- Sermon Notes
DINNER WITH JESUS
What would you say if I asked you to identify THE greatest Sports event of all time?
A lot of choices – not so easy to pick THE greatest!
When Jesus Christ was asked what the greatest thing a human being can do in God’s sight, He didn’t hesitate.
This evening we’re going to talk about this – about a meal that Jesus shared with Rabbi Simon and a Prostitute.
When the Bible’s says “a sinful life” that’s the simple way of saying she led the life of a prostitute.
Simon has a spiritual problem we see on display here.
•Simon is able to say “she” in a sinner but not “I”
•He understood that she had sins of the flesh but was not able to understand that he had sins of the heart!
•Spiritual arrogance – pride & self-hypocrisy upset Jesus so He tells him a story…a parable –
A.Response to debt
•500 Denarii = $165K, 50 Denarii = $15K
•Neither had the money to pay it back so the money lender graciously forgave the debt of both.
•Jesus asked Simon; Which one will love the money lender more?
Who are these people are in the parable
•Money Lender = God
•2 Debtors = Prostitute & Simon
The Point – the more a person realizes how big a sin debt they have and are bankrupt and can’t pay it – the more a person is thankful for forgiveness.
What’s tragic is that Simon owed big like the prostitute but he thought $15K wasn’t that much.
He simply couldn’t see it because of his arrogance.He had no chance of paying his debt anymore than the prostitute.
B.God’s forgiveness activated
3 ways God’s forgiveness is activated –
•Recognize we are sinners
•Recognize our debt to God cannot be paid
•Recognize God’s undeserved mercy is our hope for forgiveness
•All of these done by the prostitute
•None of these done by Simon
II.GOD TRANSFORMS LIVES
If you are here today and you haven’t yet trusted Jesus in a real and personal way to be your Savior and Lord, this is a great message for you.
There’s an amazing connection in the scriptures here for us – regarding God transforming lives.
•John 11 – the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead.
John 11:1-2; Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)
•In our text, the prostitute is none other than Mary, the sister of Lazarus & Martha.
•This is an amazing transformation of Mary –
•This is what He does to every human life – He transforms us inside out –
•Mary went from being a Prostitute to ministering to Jesus, even at the foot of the cross –
A.He will make you new
2 Corinthians 5:17; Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
•Sad story here about Simon; could only see people through his own eyes.He saw the prostitute as a lost cause –
•God sees us differently – He sees us through 2 Corinthian 5:17
•He doesn’t care what condition we are in when He finds us – because He’s not going to leave us in the same condition is He?
B.His touch like no other
“The Touch of the Master’s Hand” – written by – Myra Brooks Welch
•I’m a living example of this in my previous life @ the age of 19 –
But God saw me through the eyes of 2 Corinthians 5:17 – He saw me for what I could become in Jesus Christ.
•Many of us here today have that same testimony!
•We may not be where we ought to be but by God’s grace we are not what we used to be.
What was it about this prostitute that impressed the Lord so much?
Simple – How much she loved Him!
•Imagine the open sandals of the day
•Worn all day covered in filth & germs
Customary in the day – Guest’s home provides water to wash
•To wash someone else’s feet was degrading, a humiliating task.
John 13:6-9; He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
•Simon didn’t even offer Jesus water!
•But Mary; washed first w/tears, then wiped his feet w/her hair, then kissed His feet and anointed them with her perfume.
It wasn’t the action that impressed the Lord, it was the Love.
C.The greatest commandment
Matthew 22:36; “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Remember the beginning of this message when I said whenJesus was asked what the greatest thing a human can do in God’s sight and with NO hesitation –
Luke 10:27; He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-6;Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
These verses teach us something very important, very powerful when we dwell on our Lord or tell others about Him –
Illustration purposes – Test
•Great news about the Bible is that God doesn’t love us because we love Him the way we should –
•God loves us for no good reason at all & He always will.
But this lesson – this exercise – leaves us with the question; how do you and I continue to grow and become more like Christ?
Are we willing to make adjustments in our life to accomplish this?
#1)Be like David and ask God to show you how sinful you are
Psalms 139:1-6; You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
ILLUSTRATION – John Newton / from Slave owner to Pastor once said; “The purpose of God in showing us the evil of our own heart is to make us prize more highly the unconditional love of Jesus”
#2) Get to know Him better – Christianity 101
•People are imperfect, we are flawed – the closer we get to people often the less we like what we see because we all have flaws.
•God is perfect – the closer we get to Him, the more He will transform us to be like Him and the more we will love Him.
My purpose this evening is not to have us dwell on our human weakness like Simon did the Prostitute at Dinner that evening – but to inspire us to pursue a deeper love for Jesus Christ in our lives.
Luke 7:36-50 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to [a]dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And there was a woman in the city who was a [b]sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 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. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “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 [c]sinner.”
Parable of Two Debtors
40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he [d]replied, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred [e]denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “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. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 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.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” 49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say [f]to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” 50 And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”