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Gospel of Luke Chapter 7:36-50 Summary A Dinner Party Turns Ugly
A Pharisee invites Jesus over for dinner, and while he's reclining, a sinning woman starts hanging on his feet, soaking them with her tears, and drying them with her hair. Yeah, we'll give you a second to picture that. The Pharisee who invited Jesus wonders to himself how this so-called prophet is unaware that this woman who's hanging all over him is a big sinner. Jesus launches a story about a single creditor's two debtors. Here's the deal. One of the debtors owes five-hundred denarii, the other owes fifty. (A denarius is a type of currency that's about a day's wage.) Neither are able to pay, and the creditor releases them both from their debts. Jesus asks a very easy question, "Now which of them will love him more?" (7:42). Obviously, it's the one with the bigger debt, and Simon answers correctly. Jesus leaves the story hanging and gets a little snippy, comparing Simon with the sinning woman. She washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair, while Simon provided no water for his feet. She hasn't stopped kissing his feet, while Simon didn't even greet him with a kiss. She anointed his feet with ointment, while Simon did no such thing. Come on Simon, get with the program. Jesus applies the logic of the story he's told to the current situation, concluding that the woman's many sins are forgiven because she's shown Jesus so much love. He adds, surely in reference to Simon, "the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little" (7:47). Ouch. In case there's any doubt, Jesus tells the woman that her sins are forgiven. But his co-recliners think that Jesus is presumptuous in claiming the power to forgive sins. Remember, they think that power belongs only to God (5:21). Jesus doesn't care. He loves creating tension at highbrow dinner parties and so reiterates to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace" (7:50).
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