Sermon: The unwelcome guest, welcomed by Jesus
Bible Passage: Luke 7:36-50
I. Who are the Pharisees?
1. Mean separated one (Though not certain), they seem to have developed during the Maccabean period. Syrians try to Hellenize Jews by forcing them eat pork, give up the Mosiac law – idol Zeus in the temple. To adapt Greek way of life.
During this time, a group of separated ones, committed to the law developed in order to protect and preserve the Mosiac Law.
2. They are the religious leaders. Humanly speaking closest to perfection in keeping the Law of Moses. They have all their doctrines right, emphasized on holiness. Because of these things, they thought they were the closest to God.
3. Teachers/Experts in the Law (Torah- first 5 books, Talmud – Oral tradition) (Started with a good intention to preserve and obey God’s law – but ended being legalistic).
4. They do not mingle with sinners (Mt.9:11). They’d not even touch them else they’d be defiled.
5. Pharisees and hypocrites used almost synonymously in the Bible. They’d always find fault and ways to trap and accuse Jesus.
6. John calls them brood of vipers who take pride in the linage of Abraham (descendant). “I tell you out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham” (Mt. 3:7-10). Jesus calls them, White washed Tombs, beautiful outside but dead inside, righteous outside but hypocrisy and wickedness inside (Mt. 23:27-28).
II. A HUMBLE AND A CONTRITE HEART OF A SINFUL WOMAN (37-38).
1. By coming to Jesus she admits her sinful life, takes a risk to approach Jesus.
2. “She came with an alabaster jar” (A sinner! She should have avoided or run away from Jesus). But she was prepared to meet Jesus and give away her possession.
3. She was not concerned or distracted by the onlookers –She was blinded by her love for her Savior (whom she knew could forgive and save her). As Jesus mentions, she has shown her great love for me.
4. She gave the best to Jesus, laying herself down at his feet in complete submission.
5. She had an over flowing gratitude toward Jesus.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
III. SIMON, THE COLD-HEARTED, UNCONCERNED AND SKEPTICAL HOST.
1. He failed to even give a basic courtesy to Jesus as a host (vv. 44-46).
2. As a Pharisee he would claim to be closest to God but he failed to recognize his presence (in his own house) (vs 39).
3. Simon, in his own evaluation, thought of himself as a better person than the woman (vs 39).
4. He was self-righteous man, not realizing how sinful he himself was, in need of forgiveness (vv41-42).
5. It is not how less we sin, but the recognition of how great a sinner we are.
IV. Five principles from the passage for us to ponder this morning:
1. Let your understanding of God transform you and not just inform you.
Theology is good, gaining knowledge is crucial – as long as we’re living those out in our lives unlike the Pharisees. Simon welcomed Jesus into his home, but not into his heart.
Come back to the basic – LOVE HIM
2. Do not look down on a person or judge a person based on their past, or present outlook, they may be the unwanted guest welcomed by Jesus. If we’re not watchful, we can unknowingly play the role of a Pharisee.
3. Let your righteousness be based on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Our good works, maintaining correct doctrines, and laws legalistically can only lead us to self-glorification, self-righteousness.
4. Come to Jesus with a broken and a contrite heart, for sacrifice and burn offering he will not accept but broken and a contrite heart he will not reject (Ps. 51:17). Jesus welcomes those who truly worship Him by being aware of the depth of their sin.
5. Give yourself completely to the one who can forgive your sins, and offer you peace.
If there are anyone like this sinful woman, come to Jesus.
Mt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”
With all sincerity seek and embrace the presence of Jesus in your life, not withholding anything back.