by Henry T. Vriesen
A Pharisee, named Simon, invited Jesus to eat with him. And Jesus went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And while they were eating, behold, “a woman in the city, which was a sinner (probably Mary of Magdala), when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
“Now, when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.” Jesus knew all about this sinful woman, and he knew also Simon’s thoughts. “And Jesus answering, said unto, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor, which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
“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 kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 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. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.”
“And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?” Doubtless, they took Jesus for a mere man and therefore questioned his authority to forgive sins. But he was the Son of God, and came to seek and to save those that are lost. The woman realized her lost condition: she came penitent, desiring salvation. Jesus, the Searcher of hearts, knew that she was sincere. That is why he could say unto her, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” She became a child of God, but Simon, the proud Pharisee, too self-righteous to need a Savior, obtained no forgiveness. He despised the grace that was offered him.For further information on this resource, click here.