In the house of Simon the Pharisee

Like most Pharisees, Simon no doubt kept the laws of holiness and thought that God was more pleased with him than with socially despised people such as tax collectors and prostitutes. He was therefore surprised that Jesus allowed a prostitute to wash his feet. In Simon’s view this showed that Jesus did not have divine knowledge, otherwise he would know the sort of person the woman was and would not allow her to touch him (Luke 7:36-39).

Jesus knew Simon’s thoughts, so told a story to contrast Simon’s attitude with the woman’s (Luke 7:40-43). Simon had never come to Jesus in search of forgiveness, because he had never felt the need. Consequently, he had no reason to feel any love or gratitude towards Jesus. The woman, however, had apparently heard Jesus’ message of forgiveness and, being sorry for her sins, trusted in his forgiving love. She then showed her love and gratitude in the most meaningful way she new (Luke 7:44-50).

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