How should those who have been forgiven respond to Jesus? With love. In Luke 7, a sinful woman enters a Pharisee’s house and begins to wash Jesus’ feet. Her tears are the water; her hair is the towel. She then kisses his feet before anointing them with expensive perfume. The forgiveness the woman has been granted drives her to love in such a profound way, to show her immense gratitude towards the one who has saved her life: Jesus. Whoever has been forgiven little loves little, but whoever has been forgiven much loves much. Does your love for Christ show that you have been forgiven of much? When God chose to forgive your sins, He incurred the debt. The wage of your sin was death, but Jesus paid it all for you through his death on the cross. Live as though you have been forgiven of much, because you have been saved graciously by the Lord and the way that you love–and live–should reflect that. . . . . .
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But we’re going to begin with the sermon this morning and I promise we’ll get to some kind of praise and worship, but that’ll be at the very end. And the reason we’re doing that will become a little bit clearer later in the lesson. So if you have a Bible, you could turn to Luke, chapter seven. And I know we haven’t kind of given you enough to get you going, so can I hear an amen when you get there?
That’s the goal. Yeah. Well, when you get there, you didn’t get there yet, so please get there and then say amen. As I mentioned before, again, I’m up here a little bit earlier than usual because we’re going to be doing our singing at the end or our praise and worship at the end. And the reason will become clear later on in the lesson. Luke, chapter seven. We’re going to begin in verse 36. When you’re there, let me hear you say Amen. That was super weak, but we’re just going to go on. As you’re getting there, as you’re preparing, I just want to tell you about where we left off last week. We’ve been in a sermon series through the Ministry of Jesus. It’s about a two year sermon series we started back in January. We’re about halfway through the first year of this two year sermon series. And we left off last week where Jesus rebukes his indifferent followers. And we talked about how that rebuke ended with a compassionate plea. And this was the last verse we ended with last week. It’s this it’s come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. This is the invitation we closed with last week. It’s a beautiful invitation to anyone who has been worn down by life, who doesn’t have the capacity to care for or to carry their own sorrows or burdens. And Jesus says, hey, you come to me and I will teach you a new way to live. The text this morning comes on the heels of that invitation. The text this morning comes after this beautiful invitation to everyone who is weary and burdened. To anyone in all time who does not know how to carry their lives burdens. Today we’re going to meet a woman who is weary and burdened. A woman who accepts Jesus invitation for an easier yoke. And what we’re going to see today is that she and how she comes is an illustration for all time of the heart of the transformed. This account is a core story of the Gospel. I would say it’s one of the most important accounts in all of Scripture because it gives us an answer to a critical question.
And this is the question it gives us an answer to. How should those who have been forgiven respond to Jesus? That’s what we’re going to find out today. I’m excited. Hopefully you’re going to learn something new. This study has been probably for me so far in this series, the most exciting study as I unpacked it. I just learned so much that I hope to share with you today. Okay, are we there? Are you here? All right, great. The account begins in verse 36. And one other quick little note before we read this account is not to be confused with another story with some similarities. There’s a story of Mary Magdalene who anoints Jesus. That’s recorded in Matthew chapter 26 and Mark chapter twelve. I think it’s also in John chapter twelve. Sorry, Mark chapter 14 and John chapter twelve. Those are different stories. We know that they’re different stories because they’re different characters. We also know that they’re different stories because it’s a different setting and also the time is different. So this is not that same story. I have a weird cough. We will get to that story sometime a little bit later, but today Luke seven. And anybody in the back, in the green room or blue room, can you give me a glass of water? That would be awesome. 36, verse 36.
Here we go.
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him. Thank you bro. You’re not in the green room and you gave me water. How I love you. That’s right. Okay? We’re still in Galilee. We’ve been in Galilee for the last couple of months. We are still in Galilee. It’s the same place that we’ve been on that northwestern coast of the Sea of Galilee. All these little tribes and villages, Jesus is in one of them on that northwestern coast. And on this particular occasion, Jesus is invited to a meal. He’s invited to a meal at a Pharisees house. Being invited to a meal at a Pharisees house would not be unusual because Jesus at the time was a celebrity. Why is Jesus a celebrity? Because he’s been healing people for very many months. So people really, really like him. He’s super popular in Galilee. So much so that we’ve said this before, but on a daily basis there is a crowd, sometimes numbering in tens of thousands who are following him from place to place to place. And so Jesus, this celebrity rabbi, would have been invited to many dinners like this. And on some maybe it was a dinner after Sabbath or some other special occasion.
But you get the point, right? You have this man who has extreme notoriety. He’s being invited into a home and you want to have a meal with him. And why do you want to have a meal with him because he’s special. So whatever the circumstances, whether this is a specific Sabbath dinner or some other special occasion, we don’t know. But what we do know is that he’s invited to dinner at a Pharisee’s house. And this pharisees name is Simon we later learned in the text. He’s invited over to a meal. Now, we talked about Pharisees in previous weeks, but let me just give you a quick reminder. A Pharisee was someone who belonged to this really specific group, a tightknit group of religious leaders. One commentator said of these Pharisees that they were fastidious guardians of the law. In other words, they were detail driven and they were sort of lawkeepers. And so they were the people who would set the standard for obedience for the rest of the Jews. So here you have these Pharisees, and they’re legalists, they’re self centered, a lot of them. And, oh, yeah, they hated Jesus. Hated him. Mainly they hated him because Jesus was constantly questioning their authority.
He’s been doing that since the start. And so you can listen to previous messages if you want to find out all about that. But for now, all you need to know is that this Pharisee invites Jesus over to dinner. This Pharisee probably hates Jesus, and yet he’s still invited. Why would he be invited? Well, we get a sense that in the text that he is trying to kind of accumulate some criminal evidence against Jesus. And this is really what the Pharisees have been doing and will be doing for the rest of Jesus ministry. They will be hanging out around the fringes of Jesus, looking for reasons to accuse him, to ultimately put him to death. So we can make an assumption that this is part of a fact finding mission. And so Simon invites Jesus to a meal, maybe under some suspicious circumstances, but Jesus will use this meal to just teach a lesson that is for eternity and goodness gracious, this story is amazing. We move on. Verse 36. Keep going. When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
It says he reclined. The reclining feature is probably not so familiar for us, because when we think of a dinner setting, we typically think about chairs surrounding a table. But that’s not the way the ancient Greeks and the ancient Romans ate dinner. Instead, it looked something more akin to this. See this? There would be a table that went around the perimeter of the inside of a set of long couches. They wouldn’t have any backs or any side walls. They were kind of like lounges or chaises. And if you were attending the party, anyone who was attending the party would lay on these mats and they would either prop themselves up with their elbow or prop themselves on some pillows. And you may ask, why would anybody eat like this? This looks so uncomfortable. And the answer is very, very simple. This position kept feet away from the food. And feet, by the way, are disgusting. So you want to keep these feet as far as humanly possible away from the food. And if you think feet are kind of gross in 21st century America, just think about this. These people walked everywhere and most of the time without close-toed shoes.
Plus, it’s Israel, and Israel is disgusting. It’s dirty, it’s dusty, it’s muddy. And feet would be calloused or bunyan rich. They would be cracked and worn and just. And so you kept the feet away from the food. So you reclined at the table and you ate with kind of your elbow propping up your head. You would reach with your dominant hand and grab some food. And now, in addition to the food, a major part of these dinners would also be the conversation. You invited a guest, like the celebrity Rabbi Jesus, because you wanted to hear his opinions, you wanted to ask him questions, you wanted to challenge his thinkings. And the conversation would be around theological ideas or issues of society or of culture. And because the way these conversations was held, these dinners became kind of like a local form of entertainment. This is hard for us even to understand, but just imagine this. You’re having dinner, and because there’s some sort of celebrity there, the house owner would open up the doors once everyone seated so that the community could come and listen to the conversation. They wouldn’t be allowed to eat the food because that was only for the noble people sitting or reclining at the table.
But they could listen in and it would kind of be like their newspaper or something like that, right? And so they would throw open the doors, allow the local population to observe the dinner and listen to the conversation. And so now you have the scene, right? The scene has been set. Jesus is laying there around the table, and the other movers and shakers are laying around the table. And there would be a crowd of curious onlookers, let’s say, lining the perimeter wall. So you can imagine these walls filled with people. And Jesus is saying something, teaching something. Maybe they’re questioning Jesus. What do you think about this? What would you say about this text of the Torah? Maybe this is where Jesus for the very first time talks about the kingdom of God. Maybe this is where he explains his parables for the first time to these people. Anyway, let’s just say for the sake of setting the scene, that it’s also candle lit because it’s evening. So you’d have a bright table, and on the perimeter walls, it would be a little bit darker. So you couldn’t exactly see who was in the crowd, but you knew there were people there.
You’re with me? Can you see the picture in your mind’s eyes? So again, you have the table, these lounge chairs up next to it. You have the people on the outer wall lining listening to Jesus issues or listening to Jesus take on the issues of the day. And then comes verse 37. If you have a King James or an ESV or lots of other translations, the first word you have is what? Does anybody have one of those? Okay, that’s the NIV ESV. And some of the older translations say the word behold. Behold. It’s a shocking word. It means like something shocking is about to happen. And what’s the shocking thing that’s happening? A woman. Now, I don’t want to say anything else. It wasn’t shocking that a random woman would be there. It was the type of woman that’s there. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life. That is to say, she was likely a prostitute. When she learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there. This is a sinful woman. Again, this is more than likely a prostitute. She is known in the town. These are small towns, and everyone would have known the professional local sex worker.
She has the courage to make her way to this dinner. Obviously, the word got out that Jesus was there and this woman had heard, and she decided to come to be with Jesus. Maybe she had been in the crowd the day before when Jesus said, come to me, all you who are weary. Maybe she had heard the Sermon on the Mount. Maybe she had seen Jesus heal someone or perform a miracle. We don’t know exactly, except we know that she got word that Jesus was there, and she decides she has the courage enough to come in. She has some challenges, though, right? Because she’s known by the local population, the people know her, and someone like this would not have been allowed in a Pharisee’s house. What a tragedy that would have been for the Pharisee. She knows the doors are going to be open, though, so she thinks, maybe I can kind of, like, sneak in. She has a plan, and the Bible makes the plan very clear by telling us what is around her neck. She comes in with an alabaster jar of perfume. Now, many Jewish women had around their necks a vial of perfume.
It was kind of a deodorizing agent. It wasn’t uncommon for a woman to spend a lot of money on perfume. Actually, in preparation for this study, I read one account of a woman who was given an allowance by her husband of 400 gold coins annually for perfume. How much is 400 gold coins, do you know? About an ounce. In today’s money. About an ounce. About a gold coin. An ounce of gold is about $2,000. That means that we’re talking $800,000 worth of perfume a year. How could you possibly spend that much money on perfume? Also, how bad would you have to smell to spend that much money on perfume? I don’t exactly get it, but I’m just saying that’s kind of intense. This is the kind of perfume, by the way, that we’re talking about because it’s in an alabaster jar. Alabaster, we don’t have the time to talk about it, but was quarried in and carved in Egypt. And you wouldn’t put cheap perfume in an alabaster jar. You would put the expensive stuff. So that tells us, one, this woman was probably a successful worker. It also tells us that, man, what she has around her neck is quite expensive, and she is coming to do something that you would have done with an alabaster jar. She is coming to anoint the head of Jesus. We know this because this is what you did with alabaster jars. You’d break the top of it, and you would pour it on someone’s head. It was kind of a blessing, an anointing, a sign of gratitude, a sign of praise or Thanksgiving. The giver of the perfume would open the container and pour it on the recipient’s head, and it would be a blessing, a thanksgiving. You would literally recite some verses, blessing that person. This is what this woman has come to do. She’s there to anoint Jesus head. She’s not there to listen to Jesus take on the news of the day. She’s not there to hear about Jesus position on a particular political thing. She’s there because she wants to anoint Jesus with this costly perfume. I read somewhere that this perfume would have probably cost somewhere in the neighborhood of a year’s wages, give or take $60,000, something like that. This is a radical sacrifice, but this is what she has come to do, and that’s her goal. Now, we find in verse 38 that she comes in. Again, for illustration’s sake, let’s say it’s evening.
Perhaps it’s dim, lit by candles. In the middle of the room right there’s, that lounge, all those people are laying down, and she kind of slips in. I imagine that she’s wearing her head covering. Maybe she’s even wearing a veil so that no one would know who she was. And she slid in with the crowd. She’s hanging out in the background. People are being welcomed in. Maybe the attendants kind of look at her and don’t really know who she is, but just allow her to go in. And she slips in. She makes her way in, and she’s waiting for the perfect moment where she can come break the alabaster jar and pour it on the head of Jesus, because that’s what you did with an alabaster jar. And maybe she takes a deep breath in the back of the crowd, and she goes, okay, I’m ready. It takes a lot of courage. So she steps up, and this is what she says: as she stood behind him at his feet. She goes to the feet of Jesus. Remember, he’s laying down. She’s laying down. So she’s behind him at his feet, and her mind is wondering how and when she’s going to possibly have the opportunity to anoint Jesus.
And as she’s standing there, something interesting happens. The Bible says she begins weeping. Just a flood of who, a flood of emotion. As she thinks about who she is with, she’s weeping, overwhelmed with emotion. Martin Luther called this her heart water. I kind of like that. It’s just a burst of emotion that comes from her eyes. And the dam is broken over and she’s just weeping. And as she’s crying, naturally she looks down and what she sees is Jesus feet. His callous ridden, cracked, dry, dirty feet. And she notices that his feet are still dirty. By the way, this is a social disgrace. You can read about this on your own, but the general principle was that the host of a dinner like this would have provided some sort of servant to clean the feet of their honored guest. It was just a normal sign of hospitality. Feet are disgusting, right? And one of the commonest hospitality measures you can give somebody was to clean their feet. But she looks down as she’s crying, and she sees his feet are dirty. So since the tears are profusely running down her face and she has no water, the Bible says this.
She began to wet his feet with her tears. The Greek word here for wet is the word rain. Literally, she’s raining tears onto his feet. She has no water but her tears. But it’s enough to wash his feet. Caught up in the fact that nobody has given even the simplest dignity to this man by washing his feet, she begins to wash his feet with her tears. And she has no towel. How is she going to rub and scrub his feet? So her emotion wells up to the point where she wipes them, his feet with her hair. She takes down her hair. All Jewish women would have worn their hair up. It was required by law. As a matter of fact, some rabbis would say that it was grounds for divorce if a woman would let down her hair in public. She doesn’t even care about any of that. She takes on the shame of all of it. She kind of manifests a kind of nonself consciousness. Her tears are the water. Her hair is the sponge or the towel or the wiping agent. And once his feet had been cleaned by her tears and scrubbed by her hair, it says she kissed his feet.
That’s an intense word. The word kiss here is the same word used in Luke 15 about the father’s kisses to the son when the prodigal son comes back. It’s an embracing, kissing. It’s a leaning on the neck. It’s an embracing and a kissing and a kissing. It’s kind of that posture you have when you haven’t seen your child in a long time. And they come back home and you kiss them and you hug them and you hold them. It’s the posture of a dad to a son. It’s a continuous embracing and embracing, a kissing, a clinging to. Even the word of hugging is included in this word. She embraces his feet. She does not let go of them. So there he is at his feet. And meanwhile, we don’t know how the table is reacting because maybe she’s still in the background, right? Maybe the people across are like, what is going on behind Jesus feet? What’s happening back there? Once again, she’s so completely swept up in emotion. Then comes her final act of generosity. She pours perfume on his feet. She decides she can’t wait any longer. Maybe she’s not going to have the opportunity to anoint his head.
She swept away in the motion. She snaps the alabaster jar and pours the costly perfume all over his grimy, dirty feet. Not on the part of your body that needs to be anointed, but on the part of your body that is seen as the worst. She pours the costly perfume all over them and rubs them into his feet. Can you imagine that in the room? And maybe Simon can smell the alabaster jar being broken open. And he looks over and he looks at it, and he says, is that the prostitute? Is that that woman that’s on the street corner kissing the rabbi’s feet? And this is what he starts thinking. And he thinks to himself, says, when the pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, if this man were a prophet, he would know who was touching him and what kind of woman she is, that she’s a sinner. This is inside of his head. Nobody hears this. He’s just thinking it out loud. He’s like all these people are saying he’s a prophet. There’s no way he’s a prophet, because if he was a prophet, he would know who was touching him.
Simon is disgusted by the scene. He’s certainly disgusted by the woman. He’s disgusted by what Jesus allows him to do. But it’s kind of like a satisfying disgust, because he’s vindicated in believing that Jesus is not that special. Well, it’s time for Jesus to speak to Simon. And verse 40, I just love Jesus answered him. There’s no question for Jesus to answer. What is Jesus answering? Jesus is answering Simon’s thinking. You better not think anything without assuming that Jesus knows what you’re thinking. Simon, I have something to tell you. Something to tell you. Tell me, teacher, he says. And then he tells a story. Oh, this is such a good story. Two people owed money to a certain money lender. One owed 500 denarii, the other 50. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both of them. Simple story. Money lender. A guy comes into the money lender, a guy comes into Chase Bank. I need 500 denarii. 500 denarii? A denari is a day’s wages, so we’re talking 500 days wages. That’s what he needs about a year and a half of money, okay? He comes in, the money lender goes, all right, you can have it.
Then another person comes in and they need 50. That’s like two months, give or take two months wages. He notices. He gives it to him, too. The money lender notices that they don’t actually have the money to pay it back. They can’t even pay the money back that they’ve borrowed. And so the money lender graciously forgives both of them. Simple story, right? By the way, can you imagine that? Can you imagine if the person who has the lien on your car calls you and goes, you know what? Your car’s debt is forgiven. I mean, that would be a happy day, right? I’m forgiven. What?
You hang up as fast as you can so that they don’t change their mind. Imagine some of you have a mortgage on your home. Imagine whoever holds the mortgage calls you. Mr. Copper calls me and says, you know what, Tony? I’ve realized that it’s been hard. Inflation is at 9.5% and things are really difficult. I’m just going to go ahead and forgive the debt on your home. Yeah, right? Like, what do you do? You just celebrate. You throw a party. You’re excited. You’ve been forgiven. Imagine, right, your student loan debt. I know some of you guys, $300,000. Some of you all craziness, student loan debt wiped clear. Imagine your credit card debt. You don’t have that because Dave Ramsey, right? Come on. But hypothetically, you had credit card debt. They just said it’s gone, right? Wow. It’s forgiven. Forgiveness is not only a business term, but it’s also a theological term. It’s magnanimous. It’s a generous thing, right, to be forgiven. You know what makes forgiveness so generous? Do you know what makes it? And this is kind of profound. It’s this. Anytime someone forgives a debt, they themselves incur that debt. Debt doesn’t just go away.
Someone has to pay it. If you lend 500 days wages, if you lend $100,000, $120,000, if you lend that out and you say, I forgive it, the person who forgives the debt now incurs the debt. The cost is transferred to the right. I have to pay it now. And by the way, to understand that is to get insight into God’s forgiveness for you, right? That when God forgave your sin, he incurred the debt, and Jesus died to pay that debt. He paid the debt. The debt doesn’t just go away. It still has to be paid. But the forgiver incurs it and then pays it. And it’s not just forgiveness and then it’s gone. It’s forgiveness. And then I have to figure out how to pay it. Which is why I think we need to learn to be significantly more grateful for our forgiveness. You’ve been forgiven of the sins you committed, but remember, the wages of your sin were death. And Jesus took that death on. We need to be so much more grateful for the forgiveness that we’ve received. So he tells us a little story and then he ends the story with this question.
Now, which of them will love more? Who’s going to love greater? Who’s going to love the money lender more? The person who’s been forgiven more or the person who’s been forgiven less? Now, the pharisee Simon, who knows, he’s kind of been trapped, says this, I suppose. Sorry. Yeah, okay. I suppose the one who has had a bigger debt forgiven. You judge correctly. Good. You’re right. You got it. Right. What’s the principle? What’s the principal, Mr. Simon. The pharisee. What’s the principal? Here’s the principal. Sorry, go back. Whoever has been forgiven most will love most. Good. You got it. Pharisee. All of us got it. The principal is clear. Whoever’s been forgiven the most is going to love the most. Simple. This is super, super simple. Super simple. If you’ve been forgiven the most, you’re going to love the most. Then verse 44 is what it says. Then he turns towards the woman and says to Simon, do you see this woman? The scene again. There’s the table, everyone’s laying down. And for the very first time, Jesus sits up. This woman has been weeping on Jesus feet, drying them with her hair, pouring perfume on it. And now Jesus sits up and looks at Simon and then looks at the woman. And he’s looking at the woman while he’s talking to Simon. He says, do you see this woman? And of course, everyone in the crowd, everyone around the table now is looking at the woman. Do you see this woman? Again, what’s the principal? Whoever has been forgiven most loves most.
Great love equals great forgiveness. Right? We’ve established that, as a matter of fact, Simon, you said that.
You said it, Simon. Turns to the woman who has just washed his feet and everyone else turns there. Do you see this woman? And then listen to what he says to Simon. 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 this woman 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. What would make somebody be so gracious? What would make somebody be so ornate in their sacrifice? Or have this type of sacrificial love for somebody so willing to disregard the shame that they’re going to receive? Or the criticism they were going to receive? I mean, this woman this is over the top, right? This is bizarre. I mean, weeping all over somebody’s feet, drying it with your hair pouring out $50,000 worth of perfume on someone’s feet.
This is extravagant behavior. And here’s the question why is she showing Jesus so much love? Why? And here’s the simple answer, Simon. You already said it. Because somebody who has been forgiven much, loves much. And this woman whose sins were many are now gone. And it’s that little statement where we begin, where this passage begins to make total sense, right? Her many sins have been forgiven, by the way, have been forgiven is perfect tense, meaning it didn’t happen right there. Have been forgiven means her sins have perfect tense been forgiven. If you start listening to that, it starts making sense. So the key to this whole lavish love, the key to this whole dedication, is that what’s the principal? Someone who has been forgiven much will love much she had been forgiven. I read this in a commentary, and I said, no, there’s no way. Perfect tense. That doesn’t make any sense. So I studied, like, probably 17 other commentaries to figure out if this was true. And at the end of the day, I can pretty much confidently let you know that there was some point in some other place where Jesus had forgiven this woman.
Some other time and at some other place, there had been some sort of interaction. Maybe it was the day before. Maybe she was standing on the street corner trying to have just one more appointment to end her day. And maybe Jesus walked right over to her and looked at her like no one had ever looked at her not as an object, but as someone who he could love. And maybe she saw that love in his eyes, and he spoke to her and he said to her on that day, maybe like the woman at the well, I know your secrets. I know all of what’s going on in your heart, and I’ve come to redeem you. Or maybe she had heard him the day before, a couple of days before, saying, I have a better yoke for you to carry. And maybe she thought to herself, I need to meet that Jesus. And she came over to him, brokenhearted and distraught and burdened and wary, and she came over to him, and Jesus looked at her and loved her. We don’t know, but all we know is that this woman has come forgiven. She has come redeemed.
She has come redeemed. And so she comes with a lot of love. And by the way, isn’t that the point of Jesus’s little story? This woman had been forgiven much, and so she loves much. Simon, why are you seeing so much love? Because you’ve seen someone who has been forgiven of much. Simon thought Jesus didn’t know her, but Simon was very wrong. In fact, he had redeemed her. He had loved her. Her guilt was gone. Her shame was over. Her life was different. Her longing was fulfilled. And because of all that she sneaks in to Anoint to bless, to praise, to worship, to show gratitude towards the Savior, who she never deserved. She took it into her own hands, realizing he had been disgraced, she said, I am not allowing my Savior to be disgraced like you’re disgracing him. Swept away with affection and love for the one who had forgiven her. She loved him. Simon didn’t do anything, right? You Simon, you didn’t do anything for me. You didn’t show me love or honor or respect. You insulted me with your lack of respect. The host gave no water. She gave her tears. The host gave no towels. She gave her hair. The host gave not even a cheap little bit of oil to anoint his head, but she poured expensive oil or perfume all over his feet. Isn’t that story just incredible? She’s weeping and holding. She’s emotional. I would imagine that after the story is told, she just doesn’t let go. This is my Savior. This is the one I love. This is the one who redeemed me. We’re going to make it practical, but first, let’s just finish the story. Verse 49. The other guests began to say amongst themselves, who is this? Who is this who even forgives sins? They’re not even doubting that Jesus can forgive sins. They’re just like, I don’t even understand who this guy is. Verse 50. Jesus said to the woman, your faith has saved you. Go in peace. Go in peace is literally, go into peace. Go into God’s shalom. Live in peace. Why? Because you’re free. I love you. You’re mine. You don’t have to be shame-ridden. You’re mine. You don’t have to be thinking of all these people around you. You’re good. Go in peace. Go in peace. This is amazing, right? What a great story.
What a great story. Now here’s the question for you. It’s really simple. This is for you. This makes it practical. This kind of brings it home. This is the point for you. Does your love for Christ show that you have been forgiven of much? Or is it more like a favor that you come to church or read your Bible like, oh, I got to do God a favor. I got to sacrifice a little here. Does your love for Him show that you have been forgiven much? We should be marked by our love like this woman. We should come into the presence of God, whatever the situation, whether corporately or individually, with the sense of love. Oh, I’m so excited to hear from Jesus word being preached. I’m so grateful to be around his body, to see glimmers of who he is in the eyes and the lives of the people around him. We should come into his presence with a sense of gratitude and sacrifice and passion. We should see other people who disrespect the name of our Savior, and we should be like, no, I will never let that happen. I will guard his respect against anybody else, right?
Like, this is the way we should live. We should worship hard. We should be singers who sing a lot and loud. We should sacrifice our time, our energy, our money for the sake of Christ and his body. We should give and give. If we’ve been forgiven, unless you don’t believe you’ve been forgiven much, in which case your love will be little. Your love will have little passion, your love will have little sacrifice, your sacrifice will have little energy. Your compassion and your fellowship and your love for other people will have a little bit of energy to draw from. Why do we sacrifice? Why do we come together? Why do we pray and read? It’s because we love so much. But why do we love so much? Well, it’s because we’ve been forgiven for so much. And if your love for Christ has grown dim, your love for Christ has grown dim. I want to give you some encouragement to get back. Here are some ideas. These are three really simple ideas. And the band is going to come back on stage because we’re going to end with some singing, you know why? Confess. If your love for Christ has grown dim, confess where you’re lacking. Confess it to others. Confess it to God. God, I don’t feel excited about praising you. I don’t feel excited about praying to you. I don’t feel excited about giving sacrificially to you. I just don’t feel the motivation to help other people find you like I once had. Confess it. Talk about where it’s lacking.
Next, ask God to give you a heart that is passion for him again. Lord, would you fill me with that passion I had in my youth? Would you bring me back to the love and the excitement I once had? Ask God to fill you with passion again. And then next, live a lifestyle of, I should say abundant or grandiose love. Live a lifestyle of love. When you come in here, there should be a sense of I love you, I love my brothers. I’m going to have a smile on my face, I’m going to give to them, I’m going to sing. And when I sing, I’m going to sing loudly. When we’re praying, I’m going to pray contemplatively. When I read, I’m going to read passionately. When I’m engaging in caring for the poor, I’m going to do it as if Jesus were beside me.
Live a lifestyle of love. You can get your passion back. You can get it back. But man, how do we know? How do we know? And there’s only one way how do we know if you have truly been forgiven much? Well, it’s whether or not you love much and that’s it. So if you’ve been forgiven much, let’s learn to love more than we have. Corporately there’s a few things we do in terms of ways of living out our lifestyle of love. Or living out our lifestyle of worship. And it’s really I mean, we pray together, but we sing together. That’s sort of like one of our things. It’s kind of bizarre if you think about it. Like, other places don’t come together for a meeting and then sing, but we do that. Singing is so much a part of what we do in the church. And the reason is because what we’re doing is these songs are all like either dedications or declarations of who God is or we’re saying something about what we believe and what we hold on to. Hey, I am like this, or I’ve been doing this. We’re going to start with a song about this story.
It’s called give it all. I give it all my Everything because you gave it all your everything. I found my life when I lost it all right. You’re just praising God, right? You’re singing to Him, but if you’re like I found my life what? I loved it all maybe the sign is, oh, you have little love because you don’t remember how much you’ve been forgiven. Or maybe you’re like, I don’t like this style of song. This thing is not my favorite. And if you’re thinking that, maybe the problem is that you’ve kind of lost the whole point. The whole point is not about whether or not you like the style of songs. The point is whether or not you’re willing to praise God however, we’re praising God to give Him our whole heart. So we’re going to sing. We’re going to practice our singing. It’s going to be corporate. I’m going to sit over there. It’s going to be awesome. Consider the words that we’re singing. Pray to him in your heart. As we’re singing. As we grow in our affection think about what we’re singing and think about how much you love Him because you think about how much you’ve been forgiven of we can all stand.
amazing grave how sweep a sound that saved a wretch like me but now I’m found was blind but now I see on my heart
earth shall soon dissolve like snow the sun forbid to shine who calls me here below will I be forever forever but he couldn’t feel me on my heart in empty place and treasures I fade I’m never burning know
nothing nothing is better than yours to show you my weakness.
Enjoy your Sunday.
All right, guys.
What an amazing service. Something I love about the scriptures is that God has taken moments in time and he has broken them down and has put thought into just one scene, one scenario. And that woman who was watching Jesus feet, there was so much there. Her tears, her service, the money she spent, the time she spent, the shame she didn’t give into in order to serve God. And the way that Tony broke that down was amazing. One of the questions that he gave us was, does your love show how much you’ve been forgiven? And I think that it’s easy, the longer you’re in the face, to kind of forget that moment when you decided to follow Jesus and not forget the moment, but forget what was really going on there. And for me, I’ve been actually thinking about this, and I’ve been thinking, man, I used to think that that moment of me becoming a disciple life was kind of normal and like different things. But when I started to think of the relationship I had with my father, my mother, my sister, or even the family dynamic, jesus has healed so much more than I recall.
So it’s amazing. We want to encourage you guys at home to reflect on that. Reflect on the love of God in your life and how can that compel you not only love God more, but others as well? All right, guys, hopefully we see you next Sunday. Go ahead and share this content. We love you and catch you on the next one.