In our last Sunday school class we studied the passage from Matthew chapter 11 where Jesus cursed the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. We also looked at how Jesus called the people to come to Him. He encouraged them to walk away from the burdensome yoke of Pharisaic and Mishnaic teaching and take His light yoke upon themselves.
In this EBlast, we will look at Luke chapter 7:36-50 and chapter 8:1-3. First let us set the stage for what was happening there in chapter 7. Jesus was invited to dine in the house of a Pharisee. Remember, the Pharisees (and the whole Sanhedrin), had the responsibility, on behalf of the nation of Israel, to decide whether or not Jesus was the promised Messiah, as He claimed to be. Once we are in the house of this Pharisee, we quickly learn that there is a “sinner” in his home. In this context, the term “sinner” was referring to a female prostitute.
This woman (prostitute) cried on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet clean with her hair. She kissed Jesus’ feet. She anointed Jesus’ head with valuable perfume. The Pharisee thought to Himself that if Jesus was at least a prophet, He would have realized what type of woman she was who was touching and kissing Him. The Pharisee believed that neither a prophet of God nor especially the Messiah, would allow Himself to be touched by such a sinful woman. Jesus knew this man’s thoughts and He confronted Him on his thoughts. The fact that Jesus knew the man’s thoughts probably should have gotten this man’s attention. Anyway, Jesus taught this Pharisee that this woman realized her depth of sin and her need for much forgiveness. As a result of what she understood about herself, this woman expressed much love to the One she believed could forgive her. The Pharisee, on the other hand, had invited and welcomed Jesus into his house, but he did not extend even the normal and common courtesies to an invited guest. This Pharisee was not at all honoring Jesus.
A further observation for us to ask is how did this woman gain access into the house of this Pharisee? Normally, there is no way this “sinner” would have been allowed into the home of this Pharisee. Was this a set up? Was this Pharisee looking for a way to discredit Jesus and therefore have the grounds to deny His Messianic claim? Personally, I would answer these questions with a Yes. Jesus was not intimidated. Jesus forgave the woman’s sins. This is something only God can do. Jesus was telling this Pharisee, this woman and all others in the house, that He was indeed the promised Messiah.
In chapter 8 verses 1-3, we learn that Jesus went on a preaching tour from city to city and from village to village. We also learn that there were several women who had the necessary means to financially support Jesus and His Apostles as they travelled.
This brings us to the next major event in the Life of Jesus. The Sanhedrin is ready to render it’s decision as to whether or not Jesus is the promised Messiah. Of course, we know what they decided. Remember, their decision represents the nation, not the individuals. Multitudes of individuals believed in Jesus as the Messiah. Nevertheless, a national decision must be rendered. We are ready to look at that decision. Sunday school. See you then?