31 Your sins have been forgiven

Luke 7:36-50
Isiah 55:6-13
T An alarm bell to the church

 "Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him. And He entered the Pharisees's house, and reclined at the table." (36) In the text of this morning, two leading roles appear, a Pharisee and a sinful woman; but Luke pays attention to this Pharisee unexpectedly and pays more detailed attention. We shall see from this Pharisee at first.

 It was not very unusual that Jesus was invited to the meal; (11:37, 14:1). This is a thing by the then custom that the influential of the town invites the teacher and hears that message, and if he likes that teacher, he becomes his sponsor. It may have been a inherited custom which was in the prophet group of the Old Testament. It would lead to the popularity and the profit of the person to invite. However, because there is it he thought, "If this man were a prophet, He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner." (39), he had invited Jesus as a special guest, but did not treat Jesus as a guest of honor. He did not take out the water to wash His feet, and did not kiss, and did not anoint His head with oil. In an allegory of Jesus, there are persons who borrows large sum of money, 500 denarii, 50 denarii (one denarii is a reward of 1 day for the worker) from a money lender, and cannot return it (41-43), but from the state that he does not have sense of incongruity toward to such a big money, it is felt that his standard of living was far apart from the common people. While thinking that He may be the Messiah, has his real intention to look down upon Jesus who was only the poor common people outwardly appeared? If it is so, we cannot but suspect that about "a sinful woman" who came into the seat of the meal, he called her to value Jesus. As a result, his behavior seems that he called her. It seems that they indeed take good care of God; however, in fact, the extremely superficial Jew consciousness which watch God seems to be oozing out here.

 This article is a thing only by Luke; but he is feeling strongly that such Jewish consciousness (perhaps, such consciousness of religion is in modern us, too) must be removed decidedly from a church. The faith, it was not to be concerned with the loss and gain on the utility side such as appearances or the popularity; would not it be strong repulsion of Luke? It seems we hear Luke's message against the church from here.

U Which of them will love him more?

 The second leading role is "a sinful woman". The article about her is only several lines, but both Jesus and Luke want to touch the center point of the extremely important Gospel through her. "And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet, and anointing them with the perfume." (37-38) Perhaps, "a sinful woman" was a prostitute. Because it was a small town, so, such existence was known to everybody. And surely she would be looked at with eyes of contempt by people. However, it seems her sorrow that cannot live if she does not do such a way of life let her lead to Jesus. Would it be the custom in then Galilee district? Houses were considerably open and there seems to have been an atmosphere that going in and out is free. Therefore, when she heard that Jesus was invited to a meal in a house of Simon, she could come in a house of Simon. Surely from the back entrance, timidly. However, it seemed to be perfumed oil of expensive nard, but a pot of the gypsum which the perfumed oil, but a pot of the gypsum that the perfumed oil entered was grasped well with her hand. She found Jesus in a dining table immediately, she had seen Him many times until now, and she stood at His feet. Because, the then Jew ate with the posture that they did the left shoulder below and lie at full length on a sofa; it seems to be possible for her posture, "she began to wet His feet, with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet, and anointing them with the perfume", if she stoop down a little without unreasonableness.

 But, Jesus who had let her doing keep on, began to talk to Simon. "Simon, I have something to say you.", "Say it, teacher.", "A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him more?", "I suppose the one whom he forgave more.", "You have judged correctly." Simon strained his ears carefully not to fail to hear a message of Jesus at this time. Surely, it is sure that Jesus praises me who becomes a sponsor for Him, among this whole people...

V Your sins have been forgiven

 However, "the sinful woman" whom he looked at with all contempt was praised unexpectedly. "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, bet she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." (44-47) And He said to her, "Your sins have been forgiven." (48) "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (50)

 We want to watch about "forgiving sins" which Luke wrote here as the most important thing. Because, in the society of Jewry, the label called "the sinners" meant the one who was evaded by God, as same as a label of "stained", the one who was put such a label on was not able to join worship of Jews. Such labelling in old days was done by Rabbi, and now, it is done by Pharisees and a law leader who is in the synagogue; but it means the comings and goings prohibition to the synagogue naturally, and it was not possible for a proper life in Jewry society. It is possible to know the fact that Simon muttered in his heart secretly when she approached Jesus, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.". In this sense, "forgiving sins", it was not an ideological thing by any means, but it was very concrete and concerned with the right to live of the person. Forgiving sins for her, primarily, it meant return to the Jewry. However, "Forgiving sins by Jesus", it had a meaning of the recovery of the citizenship of the country of God any more. Originally, the human being who was created by God was people of God, like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but that human being was declared sinners who resisted God, and was avoided distantly by God. Therefore, you will understand that you can not understand about the sins fundamentally, without thinking about relations (faith) with God. So that, forgiving of the sins is to restore a fellowship with God which died for us, and it is possible only by God. It is that God recognizes it so, and declares it so.

 Jesus who said that "Your sins have been forgiven." "Your faith has saved you; go in peace.", used His will as God rightly. Now, Jesus is going to entrust this declaration to the disciples. The cross was that mark. Now, it seems that Luke is writing this article while wishing that the church can take this commission well. It is very heavy things, but the person of our modern church is invited to do this declaration to many people by basing on the words of God, too. We must hear that this is the duty which has been entrusted only to a person who was declared that "Your sins have been forgiven".