Grace.

Posted: August 23, 2015 in TLCC
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Grace is a gift freely given. Our responses vary.

At this point, our study points us to Luke 7, starting with verse 36 to 50. We will be studying it akin to a running commentary…

I. Background (v36)

One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.

Jesus goes into the house of a Pharisee. Jesus does not only go to the houses of sinners, but he also goes into the houses of the Pharisees. One of the major themes in Luke is how awful religion is, and how mean religious leaders are. Anyway, Jesus goes to the Pharisee’s house.

Eating is associated with fellowship. It is not rushed. It dwells in conversations, in discussions. Eating really bridges people. That is also why we want to invite you whenever we eat. We build relationships around meals. At this point, someone enters the scene.

II. The Woman and the Pharisee (v37-39)

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.”

Two different individuals. One is someone who is a church goer, a leader in the community, someone we look up to and respect. The other one is a woman who is a sinner. We know her reputation. She has one boyfriend to another. She’s been sleeping with everyone. She goes in a house uninvited.

Feel the drama unfolding. Someone uninvited comes in. The whole table goes quiet. Here’s the prostitute. Here’s the teenage mother. Here’s someone who isn’t gonna be in our invitation any time soon.

She goes to the feet of Jesus. She begins crying. She realizes her sinfulness. She sees her need for a Savior. She didn’t prepare for this as she didn’t even bring a towel. She just broke down and cried. She served through her tears and wipes the feet of Jesus using her tears and her hair.

How many of us would be able to come to a point of worship where we don’t really care anymore who’s watching. Sometimes, we leave our emotions out the door when we go in a church. We get so conscious. Not this woman. She then pours oil on the feet. That’s extravagant. Oil is poured on the head, not on the feet.

Now the Pharisee reacted (in his mind). We also have the tendency to judge people in church.

Why are they raising their hands in worship?

Oh Look at the clothes of that guy.

She’s out of tune.

Hey! The guy at powerpoint should pay attention to the lyrics!

We’re no different than the Pharisee. Before we look at ourselves and say “I can relate to the woman”, consider carefully. We might be the Pharisee in the picture.

III. The Story (v40-43)

And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

Jesus overhears the thought of Simon. This is one of the lessons we can take note of. Jesus can hear our thoughts. It’s not just the prayers we say, even the things in our heads. This is an attribute he has. This is omniscience (in theology) or in simple terms, all knowing. He knows our thoughts.

“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.”

The tale of the extra zero. One owes 50, the other owes 500. In our terms, one denarii is about $20. So $50 is about $ 1,000, or about Php 46,600. The other one owes 500 denarii or about $10,000, in our currency, that’s roughly around Php 466,000. Now that we know the gravity of the debt. Both can’t pay it on the due date.

Whenever we receive the bills, we are reminded of what we owe. No matter how we work, we can’t just pay this kind of debt. It’s like working and just paying for the interest. But the interest gets bigger.

So we think going to church can “pay off” our debt. Or by serving, I can decrease what I owe God. We just can’t.

In one of the conversations we have in the small group, someone once asked, is there levels in hell? I replied by saying, whatever level the person is in, that’s still the same fire. We owe something. We must pay it. The penalty of sin is death. Eternal separation from God. There’s no one who would be deader than someone else. Death is death. The penalty for the $50 is similar to the one who owes $500.

But God cancels our debt. Thing is, the response is different.

IV. The Lesson (v44-50)

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.”

The Pharisee, even when Jesus was already in his house, was indifferent. He just didn’t care if Jesus had dirty feet. He didn’t care if Jesus was an honored guest or not.

Similar to us, we sometimes don’t really care at all about the grace God gave us. We are indifferent. We would choose to ignore God. We have His words, but we don’t really mind criticizing people. We would compare our sins and say “hey…I don’t owe as much as that person!”

The woman on the other hand, knowing she doesn’t deserve God gave her all. She didn’t mind walking into a house which she was not invited. She didn’t mind kneeling down and wiping the feet. She didn’t mind serving. She didn’t look at people around her, she was too consumed with serving Jesus.

The result of her knowing what grace is resulted into a response of passionate worship. Knowing who she was serving made her come to her knees. Then look at what Jesus say to her in front of everyone.

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.”

It wasn’t the service that saved her. It was her faith. In the same way with us. We don’t go closer to God because we serve, or we attend service. It’s the faith we placed in Jesus.

V. Application

The response we have to grace is first, we can be indifferent. It doesn’t do anything to us because we didn’t really feel the gravity of our sin. We really are not aware of what we did, or how offensive we are to God.

Jesus looks at her with the lens of love. Simon sees her in the eyes of religion. Jesus is very stern with religious people but compassionate with sinners. We have to come to a point of knowing that religion doesn’t save us, nor does it change us.

The second respond we have with grace is passion. Knowing our place with God makes us respond. Knowing who we are in God’s eyes make us do things we normally won’t do. We take a leap of faith. Even if it means baby steps for us. We act because we know what He has done for us.

So what is your response? It is indifference or passionate worship?

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