Two Personalities,Same View,Two Attitudes."Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisees house, and sat down to eat.And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisees house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.Luke 7:36-39Two personalities here and what a contrast.Both had just witnessed miracles that Jesus had just performed."And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.Jesus answered and said to them, Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them."Luke 7:22-22He had just raised the widow of Nain's son and many other miracles and had been invited into this pharisee's home,Simon by name.Then we have this woman who was probably a harlot enter and was standing at his feet,weeping and begin to wash his feet with her tears,which had to be many and wiped them with her hair and then kissed them and anointed them with the fragrant oil.She knew what she was and her condition in the sight of God and she knew who He was and that He was her way to God.This was her Messiah.On the other hand here was a man that was probably well versed in the Word,a prominent leader and had just witnessed the same miracles performed by Jesus and he makes the statement."he spoke to himself, saying, This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner."If he were a prophet?"So self-righteous,that he had no need for Jesus.He saw no need in looking for the Messiah as a Savior.He could not see his own condition,thus no need for a Savior.After Jesus exposes Simon for what he is,He turns to the woman and say's "Your sins are forgiven."Your faith has saved you.Go in peace."You see before Calvary and before the permanent sacrifice had been made for sin,this is how people were saved.They were justified by faith just as us.The Law was given to reveal to them their condition and that they needed a Savior and they looked for God to provide that Savior.All the lamb and other sacrifices pointed to this and their need for the permanent sacrifice that God would provide.Even before the Law was given,they still offered sacrifices with anticipation of this event all the way back to Adam.They were saved on credit you could say,until the permanent sacrifice was made.The woman knew this was her Savior and she needed Him.Simon on the other hand had no need for a Savior or Jesus.Note that Jesus told her "your faith has saved you"not her works.Her faith drew out the works.She new who He was,her need for Him and believed before she ever came in that house and did anything.Note what is said about her." And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisees house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,and stood at His feet behind Him weeping;"She came prepared because she had already accepted Him for who He was.As far as we know the woman didn't utter one word.
DRS, I was considering this very passage this morning! I think you are pointing out that those two perspectives represent two aspects of our society even today. On one hand you have the respectable, and on the other hand you have the disrespected. One of the subtle ways Jesus models for us a Kingdom perspective, is how he can emphathize with everyone, yet seems to avoid especially identifying with any particualr faction of society. He neither panders to the establishment perspective, nor does he "show solidarity with the proletariat". He shows no prejudice or pretense to either the Pharisee, nor the woman. What is interesting is how these two people reveal what's hidden in their hearts, all on their own.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 forgivenas her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. Blessings,MC