39 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.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 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. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:39-50
How do we view Jesus? It is very interesting to me that the Pharisee who had a lot of knowledge about God and the coming messiah had a view that prevented him from recognizing the Messiah, Jesus. He thought that Jesus would look like him, talk like him, associate with people that he would associate with and generally pat him on the back for his pursuit of his own righteousness.
Look at what he thought to himself in verse 39. Simon clearly was operating under three assumptions. First, if Jesus were a prophet he would know what kind of woman was anointing his feet. Second, if Jesus knew what kind of woman she was he wouldn’t let her anoint his feet. Third, since Jesus let her anoint his feet he must not be a prophet. Why? Clearly because this was how Simon, the Pharisee lived his life.
Can you imagine the shocked feeling of panic that Simon must have felt when Jesus addressed not only Simon’s actions towards Jesus but his thoughts about Jesus as well? What would we think? What would we feel? If we were expecting Jesus to lecture a known “sinner” on how they were dressed, on the type of music they listened to, the fact that they were drinking alcohol, associating with people who had tattoos or _____________. What would we think? What would we feel if Jesus turned to us and said our name? “Do you see this sinner?” and then used the repenting sinner to show us our faults in pursuit of Him.
Are we open to this? Are we willing to humble ourselves as the woman did? Are we willing to endure ridicule and suffering in order to act like Jesus, not only from those who know nothing about God but also from those who know a lot? Do we believe that this can happen today? Do we believe that God can use our interactions with known sinners not only so that they can enter the Kingdom of God but also so we can be better representations of the people of the Kingdom of God?
I believe this can happen today if we put ourselves in gospel situations. I believe we can choose to let down our barriers, our pre-conceived regulations on a person’s conduct or outward appearance in order that they may experience Jesus and His Kingdom. I believe that we can continue to grow and die to ourselves so that it is not we that live, but Christ who lives in us (Galatians 2:20). I believe we must ask ourselves honestly & objectively, “How do we view Jesus?”