Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Luke 7:36—8:21 covers four matters: the Man-Savior forgiving sinners (7:36-50), being ministered to by women (8:1-3), teaching with parables (8:4-18), and identifying His real relatives (8:19-21). First we see that sinners are forgiven not because of their love, but because of their faith in the Lord. Faith, not love, is what causes us to experience the forgiveness of sins. Second, the saved ones, those whose sins have been forgiven, follow the Lord and minister to Him. Third, those who have been forgiven and who now love the Lord, follow Him, and minister to Him should grow in life and shine as lamps. Fourth, eventually such ones become the genuine relatives of the Man-Savior. From this we see that the four matters covered in 7:36—8:21 go together in our spiritual experience. In this message we shall consider 7:36-50, and in the following message we shall cover 8:1-21.
The Christian life begins with the forgiveness of sins through our faith in the Savior. In 7:36-50 Luke presents in a very effective way a case of the forgiveness of sins. Here we have a vivid description of a sinful woman experiencing the forgiveness of sins. This portion of the Gospel of Luke is an affectionate account of the case of the forgiveness of sins.
Luke 7:36 says, “Now a certain one of the Pharisees asked Him that He would eat with him. And entering into the Pharisee’s house, He reclined at the table.” In this verse Luke does not say that the Pharisee prepared a feast and invited the Lord Jesus to eat with him. Instead, Luke tells us that the Pharisee asked the Savior to eat with him. This may indicate the Pharisee asked the Lord in a rather cold manner; that is, he did not give Him a warm invitation full of affection. Nevertheless, the Man-Savior went into the Pharisee’s house to eat with him.
For whose sake did the Man-Savior go to the Pharisee’s house? Did He do this for the sake of the Pharisee or for the sake of the woman? I believe that He did this for the sake of both the Pharisee and the woman. In His omniscience the Man-Savior knew that the woman would come into the house. We may say that by accepting the Pharisee’s request that He eat in his house, the Lord afforded the woman an opportunity to contact Him. Otherwise, this woman who was sinful and who was known for her sinfulness may not have had a way to contact the Savior. By accepting the Pharisee’s request to come to his house to eat, the Lord gave an opportunity to this saved sinner to express her love for Him.
In 7:36-50 Luke does not tell us what the host did to the Lord. There is nothing to indicate that the Pharisee was polite and loving toward Him. Actually, Luke does not say very much about the host. However, he has much to say concerning what the woman did to the Lord Jesus.
Verses 37 and 38 say, “And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner, and learning that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster flask of ointment; and she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, and she began to wet His feet with her tears, and to wipe them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet affectionately and anointed them with the ointment.” The hair is the glory of the woman (1 Cor. 11:15), the top part of her body. With her top part she wiped the Savior’s feet, the lowest part of His body, loving Him with her glory.
The woman kissed the Lord’s feet affectionately, that is, in love, and she anointed them with the ointment (v. 38). This ointment indicates the great worth and sweetness of the Savior to the woman. Even the Savior’s feet were worthy and sweet to her.
In verse 39 we see that the Pharisee criticized the woman and despised her: “But when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said within himself, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, because she is a sinner.” A considerable crowd in Nain, having witnessed the Man-Savior’s power of resurrection, recognized Him as a great prophet (7:16). Yet the Pharisee wondered if He were a prophet. He not only doubted concerning the Savior, but also despised the woman as a sinner.
By His divine attribute of omniscience, the Man-Savior knew what His host was saying in his heart. Because He is God, He knows what is in man’s heart. Verse 40 says, “And Jesus answered and said to him, Simon, I have something to say to you. And he says, Teacher, say it.”
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