An Example of Forgiveness
John 7:36-50 A Sinful Woman Forgiven
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:36-50 ESV)
Within this text we witness a display of the important truth that Jesus Christ Provides Forgiveness – vs. 36-38, 50. The text says that, “One of the Pharisees asked him (Jesus) to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment” (Luke 7:36-37 ESV).
The Pharisees were an important religious and political Jewish party at the time of Jesus and the apostles. The Pharisees were a larger group than the Sadducees and differed with them on certain doctrines, the existence of angels and the resurrection of the body for example, along with other patterns of behavior. The Pharisees were strict and jealous adherents to the laws of the OT and to their numerous additional traditions.
One the Pharisees (Simon) asked Jesus to join him for dinner. Other guests would come but it becomes apparent in the text that Jesus would be the guest of honor. Jesus accepted the invitation and reclined at Simon’s table to eat. To recline literally means to lay on one’s side in order to eat. This would mean that Jesus’ feet would be away from the table, as would be the case for all those eating.
It was during this dinner that a woman from the city came to Simon’s house and would display the impact forgiveness from God has upon a human soul.