A Pharisee, Forgiveness and Faith

Luke 7:36-50

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown
ostrich behind him.

The waitress asks for their orders. The guy says, “A
hamburger, fries, and a coke,” and turns to the
ostrich, “What’s yours?” “I’ll have the same,” says the ostrich.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order.
“That will be $18.40 please.”

The man reaches into his pocket and, without looking,
pulls out the exact change for payment.

The next day, the guy and the ostrich return to the
same restaurant and the guy says, “A hamburger,
fries, and a coke.” The ostrich says, “I’ll have the same.”

Again the guy reaches into his pocket and pays with
exact change. This becomes routine until one night
they enter the restaurant and the waitress asks, “The

“No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked
potato, and salad”, says the guy. “Me too,” says the ostrich.

The waitress brings the order and says, “That will be

Once again the guy pulls the exact change out of his
pocket and places it on the table.

The waitress can’t hold back her curiosity any longer.
“Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come
up with the exact change out of your pocket every

“Well,” says the guy, “several years ago I was
cleaning my attic and found an old lamp. When I
rubbed it a genie appeared and offered me two
wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for
anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and
the right amount of money would always be there.”

“That’s brilliant!” says the waitress. “Most people
would wish for a million dollars or something, but
you’ll always be as rich as you want for as long as you

“That’s right. Whether it’s a gallon of milk or a Rolls
Royce, the exact money is always there,” says the

The waitress asks, “But, sir, what’s with the ostrich?”

The guy sighs and answers, “My second wish was for
a tall chick with long legs who agrees with everything
I say.”

This morning we are going to examine an interaction
Jesus had with a Pharisee and a sinful woman.
We will see a vast difference in how they viewed
themselves and their sin.

Let’s begin by reading the text:
Luke 7:36-50

A Pharisee’s Perspective

Improper View of Self

As was the case for many Pharisees, Simon thought
more highly of himself than he should have. He was
self-righteous. He didn’t deal with the sin in his own
life. He was only concerned with the sinful woman
who had come uninvited to his dinner party.

You may recall the story of the two men who prayed
outside the temple. The Pharisee prayed thanking God
that he was not like the tax collector and bragged
about how he tithed of everything he got and how he
fasted twice a week.
He didn’t recognize his own sin of pride.
Sometimes we get so caught up in judging others that
we fail to see our own sins.
That was exactly what Jesus was trying to point out to
Simon the Pharisee as He shared the parable of the
two debtors with him.

Improper View of the Savior

Simon invited Jesus to his house for a dinner party.
Remember when some Pharisees judged Jesus for
eating with tax collectors and sinners.
Jesus was a friend to sinners and wasn’t afraid to go
into anyone’s house.
Simon saw Jesus as a prophet and not even a good
one. V. 39 tells us what he was thinking about 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.”

He was so focused on the rules that he failed to see
the redemption that is available in Jesus!

Not only that, Simon didn’t even treat Jesus as an
honored guest. He invited Him to his house and didn’t
wash His feet, didn’t greet Him with a kiss, didn’t
anoint His head with oil. None of these were
extraordinary, they were customary. It was the polite
thing for a host to do for a guest and Simon didn’t
even bother with any of them.

Even after Jesus shared the parable with him, he still
didn’t understand Jesus was God in the flesh!
The people who were reclining at table with Jesus
wondered how this man could even forgive sins!!
Improper view of Sinners
Simon wondered how Jesus could allow this sinful
woman to touch Him and kiss Him and anoint His feet
with oil.
He couldn’t get past her sin to see her heart.
He was so appalled that a woman, who was known for
her sin, would come into his house uninvited and
touch his honored guest.

He had already decided that she was unworthy to
touch, talk to or even be in the presence of this
honored guest.

Sadly, I think many Christians view others in this
same way. We see their sin without regard to our own
sin. Jesus taught about hypocrites who looked at the
speck in someone else’s eye while they have a plank
in their own eye. It’s a wake-up call to examine our
own lives before judging someone else’s.

We are all bankrupt like the two debtors in Jesus’
parable. Every one of us has sin in our life. We have
all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

We are deserving of hell and death because our sin
separates us from God. Here’s the good news.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His
great love with which He loved us, even when
we were dead in our transgressions, made us
alive together with Christ (by grace you have
been saved), and raised us up with Him, and
seated us with Him in the heavenly places in
Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:4-6

We are not saved because we are so great or for
anything we have done for that matter, it’s all
because of the great love of God and because of the
obedience of Jesus to go to the cross in our place and
take the punishment for our sin.
Praise God for His great love and mercy

A Sinner’s Perspective

An Outpouring of Love

When this sinful woman heard that Jesus was going to
be at the Pharisee’s house, she went and got an
expensive jar of perfume and poured it out on Jesus’
feet. Not only that, she was weeping and wiping His
feet with her tears and her hair. She was showing her
gratefulness for the love that Jesus had previously
shown her.

All the acts of hospitality that Simon failed to perform,
this sinful woman did them to an even greater extent.

Let’s be clear that her outpouring of love isn’t what
saved her. It was her response to what had already
happened in her life. She came to worship Jesus
because she was so grateful for the forgiveness she
had already received for her sin.

The world saw her sin, Jesus saw her faith.

An Understanding of Depravity

The Pharisee was unable to see his sin.
He was too busy keeping the law and judging anyone
who didn’t. But his heart was full of pride.

This woman knew the depth of her sin.
She understood that she was not worthy of God’s
grace and forgiveness.

None of us are worthy of it, and that is what makes
God’s grace so amazing.
It’s broad enough to cover the sin of the whole
world, yet narrow enough to cover only those
who accept it by faith.

The point of the parable is forgiveness.
Everyone is born with a sin nature. You can thank
Adam for that one. From our vantage point, some
people have bigger sins than others. But in God’s
economy, sin is sin and whether others can see it or
not, we all have sin.
The woman was a known sinner.
The Pharisee didn’t think he had any sin, nor did he
see a need for forgiveness. Yet he is a sinner just the

A Response of Faith

Jesus told the woman her faith had saved her.
She received God’s grace and accepted it by faith.
Jesus knew her heart and that she truly believed.

We can see the evidence of her faith in her acts of
love and generosity towards Jesus.
She lavishly poured the expensive perfume on His
feet when oil would have been perfectly sufficient.
She lovingly kissed His feet and wiped them with her
hair. She also wept in His presence knowing that her
sins had been forgiven.


Today’s application is around forgiveness.

Forgive as we have been forgiven.

The truth is that if you have trusted Jesus as your
Lord and Savior you have already experienced God’s
And He expects us to forgive others just as we have
been forgiven.

If we continue to refuse forgiveness to those who
have wronged us we may become embittered towards

It only hurts us because we are the ones dealing with
the hurt and pain. We need to ask God to help us

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another,
tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as
God in Christ has forgiven you.”

Take some time and ask God if you have
unforgiveness in your heart.