A Sinful Woman Forgiven

During the early days of the Salvation Army, William Booth and his associates were bitterly attacked in the press by religious leaders and government leaders alike. Whenever his son, Bramwell, showed Booth a newspaper attack, the General would reply, “Bramwell, fifty years … More



Jesus was invited to a meal in a Pharisee’s home (v. 36). Whether this scene takes place at Capernaum, Nain or some other city, we do not know. We do know that this event was a living illustration of the Pharisee’s hypocrisy (v. 39). Luke shows Jesus at the dinner table of Simon the Pharisee. Our Lord did not turn down invitations, even though He knew there was some ulterior motive in inviting Him. Pharisees needed the Word of God just like everyone else.

Outside the door was a woman of the streets who was waiting and watching for a time when the servants’ backs were turned, and she could slip in to sit at Jesus’ feet (vv. 37-38). Her sins are not named, but we get the impression she was an immoral woman with a bad reputation. A woman of this type would not be welcomed in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Simon was no doubt embarrassed both for himself and for his guests.

Simon was thinking that Jesus was not exhibiting much discernment, as a great prophet, if He allowed a sinful woman to anoint His feet. Jesus proved that He was indeed a prophet by reading Simon’s thought and revealing his needs. He shares a parable that states that it is not the amount of sin in a person’s heart but that any sin makes a person spiritually bankrupt. Simon was guilty of the sins of the spirit, especially pride, while the woman was guilty of the sins of the flesh. The woman repented of her sins and put her faith in Christ while the Pharisee refused. The Pharisees believed that only God could forgive sin, so they wondered why this man Jesus was saying that the woman’s sins were forgiven (vv. 43-50). They did not grasp the fact that Jesus was indeed God.


When it comes to risking my reputation for a “questionable” character, what will I do?

Luke 7:36-50 (English Standard Version)

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