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Luke 7:35-50

Luke 7:35-50


Sermon: Superior Hospitality
Bible Passage: Luke 7:35-50

I. Luke uses meals/banquet to teach about Jesus (5:27-32; 7:36-50; 10:41-42; 11:37-52; 14:1-24; 19:1-10; 22:14-38; 24:29-32)

II. Three characters in this passage: Simon the Pharisee, Jesus, and the woman

III. Simon the Pharisee

1. Religious person who had the reputation of standing for Jewish faith
2. He invites Jesus to his house—there were others reclining at the table with Jesus (7:36)
3. He treats Jesus as “a Teacher” (7:40)
4. He misunderstands both Jesus and the woman (7:39)
5. He speaks to himself that Jesus was not a prophet (7:39)
6. Though he invited Jesus to his house, according to Jesus his hospitality was inferior one

IV. The woman

1. “used to be a sinner” (7:39), but she received forgiveness (7:48)
2. She came to Simon’s house not to receive forgiveness from Jesus, but she came because she was forgiven by Jesus
3. She was not invited to Simon’s house
4. She brought an alabaster box of perfume as a gift to Jesus—she was fully prepared show extravagance to Jesus
5. Luke points out her love for Jesus not in the worth of the jar, but in her behavior

a. She stood behind Jesus at his feet, weeping
b. She began to wet his feet with her tears
c. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfumed oil

6. Jesus appreciated her actions, affirmed her new identity, sent back with peace (7:50)

V. Jesus

1. Accepts the invitation to eat with Simon the Pharisee (verse 36)
2. Jesus did not mind the woman (sinner) touching his feet, anointing them with tears, then wiping them with her hair, and anointing them with oil
3. Unlike Simon the Pharisee, Jesus does not view the woman as a sinner
4. But He looks at her as someone who offered Him a better/superior hospitality (7:44-46)
5. Jesus interprets her action as “great love” because her many sins were forgiven prior to her action here at this house (7:47)
6. Jesus claims His divine authority with “Your sins have been forgiven” (7:48)
7. The question “Who is this who even forgives sins?” is implicitly answered that Jesus is God, for only God can forgive sins
8. Jesus sends the woman with blessings—“go in peace” points to a release (cf. 7:50)—Luke 4:18-19
9. “Do you see this woman?” (Simon had failed to see her as Jesus saw her—that’s the problem with most of the readers)—Jesus is not calling her “sinner” but “woman”

a. The woman with great love (7:47)
b. The woman who revealed Jesus’ authority to forgive sins (7:49)
c. The woman who has great faith (verse 50)

VI. Through this incident, Jesus erases the woman’s past reputation connected to her lifestyle and provides her with a new identity connected to her relationship with Him

VII. Luke does not highlight the sinfulness of the woman, but he highlights how Jesus transformed her to be a grateful worshipper

VIII. Simon the Pharisee does not look at the transformed woman, but sees her with a stigma

IX. Luke highlights her great love—“thus she loved much” (7:47) (no words, full of action!)

X. The woman was able to do what she did because she knew how severe her sins were and how great the gift of forgiveness was

XI. Out of deep sense of forgiveness, she did out of the ordinary which Jesus loved

XII. The woman serves Jesus just as He taught His disciples to do—she models Jesus’ true disciples (cf. John 13)

XIII. The posture of the woman portrays “humility” as a disciple (it’s an enacted parable)

XIV. In effect, she has rendered greater service to Jesus than anyone who had gathered in that room

XV. This passage teaches that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins and therefore He is God

XVI. That Jesus is the Prophet and Messiah

XVII. Lessons

1. Grateful believers express their gratitude in action—more grateful believers express through their courageous extravagance
2. Pure devotion has less words and more action
3. Christians must develop a healthy assessment of God’s grace that will make them better worshippers
4. Jesus offers forgiveness to sinners, release them from their past identity, and release them to have a new life because He is God
5. Christians must avoid treat people based on their past before they received God’s grace
6. Christians must avoid operating on past stigmas

Take Away:

Offer your gratitude to God in superior worship in action

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at