Amazing Stuff Jesus Did - Forgiving Sins

Sermon from CCM Ladybarn


This sermon was preached by Colin Baron at the Ladybarn site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 18th November 2018.


This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Withington in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:


This sermon was based on Luke 7:36-50.

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. 37And 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, 38and 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. 39Now 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.” 40And 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. 42When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”43Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”44Then 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. 45You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”


Setting the Scene

  • Simon is a Pharisee, one of the Jewish law makers and upholders. They are already opposed to Jesus and yet Jesus is invited to his house for a meal.

  • As a guest and visitor to the town Simon would be expected to treat Jesus with a great deal of respect when he comes to his home, especially as this kind of meal is a public event. However this doesn’t happen and Jesus comes in without any of the formal greetings.

  • Witnessing this deliberate attempt to humiliate Jesus would have been not just a couple of people from the synagogue, but a whole load of people who would have come along to check out this big social occasion. All of whom, distinctly aware of the tension of this moment, and waiting for what would unfurl next.

The Woman

  • The woman was known to be a sinful woman, the people observing would have known who and what she was.

  • In Jesus’ presence she is struck by her sin and she has also seen how he has been treated by Simon.
  • This woman literally rains tears over his feet and uses her hair to dry them. Its difficult for us to recognise how scandalous this was. She then uses her expensive perfume to anoint Jesus feet.
  • Simon’s plan was to dishonour Jesus, so this woman’s honouring of Jesus obviously does not go down well with Simon or the other invited guests.

The Parable

  • Jesus tells the parable of the two debtors whose debts are pardoned. One who owes a little and the other who owes a great deal.
  • then He asks Simon at the end of verse 42, “Which of them will love him more?”  Who’s going to have the greater love for the money lender, the greater love for the forgiver?  Who’s going to have the greater love?

The Lesson

  • Then Jesus brings it back to the woman. She had been forgiven.  And the guilt was gone and the shame was gone and her life was different. Longings after holy things and righteous things began to occupy her heart and she was swept away with gratitude, swept away with affection and love for the One who had forgiven her. She acted as she did because she had been forgiven much.
  • Jesus is showing Simon what real transformation looks like. There was no other explanation for her complete change of behaviour. And those around the table started to get it.

  • Simon was a law-keeper. But ultimately, he had sin that he couldn’t pay just as the woman did. Only his sin was private, no-one else could see it or was going to point it out, ridicule him for it, define him by it. But Jesus could see Simon’s heart.


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