| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |

 

Luke Chapter Seven

 

Luke 7

Hence, after this, we find the Spirit acting in the heart of a Gentile (chap. 7). That heart manifested more faith than any among the children of Israel. Humble in heart, and loving the people of God, as such, for the sake of God, whose people they were, and thus raised in his affections above their practical wretched state, he can see in Jesus One who had authority over everything, even as he himself had over his soldiers and servants. He knew nothing of the Messiah, but he recognised in Jesus [1] the power of God. This was not mere idea; it was faith. There was no such faith in Israel.

The Lord then acts with a power which was to be the source of that which is new for man. He raises the dead. This was indeed going beyond the pale of the ordinances of the law. He has compassion on the affliction and misery of man. Death was a burden to him: Jesus delivers him from it. It was not only cleansing a leprous Israelite, nor pardoning and healing believers among His people; He restores life to one who had lost it. Israel, no doubt, will profit by it; but the power necessary to the accomplishment of this work is that which makes all things new wherever it may be.

The change of which we speak, and which these two examples so strikingly illustrate, is brought out in treating of the connection between Christ and John the Baptist, who sends to learn from the Lord's own mouth who He is. John had heard of His miracles, and sends his disciples to learn who it was that wrought them. Naturally the Messiah, in the exercise of His power, would have delivered him from prison. Was He the Messiah? or was John to wait for another? He had faith enough to depend on the answer of One who wrought these miracles; but, shut up in prison, his mind desired something more positive. This circumstance, brought about by God, gives rise to an explanation respecting the relative position of John and Jesus. The Lord does not here receive testimony from John. John was to receive Christ upon the testimony He gave of Himself; and that as having taken a position which would offend those who judged according to Jewish and carnal ideas-a position which required faith in a divine testimony, and, consequently, surrounded itself with those whom a moral change had enabled to appreciate this testimony. The Lord, in reply to John's messengers, works miracles which prove the power of God present in grace and service rendered to the poor; and declares that blessed is he who is not offended at the humble position He had taken in order to accomplish it. But He gives testimony to John, if He will receive none from him. He had attracted the attention of the people, and with reason; he was more than a prophet-he had prepared the way of the Lord Himself. Nevertheless, if he prepared the way, the immense and complete change to be made was not itself accomplished. John's ministry, by its very nature, put him outside the effect of this change. He went before it to announce the One who would accomplish it, whose presence would bring in its power on the earth. The least therefore in the kingdom was greater than he.

The people, who had received with humility the word sent by John the Baptist, bore testimony in their heart to the ways and the wisdom of God. Those who trusted in themselves rejected the counsels of God accomplished in Christ. The Lord, on this, declares plainly what their condition is. They rejected alike the warnings and the grace of God. The children of wisdom (those in whom the wisdom of God wrought) acknowledged and gave glory to it in its ways. This is the history of the reception both of John and of Jesus. The wisdom of man denounced the ways of God. The righteous severity of His testimony against evil, against the condition of His people, shewed to man's eyes the influence of a devil. The perfection of His grace, condescending to poor sinners, and presenting itself to them where they were, was the wallowing in sin and the making oneself known by one's associates. Proud self-righteousness could bear neither. The wisdom of God would be owned by those who were taught by it, and by those alone.

Thereupon these ways of God towards the most wretched sinners, and their effect, in contrast with this pharisaic spirit, are shewn, in the history of the woman who was a sinner in the Pharisee's house; and a pardon is revealed, not with reference to the government of God in the earth on behalf of His people (a government with which the healing of an Israelite under God's discipline was connected), but an absolute pardon, involving peace to the soul, is granted to the most miserable of sinners. It was not here merely the question of a prophet. The Pharisee's self-righteousness could not discern even that.

We have a soul that loves God, and much, because God is love-a soul that has learnt this with regard to, and by means of, its own sins, though not yet knowing forgiveness, in seeing Jesus. This is grace. Nothing more touching than the way in which the Lord shews the presence of those qualities which made this woman now truly excellent-qualities connected with the discernment of His Person by faith. In her were found divine understanding of the Person of Christ, not reasoned out indeed in doctrine but felt in its effect in her heart, deep sense of her own sin, humility, love for that which was good, devotedness to Him who was good. Everything shewed a heart in which reigned sentiments proper to relationship with God-sentiments that flowed from His presence revealed in the heart, because He had made Himself known to it. This, however, is not the place to dwell upon them; but it is important to remark that which has great moral value, when what a free pardon really is is to be set forth, that the exercise of grace on God's part creates (when received into the heart) sentiments corresponding to itself, and which nothing else can produce; and that these sentiments are in connection with that grace, and with the sense of sin it produces. It gives a deep consciousness of sin, but it is in connection with the sense of God's goodness; and the two feelings increase in mutual proportion. The new thing, sovereign grace, can alone produce these qualities, which answer to the nature of God Himself, whose true character the heart has apprehended, and with whom it is in communion; and that, while judging sin as it deserves in the presence of such a God.

It will be observed, that this is connected with the knowledge of Christ Himself, who is the manifestation of this character; the true source by grace of the feeling of this broken heart; and also that the knowledge of her pardon comes afterward. [2]

It is grace-it is Jesus Himself-His Person-that attracts this woman and produces the moral effect. She goes away in peace when she understands the extent of grace in the pardon which He pronounces. And the pardon itself has its force in her mind, in that Jesus was everything to her. If He forgave, she was satisfied. Without accounting for it to herself, it was God revealed to her heart; it was not self-approval, nor the judgment others might form of the change wrought in her. Grace had so taken possession of her heart-grace personified in Jesus-God was so manifested to her, that His approval in grace, His forgiveness, carried everything else with it. If He was satisfied, so was she. She had all in attaching this importance to Christ. Grace delights to bless, and the soul that attaches importance enough to Christ is content with the blessing it bestows. How striking is the firmness with which grace asserts itself, and does not fear to withstand the judgment of man who despises it! It takes unhesitatingly the part of the poor sinner whom it has touched. Man's judgment only proves that he neither knows nor appreciates God in the most perfect manifestation of His nature. To man, with all his wisdom, it is but a poor preacher, who deceives himself in passing for a prophet, and to whom it is not worth while to give a little water for his feet. To the believer it is perfect and divine love, it is perfect peace if he has faith in Christ. Its fruits are not yet before man; they are before God, if Christ is appreciated. And he who appreciates Him thinks neither of himself nor of his fruits (except of the bad), but of the One who was the testimony of grace to his heart when he was nothing but a sinner.

This is the new thing-grace, and even its fruits in their perfection: the heart of God manifested in grace, and the heart of man-a sinner-responding to it by grace, having apprehended, or rather having been apprehended by, the perfect manifestation of that grace in Christ.

Footnotes

[1] We have seen this to be precisely the subject of the Holy Ghost in our Gospel.

[2] To explain the expression, "Her sins are forgiven, for she loved much," we must distinguish between grace revealed in the Person of Jesus, and the pardon He announced to those whom the grace had reached. The Lord is able to make this pardon known. He reveals it to the poor woman. But it was that which she had seen in Jesus Himself, which, by grace, melted her heart and produced the love she had to Him-the seeing what He was for sinners like herself. She thinks only of Him: He has taken possession of her heart so as to shut out other influences. Hearing that He is there, she goes into the house of this proud man, without thinking of anything but the fact that Jesus is there. His presence answered, or prevented, every question. She saw what He was for a sinner, and that the most wretched and disgraced found a resource in Him; she felt her sins in the way that this perfect grace, which opens the heart and wins confidence, causes them to be felt; and she loved much. Grace in Christ had produced its effect. She loved because of His love. This is the reason that the Lord says, "Her sins are forgiven, because she loved much." It was not that her love was meritorious for this, but that God revealed the glorious fact that the sins-be they ever so numerous and abominable-of one whose heart was turned to God were fully pardoned. There are many whose hearts are turned to God, and who love Jesus, that do not know this. Jesus pronounces on their case with authority-sends them away in peace. It is a revelation-and answer-to the wants and affections produced in the heart made penitent by grace revealed in the Person of Christ. If God manifests Himself in this world, and with such love, He must needs set aside in the heart every other consideration. And thus, without being aware of it, this poor woman was the only one who acted suitably in those circumstances; for she appreciated the all-importance of the One who was there. A Saviour-God being present, of what importance was Simon and his house? Jesus caused all else to be forgotten. Let us remember this. The beginning of man's fall was loss of confidence in God, by the seducing suggestion of Satan that God had kept back what would make man like God. Confidence in God lost, man seeks, in the exercise of his own will, to make himself happy: lusts, sin, transgression follow. Christ is God in infinite love, winning back the confidence of man's heart to God. Removal of guilt, and power to live to God, are another thing, and found in their own place through Christ, as pardon comes in its place here. But the poor woman, through grace, had felt that there was one heart she could trust, if none else; but that was God's. God is light and God is love. These are the two essential names of God, and in every true case of conversion both are found. In the cross they meet; sin is brought fully into the light, but in that by which love is fully known. So in the heart light reveals sin, that is God as light does, but the light is there by perfect love. The God who shews the sins is there in perfect love to do it. Christ was this in this world. Revealing Himself, He must be both; so Christ was love in the world, but the light of it. So in the heart. The love through grace gives confidence, and thus the light is gladly let in, and in the confidence in the love, and seeing self in the light, the heart has wholly met God's heart: so with this poor woman. This is where the heart of man and God always and alone meet. The Pharisee had neither. Pitch dark, neither love nor light were there. He had God manifest in the flesh in his house and saw nothing-only settled that He was not a prophet. It is a wondrous scene to see these three hearts. Man's as such resting on false human righteousness, God's, and the poor sinner's-fully meeting it as God did hers. Who was the child of wisdom? for it is a commentary on that expression. And note, though Christ had said nothing of it, but bowed to the slight, yet He was not insensible to the neglect which had not met Him with the comm on courtesies of life. To Simon He was a poor preacher, whose pretensions he could judge, certainly not a prophet; for the poor woman, God in love, and bringing her heart into unison with His as to her sins and as to herself, for love was trusted in. Note, too, this clinging to Jesus is where true light is found: here the fruitful revelation of the gospel; to Mary Magdalene, as to the highest privilege of saints.

── John DarbySynopsis of Luke

 

Luke 7

Chapter Contents

The centurion's servant healed. (1-10) The widow's son raised. (11-18) John the Baptist's inquiry concerning Jesus. (19-35) Christ anointed in the house of the Pharisee The parable of the two debtors. (36-50)

Commentary on Luke 7:1-10

(Read Luke 7:1-10)

Servants should study to endear themselves to their masters. Masters ought to take particular care of their servants when they are sick. We may still, by faithful and fervent prayer, apply to Christ, and ought to do so when sickness is in our families. The building places for religious worship is a good work, and an instance of love to God and his people. Our Lord Jesus was pleased with the centurion's faith; and he never fails to answer the expectations of that faith which honours his power and love. The cure soon wrought and perfect.

Commentary on Luke 7:11-18

(Read Luke 7:11-18)

When the Lord saw the poor widow following her son to the grave, he had compassion on her. See Christ's power over death itself. The gospel call to all people, to young people particularly, is, Arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light and life. When Christ put life into him, it appeared by the youth's sitting up. Have we grace from Christ? Let us show it. He began to speak: whenever Christ gives us spiritual life, he opens the lips in prayer and praise. When dead souls are raised to spiritual life, by Divine power going with the gospel, we must glorify God, and look upon it as a gracious visit to his people. Let us seek for such an interest in our compassionate Saviour, that we may look forward with joy to the time when the Redeemer's voice shall call forth all that are in their graves. May we be called to the resurrection of life, not to that of damnation.

Commentary on Luke 7:19-35

(Read Luke 7:19-35)

To his miracles in the kingdom of nature, Christ adds this in the kingdom of grace, To the poor the gospel is preached. It clearly pointed out the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, that the messenger he sent before him to prepare his way, did it by preaching repentance and reformation of heart and life. We have here the just blame of those who were not wrought upon by the ministry of John Baptist or of Jesus Christ himself. They made a jest of the methods God took to do them good. This is the ruin of multitudes; they are not serious in the concerns of their souls. Let us study to prove ourselves children of Wisdom, by attending the instructions of God's word, and adoring those mysteries and glad tidings which infidels and Pharisees deride and blaspheme.

Commentary on Luke 7:36-50

(Read Luke 7:36-50)

None can truly perceive how precious Christ is, and the glory of the gospel, except the broken-hearted. But while they feel they cannot enough express self-abhorrence on account of sin, and admiration of his mercy, the self-sufficient will be disgusted, because the gospel encourages such repenting sinners. The Pharisee, instead of rejoicing in the tokens of the woman's repentance, confined his thoughts to her former bad character. But without free forgiveness none of us can escape the wrath to come; this our gracious Saviour has purchased with his blood, that he may freely bestow it on every one that believes in him. Christ, by a parable, forced Simon to acknowledge that the greater sinner this woman had been, the greater love she ought to show to Him when her sins were pardoned. Learn here, that sin is a debt; and all are sinners, are debtors to Almighty God. Some sinners are greater debtors; but whether our debt be more or less, it is more than we are able to pay. God is ready to forgive; and his Son having purchased pardon for those who believe in him, his gospel promises it to them, and his Spirit seals it to repenting sinners, and gives them the comfort. Let us keep far from the proud spirit of the Pharisee, simply depending upon and rejoicing in Christ alone, and so be prepared to obey him more zealously, and more strongly to recommend him unto all around us. The more we express our sorrow for sin, and our love to Christ, the clearer evidence we have of the forgiveness of our sins. What a wonderful change does grace make upon a sinner's heart and life, as well as upon his state before God, by the full remission of all his sins through faith in the Lord Jesus!

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Luke

 

Luke 7

Verse 3

[3] And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.

Hearing of Jesus — Of his miracles, and of his arrival at Capernaum.

Verse 18

[18] And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.

Matthew 11:2.

Verse 22

[22] Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

To the poor the Gospel is preached — Which is the greatest mercy, and the greatest miracle of all.

Verse 24

[24] And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

When the messengers were departed — He did not speak the following things in the hearing of John's disciples, lest he should seem to flatter John, or to compliment him into an adherence to his former testimony. To avoid all suspicion of this kind, he deferred his commendation of him, till the messengers were gone; and then delivered it to the people, to prevent all imaginations, as if John were wavering in his judgment, and had sent the two disciples for his own, rather than their satisfaction.

Verse 27

[27] This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Malachi 3:1.

Verse 28

[28] For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

There is not a greater prophet than John — A greater teacher.

But he that is least in the kingdom of God — The least teacher whom I send forth.

Verse 29

[29] And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

And all the people — Our Lord continues his discourse: justified God - Owned his wisdom and mercy in thus calling them to repentance, and preparing them for Him that was to come.

Verse 30

[30] But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

But the Pharisees and scribes — The good, learned, honourable men: made void the counsel, the gracious design, of God toward them - They disappointed all these methods of his love, and would receive no benefit from them.

Verse 32

[32] They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.

They are like children sitting in the market place — So froward and perverse, that no contrivance can be found to please them. It is plain our Lord means, that they were like the children complained of, not like those that made the complaint.

Verse 34

[34] The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

But wisdom is justified by all her children — The children of wisdom are those who are truly wise unto salvation. The wisdom of God in all these dispensations, these various methods of calling sinners to repentance, is owned and heartily approved by all these.

Verse 36

[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.

And one of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him — Let the candour with which our Lord accepted this invitation, and his gentleness and prudence at this ensnaring entertainment, teach us to mingle the wisdom of the serpent, with the innocence and sweetness of the dove. Let us neither absolutely refuse all favours, nor resent all neglects, from those whose friendship is at best very doubtful, and their intimacy by no means safe.

Verse 37

[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,

A woman — Not the same with Mary of Bethany, who anointed him six days before his last passover.

Verse 40

[40] And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

And Jesus said, Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee — So tender and courteous am address does our Lord use even to a proud, censorious Pharisee!

Verse 43

[43] Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

Which of them will love him most? — Neither of them will love him at all, before he has forgiven them. An insolvent debtor, till he is forgiven, does not love, but fly his creditor.

Verse 44

[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.

Thou gavest me no water — It was customary with the Jews to show respect and kindness to their welcome guests, by saluting them with a kiss, by washing their feet, and anointing their heads with oil, or some fine ointment.

Verse 47

[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.

Those many sins of hers are forgiven; therefore she loveth much — The fruit of her having had much forgiven. It should carefully be observed here, that her love is mentioned as the effect and evidence, not the cause of her pardon. She knew that much had been forgiven her, and therefore she loved much.

Verse 50

[50] And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Thy faith hath saved thee — Not thy love. Love is salvation.

── John ‘WesleyExplanatory Notes on Luke

 

Chapter 7. Faith, Hope and Love

Love the Nation
Build the Synagogue

I. The Centurion's Faith

  1. Valuable Servant
  2. Say One Word
  3. Be Healed

II. A Widow's Son Comes Back to Life

  1. A Weeping Mother
  2. The Merciful Savior
  3. Sit up and Begin to Speak

III. More Love, More Forgiveness

  1. Praise John
  2. A Sinful woman
  3. Parable of More Love
── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament
                             
The Two Debtors (Lk 7:41-43)
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. Do you appreciate what Jesus has done for you?  Does your service
   and devotion to Jesus demonstrate the true extent of your
   appreciation?
   a. If you are slack in your service, what does that indicate?
   b. If you wish you could be more diligent in your service, what 
      would help to motivate you?
 
2. Answers to these questions are found in a parable and its setting 
   that Jesus told on an occasion where He was invited to eat at the 
   house of a Pharisee - Lk 7:36-50
 
[As we continue our series on "The Parables Of Jesus", let's examine 
the setting and parable itself that has become to be known as the 
parable of "The Two Debtors"...]
 
I. THE PARABLE AND ITS SETTING
 
   A. THE SETTING...
      1. Jesus accepts an invitation to eat at a Pharisee's house 
         - Lk 7:36
      2. A woman "who was a sinner" (perhaps a prostitute) comes in...
         a. She brings an alabaster flask of fragrant oil - Lk 7:37
         b. She first stands behind Jesus, weeping - Lk 7:38a
         c. She then washes His feet with her tears, and wipes them 
            with her hair - Lk 7:38b
         d. Finally, she kisses His feet and anoints them with the 
            fragrant oil - Lk 7:38c
      3. The host wonders whether Jesus could truly be a prophet, for 
         if so He would know what kind of woman she was - Lk 7:39
      4. Knowing what is in the Pharisee's heart, Jesus offers to say
         something - Lk 7:40
 
   B. THE PARABLE ITSELF...
      1. A creditor had two debtors - Lk 7:41
         a. One owed five hundred denarii
         b. The other owed fifty denarii (a denarius was equivalent to
            a day's wage)
      2. The debtors could not repay, yet the creditor forgave them 
         both - Lk 7:42a
 
   C. JESUS FOLLOWS UP WITH A QUESTION AND APPLICATION...
      1. He challenges Simon (the Pharisee) with a question - Lk 7:42b
         -43
         a. "Which of them (the debtors) will love him (the creditor)
             more?"
         b. Simon's response:  "I suppose the one whom he forgave more"
            1) Does "I suppose" suggest a reluctance to respond on 
               Simon's part?
            2) Could it be he has already begun to see the point of the
               parable?
         c. Jesus replies that Simon has properly judged the correct
            answer
      2. Jesus then makes the contrast between Simon and the woman - Lk
         7:44-46
         a. Simon gave Him no water for His feet, but she washed them
            with her tears and dried them with her hair
         b. Simon gave Him no kiss, but she has not ceased to kiss His
            feet
         c. Simon did not anoint His head with oil, but she anointed 
            His feet with fragrant oil
         -- All of these things Simon should have done as a normal 
            host, but he did not do it for the most important Guest of
            all!
      3. Jesus drives the point home - Lk 7:47
         a. The first part of this verse is difficult:  "...her sins 
            which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much."
            1) Is Jesus saying that her love is the "cause" of her 
               forgiveness, or the "proof"?
               a) Is she forgiven because she loved much? (that's what
                  it sounds like)
               b) Or is her much love the evidence of the forgiveness
                  of her many sins?
            2) Jesus does say that her "faith" saved her - Lk 7:50
               a) That is, her faith was the cause for her being 
                  forgiven
               b) And her love may have been a reflection of her faith
                  (cf. "faith working through love" - Ga 5:6)
         b. But the latter part of the verse, and the implication of 
            the parable itself suggests that her love is the result or
            proof of her forgiveness
            1) "But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little"
               a) Just as one who receives little forgiveness, loves
                  little...
               b) ...so one who receives much forgiveness, loves much!
            2) "Her love was the result, and not the cause, of her
               forgiveness. Our sins are not forgiven because we love
               God, but we love God because they are forgiven (1 Jn 
               4:19).  Such is the inference of the parable, and such
               the teaching of the entire NT." (McGarvey's Fourfold 
               Gospel)
            3) "For she loved much (hoti gapsen polu). Illustration
               or proof, not reason for the forgiveness. Her sins had 
               been already forgiven and remained forgiven. But to whom
               little is forgiven, the same loveth little (Hi de 
               oligon aphietai oligon agapi).  This explanation proves
               that the meaning of hoti preceding is proof, not cause."
               (Robertson's Word Pictures)
      4. If the woman's love is simply the evidence her forgiveness, as
         the parable suggests, then Jesus' next words were designed to
         further reassure her - Lk 7:48-50
         a. "Your sins are forgiven."
         b. "Your faith has saved you.  Go in peace"
         -- Both statements simply confirm that her great display of
            love was properly placed, for she had indeed been saved by
            her faith
 
[While Jesus' words in Lk 7:47 are indeed challenging, the parable 
and its setting teaches a simple truth:
 
      Those who have been forgiven of much are more likely to
      appreciate their salvation than those forgiven of little!
 
Let's expound upon this point as we seek to apply the parable to
ourselves...]
 
II. APPLYING THE PARABLE
 
   A. THIS PARABLE CAN PROVIDE GREAT COMFORT TO SINNERS...
      1. Many people who come to Jesus have really made a mess of their
         lives
      2. They know it, and the sense of their guilt is acute
         a. But this parable reminds us the Lord is willing to forgive
            no matter the debt!
         b. And the woman reminds us that as one's sense of guilt is
            acute, so their love will be greater!
         c. With a greater love, there will be the motivation for 
            greater service!
      3. Just as with the apostle Paul, who did not consider himself
         worthy to be called an apostle - cf. 1 Co 15:9-10
      -- So rather than wallow in your guilt of the past, allow the 
         great forgiveness Jesus offers to motivate you to love and 
         serve Him even more!
 
   B. THIS PARABLE REVEALS HOW WE CAN INCREASE OUR LOVE AND DEVOTION TO
      JESUS...
      1. Remember, the more cognizant we are of the forgiveness we have
         in Christ, the more we will love and serve Him
      2. There are at least two ways one can have an heightened sense 
         of forgiveness
         a. One way is to have been forgiven of much, as in the case of
            this woman
         b. But another way is learn more about the nature of sin...
            1) I.e., how just one sin makes us guilty of all - Ja 2:10
            2) I.e., how the wages of sin is spiritual death, 
               separation from God - Ro 6:23; Isa 59:1-2
      3. We cannot change the degree of our sinfulness prior to coming
         to Christ...
         a. But we can always increase the level of our understanding
            about sin!
         b. I.e., the more we learn about the terrible nature of sin...
            1) The more we appreciate the forgiveness we have in 
               Christ!
            2) The more motivated we are by love to serve Him - 2 Co 5:
               14-15
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. What is our devotion and service to Jesus like?
   a. Do we treat Him like Simon did?
   b. I.e., we invite Him into our lives, but really don't give Him the
      honor He deserves?
 
2. Could it be that we are more like the Pharisee than we care to
   admit?
   a. Failing to give Jesus the proper devotion due Him?
   b. Looking down in self-righteousness at people who we think are not
      worthy of Him?
 
3. If you find yourself with an attitude like Simon's, instead of one
   like the woman's...
   a. Remember that those forgiven most are capable of loving Jesus 
      more!
   b. And that perhaps you need to reflect more on your true spiritual
      condition!
 
For it was to the sinful woman, and not to self-righteous Simon, that 
Jesus said:
                       "Your sins are forgiven."
               "Your faith has saved you.  Go in peace."

──Executable Outlines