Read Luke 7:36-50
There were some Pharisees who were sincere in their belief of God and were willing to listen to the teaching of Jesus. The majority, however, seemed to be self-absorbed and self-righteous, relying on their own goodness for acceptance. One such example is Simon.
Simon invited Jesus to eat with him, but he did not perform any of the customary greetings that were expected of a host. There was a sinful woman there who took care of those things, though, much to Simon’s chagrin. Luke tells us that she “stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil” (Luke 7:38). Simon was disgusted at her action and immediately doubted Jesus’ claim to be from God, thinking to himself, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39).
Jesus recognized an opportunity to teach Simon an important truth here, that the person who recognizes their deep debt will be more grateful for forgiveness than the man who does not think he owes very much. The Lord made it clear that He was talking about Simon and the woman. “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little” (Luke 7:44-47).
Do you appreciate what Jesus has done for you, as the woman appreciated Him? Or do you view yourself more like Simon, a person who hasn’t done anything truly evil, therefore a person who doesn’t need to change very much? The Scriptures make it clear that none of us are guiltless; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Without the loving forgiveness of the Savior, we all stand condemned before God.