But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, cancelling their debts. (Luke 7:42)


Let’s assume this certain immoral woman was a prostitute of some kind. It is easy to imagine what conclusion Simon, Jesus’s host, must have jumped to. She pours very expensive oil on his feet, and weeps over him, stroking him with her hair which she has immodestly let down in public. It might well have seemed that Jesus was allowing such intimate contact with him because he had been, or was intending to be, even more intimate with this woman. An open display of affection and emotion by an immoral woman in our times, would set tongues waging and minds racing in any social situation, so it is not surprising that Jesus knew what Simon was thinking and chose to explain with his parable of debts forgiven. When Jesus forgave this woman’s sin I don’t know, but I do know that she was so grateful to Jesus that she defied all the social norms of behaviour in order to thank him in best way way she knew. She was overwhelmed that he should have treated her with such grace and forgiven her her mountain of sins. Simon the Pharisee wasn’t overwhelmed that Jesus was eating in his home, he was just interested to meet a fellow and famous teacher. Simon wasn’t expecting a lesson from Jesus, on the debt we all owe to the Lord, because we all sin in one way or another.


Luke 7:36-43 NLT

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!” Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.” “Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied. Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, cancelling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.” “That’s right,” Jesus said.


I never want to forget the profound gratitude I felt when I first knew the Lord’s forgiveness. I remember one evening in a hotel room in Southampton, weeping helplessly for hours and saying “I’m so sorry”, over and over again. I prayed and prayed that night, just saying,”I’m sorry and thank you for forgiving me.” All I know is that my debt was more than I could ever have paid back, but Jesus kindly forgave me.

Today’s readings:

Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20, Luke 7:36-8:3, Psalms 69:1-18, Proverbs 12:1


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