Guess who’s coming to dinner

Jesus was invited to the house of a Pharisee named Simon.

The well-to-do Pharisee in town usually had a home with an open courtyard and a fountain. It was in the courtyard meals were taken. People were free to come and go inside the Pharisee’s house, so there was a steady stream of people each evening for dinner.

Simon neglected to give Jesus the customary kiss of peace, or water for his feet, or a scent for his head. Jesus took his place reclining at the table when a woman with unbound hair entered the room. The woman’s hair was a sign she had a bad reputation.[1]

Simon demonstrated no desire for Jesus to do anything. Like most Pharisees, Simon believed he was a good man and not a base sinner. The woman, however, was acutely aware of her sins and her burning need “was overwhelmed with love for him who could supply it, and so receive forgiveness.”[2]

So, what’s the difference between Simon and the woman? Love. Simon showed no love for Jesus. The woman loved Jesus so much she bathed his feet with perfume and her tears. Love is the qualifier in Luke 7:36-50. Jesus told Simon the woman’s sins which are many are forgiven because she loved so much. Simon’s self-sufficiency kept him from receiving what Jesus gave the woman.

Of course, the question is whether we love the Savior enough to obey him. The woman’s tears were proof of her repentance. Her foot-washing was proof of her decision to turn from sin and toward God. Sadly, many people will not do what Jesus said (Matthew 28:18-20) because they don’t love Jesus enough (John 14:15).

Wouldn’t it be a terrible thing to have the son of God in your home and, impressed with your own righteousness, fail to show him your love and ask his forgiveness for your sins. We can’t know what happened to Simon. It is enough to see this missed opportunity and learn a lesson, isn’t it?

Oh, the opportunities we lose because we lack enough love for God and interest in him! Would you like a chance to have your sins forgiven? Obey the gospel today.

[1] “A Commentary on the Gospel of Luke H. Leo Boles, Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, TN

[2] “The Gospel of Luke, William Barclay, Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, KY.

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