Jesus and the Pharisees: from Luke 7:28-47

This is our twenty-fourth study. Please click HERE for an intro to this study.

Luke 7:36-47

36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is — that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 And 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 she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 “You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 


I will give my observations of the Pharisee first: he judged Jesus wrong in thinking that He did not know the woman; He knew all about her. He also was terribly wrong in believing that God required him to separate himself from this kind of a woman—from sinners. God wants us to befriend sinners in order to help them. But this Simon thought that it was better for him to distance himself from sinners only in order that he would appear to people to be more righteous.

Jesus knew the woman and he knew this Pharisee. He made it clear that Simon was not a good or a righteous man. And the woman, even being a prostitute, had been changed by God and was repentant.  


Jesus welcomes all sinners to come to Him. And we also should befriend sinners in order to help them come to Jesus. Let us always beware of those who are self-righteous. They are dangerous.

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