in their time of need, there will be a way that God will help you in your time of need. You may have experienced that in your life already. Why do we need forgiveness? Because God forgave us.

Matthew 18:21: “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?”

How many times have you known people who have done you wrong? We’ve all been wronged by people in life. Peter asks an honest question as to how many times he should forgive someone who has done wrong to him. Coming into the next verse, Jesus was talking about church discipline and talked about giving a person multiple chances to come back into the fold.

Matthew 18:22: “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

Jesus doesn’t want us to forgive someone seven times but 490 times. We don’t need to keep track of how many times we forgive someone. The principle is that we ought to forgive others. If God can forgive the biggest sin committed in our life, then you and I can at least get close to that.

Too many people today hold grudges against people because they’ve been wronged. Think of how we do wrong to God all the time. But God does not give up on us. As hard as it can be at times, we need to forgive people. It hurts our walk with God when we hold grudges. We have to pray for them and show them God’s love. Expect people to wrong you, it is part of the sinful nature that is in this world. But how do you overcome that? With love, care, and compassion to your fellow person. You never know, you might be able to tell them about Jesus, if you just show you care for that one person.

Get in-depth knowledge by viewing or listening to the sermon: Forgiven

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Christopher K. Lewis is the Assistant to the Pastor of West Park Baptist Church. Rev. Lewis helps the senior pastor with various church duties and guiding others to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

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