by Ivor Powell

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The Home of Simon the Pharisee: To Save a Sinner (17 of 34)
Series: Bible Oases: Spiritual Refreshment From Unlikely Places
Ivor Powell
Luke 7:36

The feast held in the home of the Pharisee presents problems. Why did Simon invite Jesus into his home? Was he trying to enhance his reputation as a generous host? There were others who dined with him (see Luke 7:49). Was he hoping to expose violations of Hebrew law regarding the washing of hands before meals? He believed Jesus might be a prophet, but was he hoping to learn more during the meal? His early condemnation of the Savior revealed a need of understanding and concern. He was a typical Pharisee whose life was dominated by tradition.

The appearance of the immoral woman was not surprising, for the presence of such people was welcomed at functions where guests desired illicit entertainment. That unexpected visitor did certain things destined to make her famous: (1) she came with a gift, (2) stood behind him weeping, (3) washed His feet with her tears, (4) wiped them with her hair, (5) kissed His feet, and (6) anointed His feet with ointment.

Her Reputation... How Condemned

Apparently this woman was a lady of the night who earned a living by breaking the heart of God. She had evidently invested some of her money in precious ointment which she hoped would increase her attractiveness. It supplied aroma which lured customers into moral degradation. Nothing was recorded to explain her first contact with the Savior, therefore it must be assumed she had attended one of His open-air meetings where her life was transformed. His message illuminated the dark recesses of her soul, and forgetting other people, she was condemned by her conscience. It is interesting that she and the proud Pharisee were brought together by Luke to provide an illuminating contrast. Simon the Pharisee was proud, pitiable, and popular, the woman was defiled, disturbed, and determined. Yet the woman had a far better chance of being forgi ...

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