The Pharisee and the Harlot: True Love Revealed!
Text: Luke 7:36-50
Luke 7:36-50 King James Version (KJV)
36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. 37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. 40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. 44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
- With our marriage conference in mind and the family unit we recognize that the necessity to a relationship whether spousal, familial, or friendly requires real, true, unconditional, agape love! -
- With that said I can’t help but think of this lady here in the Gospel of Luke that Jesus says “loved much!” -
- We’re going to continue partly with the absence theme but the format will be a little different today -
1.) What does the absence of love create?
A.) An Arrogant Attitude -
- This was Simon’s house, Christ his visitor, his guest yet by his actions he felt Christ’s equal! -
b.) A Spirit of Inhospitality -
- As Christ was his guest yet didn’t reverence him as such! -
c. ) An Attitude of Self-Righteousness -
- Humility cannot live in an environment absent of love! -
d.) An Unaffectionate Heart -
- Without love we will always praise ourselves, love only when we’re loved, and never risk for relationship! -
e.) A Selfish Nature -
- How can we give and give correctly without love? We can’t! -
Her actions proved her intention!
2.) What does a life absent of love prove?
a.) Grace is absent!
b.) You don’t understand the cross!
c.) You don’t know God because God is love!
BUT!!!!!!! Let’s look past the pharisee unto the HARLOT! We now know what a life absent love looks like lived our but what does a life drowning, exuding, shining bright in love look like? It looks like a harlot weeping at the feet of Jesus Christ risking all, all social norms, all her prized possessions, her glory, her dignity, her life IN ACTION, worshipping the savior who by true love would sacrifice himself for her very sins, the sins she lived with and recounted everyday were washed away in the crimson flow of the cross of Calvary, that erases all condemnation, all judgment, all fear because perfect love casts out ALL fear because when we are blinded by love we can see nothing, live nothing, and be nothing else!
3.) What Does “Loving Much” Look Like? What Does It Create?
- She was willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING! Just to prove her love to the savior! -
- She was willing to risk EVERYTHING! -
- Her social status no longer mattered. The stares and judgment of others was irrelevant. No longer did it matter what anyone thought her, only what the Christ thought! -
c.) Emotion and Emotional Connection!
- She couldn’t stop the tears from flowing! The thought of Christ and his grace welled up inside of her and had to flow out! -
- Emotion is not the basis of love but it is an outworking of true love, it will always be expressed in action and emotion. -
- Many are willing to be humble but few are will to be the absolute least! -
- In first century Judea and in Jewish culture a woman’s hair was her glory and only her husband should ever see the length of her hair, it must be up and hidden in the presence of other men but this woman was willing to lay down everything that she was and even use it as a rag for our glory is but a filthy rag according to Isaiah anyway! We won’t even risk our comfort but true love demands that you give it all! -
- When we truly love the object of that love becomes a focus of our being! -
f.) Reverence, Respect, Sacrifice, A Giving Spirit, and a Realization that everything of worth loses all value in the act of love!
- In one act of love she poured out a years salary, her livelihood, her security! She broke it, poured it all out, every drop! She didn’t love halfway, conditionally, or partly but in whole! –
- She Loved Much! -
4.) What Does “Loving Much” Prove?
a.) She was forgiven, saved, born-again, blood bought!
-The outworking of her relationship with Christ was revealed in her action that Christ said was “loving much!” -
b.) She Understood Who She Was!
- Sinner! Unjust! Unholy! She understood that she was above no other and thus had no reserve, she could, with abandon, love much! -
c.) She Understood Who God is, What Christ did, and What grace is!
- When we experience the grace and love of Jesus we can’t help but express that in love for our brethren! -
- Love Much! With Complete Abandon! -
- Risk It ALL On Love! -
John 15:12-13 King James Version (KJV)
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.