Faith Of Our Fathers #4: The Sinner And Saint Simon


Photo by Hédi Benyounes on Unsplash

It is always good to read the Scripture. Not just portions of Scripture, but ALL of the Scripture. God’s Word has power to teach us all great things, if we will but read and listen. Man’s word is subject to failure. God’s Word is sure! The Scripture says:

1 Peter 1:25 … the word of the Lord endureth for ever …

Man’s word is faulty, but God’s Word is eternal. Let me give you an example. A lot of people use social media. Many of you do not, particularly our older members, but many of you do. I was on Facebook the other day when I came across a picture of a man walking away. The picture said:

Walk away from people who put you down.
Walk away from fights that will never be resolved.
Walk away from trying to please people who will
never see your worth.
The more you walk away from things that poison your soul,
The healthier you will be.

When I first read these words I immediately – in my flesh – said “absolutely right!” But then God spoke to me … this isn’t right.

God directed my heart to the Alabaster Box.

You may not have heard of the Alabaster Box nor even know what I’m talking about, but the Word of God speaks of it in three Gospels. We’ll start by a responsive reading in Luke, then branch out from there.

Luke 7:36-39 (KJV) And one of the Pharisees desired him that {Jesus} would eat with him. And {Jesus} went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. [37] And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, [38] And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. [39] Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

Let’s go back to that Facebook statement for a minute. If we should walk away from people who put you down then we’re not being Christ-like. We’re being selfish. Jesus NEVER walked away from people who put Him down. Jesus did tell His disciples to go out and share the Gospel. He told them that:

Matthew 10:14 (KJV) And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

But this is the opposite of walking away. He told us to walk toward everyone to share His Word. If they will not hear, and will not receive you then and only then should you depart and “shake the dust from your feet”. This conveys the idea that you have done all that you could do, and now have no responsibility for it. When Paul and Barnabas were preaching in Pisidian Antioch some of the Jewish leaders stirred up persecution against them and had them expelled from the region. “So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium” (Acts 13:51). But Paul and Barnabas tried before they walked away. Love commands us to try.

Christian, you are to go TO them
before you
go AWAY.

Jesus Came To Save Difficult Or Toxic People

I am thankful for this because we ALL have been toxic or difficult at different times in our lives. We were at one time ALL the enemies of God. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us”(Romans 5:8).

Jesus had enemies when He walked this earth. He has enemies now. I would say that the GREATEST of our Lord’s enemies were a religious group called the Pharisees. Who were the Pharisees? Jesus defined the Pharisees in Matthew chapter 23:

  • Jesus said Pharisees were HYPOCRITES. They established rules for living, but did not follow the rules they themselves made (Matthew 23:3-4).
  • Jesus said Pharisees were ARROGANT. They dressed and positioned themselves to be seen of men (Matthew 23:5-7).
  • Jesus said Pharisees were LOST, and led others away from God and toward lostness (Matthew 23:13).
  • Jesus said Pharisees robbed widows in the name of religion, and made long prayers for which they would “receive the greater damnation” (Matthew 23:14).
  • Jesus said Pharisees were spiritually blind (Matthew 23:16-19).
  • Jesus said Pharisees did tithe, which was right, but rejected Biblical judgment, mercy, and faith (Matthew 23:23).
  • Jesus said Pharisees looked outwardly like saints, but inwardly were filled with evil (Matthew 23:25-28).
  • Jesus called Pharisees “a generation of snakes that will not escape the damnation of hell” (Matthew 23:33-34).

Now I’m sure that not all the Pharisees were as evil as this. I know that Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and was open to Jesus. Nicodemus would later help bury the body of Jesus. But I can safely say that the majority of the Pharisees were not Jesus’ best friends! The Pharisees were, by and large, a toxic and difficult group of people. Yet we read in our text:

Luke 7:36-39 (KJV) And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.

Jesus did not walk away from this Pharisee,
but walked TOWARD him.

Our Jesus is the Light of the world. Where is light most effective? It is most effective where it is dark. Jesus said:

John 8:12 (KJV) … I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

As soon as Jesus said this guess who said to Him “You’re a liar!”? It was the Pharisees (John 8:13). The Pharisees despised Jesus. They attacked Him at every turn. And yet when Jesus was invited to a Pharisee’s home what does He do? He goes. He doesn’t argue, but He goes.

Listen Beloved, the Pharisees are not the only difficult or toxic people in the world. As a matter of fact, if you will answer truthfully with me you’ll admit:

We all can be difficult people!
We all can be toxic!
If we walk away from everyone who is negative or poisonous we’d have to leave ourselves!

Everyone has been toxic at one time or another. Jesus goes to eat a meal with this Pharisee. We learn in Mark 14:3 tells us that Simon the Pharisee had also at one time been a Leper. Religion has made Simon difficult. Past sickness has made Simon difficult.

Leprosy was a terrible skin disease in the ancient world. Today there is treatment for leprosy, but in ancient Israel the only treatment was …

seclusion. quarantine. loneliness. loss of family.

The very Law that Simon loved is the Law that quarantined him from society. The Mosaic Law decreed …

Leviticus 13:45-46 (KJV) … the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. [46] All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.

The leper loses his family. The leper loses all contact with God in the Temple. The leper cannot go to Church. The leper cannot go to market, nor even to a ball game. The leper is cut off from the touch of love. Unless God miraculously heals the leper, that leper spends the rest of his life lonely, disregarded, only to fellowship with others as diseased as he is.

Leprosy was a living hell!
Jesus came to save us from living hell!
Jesus came to save us from all hells!

Why did this Pharisee who had been a leper invite Jesus to his home? Perhaps Simon was one of the unnamed lepers that Jesus healed. Perhaps Simon was the leper that Jesus healed in:

Luke 5:12-13 (KJV) And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. [13] And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.

The Law forbade anyone to touch a leper (Leviticus 5:3)! This poor man had been shunned for who knows how long because of a disease called leprosy. He had walked on the outskirts of the city crying out “unclean, unclean”, relying on the generosity of strangers to live. When this leper heard of Jesus this poor, broken man ran to the Master. Falling down before Him he cried, “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean!” And Jesus does something amazing.

Jesus touches that leper!
What no one else would touch, Jesus touches.
IMMEDIATELY the leper was made clean!

Our Lord loves to take the broken and fix it. He loves to take the broken life, the broken heart, the Alabaster Box. Simon was one time broken, and Jesus came and made him whole. But Simon forgot Who Jesus was.

Jesus Is The Healer Of The Broken

Jesus touched Simon when no man would touch him. Now someone else comes into the house. We read:

Luke 7:36-38 (KJV) {Jesus} went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. [37] And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, [38] And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 

A woman comes in to see Jesus. The Bible merely states that she is …

a woman in the city, which was a sinner

Society had taken a branding iron, heated it red and rosy over the flame of self righteousness, and then slapped that mark on this woman. HARMARTOLOS! SINNER! WHORE! She walked in the house, into Simon’s house. Oddly enough Simon did not say a word to stop her. If I were sitting at home and some person I didn’t know walked into my house I’d say “Who ARE you? I’m going to call the police if you don’t get out!” Wouldn’t you? Yet Simon says nothing to this woman.

Could it be because Simon had used this woman before? Simon knew who she was. We read:

Luke 7:39 (KJV) Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

Simon knows exactly who this woman is. How did he know her? We can only guess, but it’s very possible he had used this woman before. He knows her.

This woman also knows herself. She doesn’t have leprosy, but has something far worse than leprosy. She has sold herself to men, violating the holiness of her body. God made her in His image to find her Adam, to bind together in holy matrimony. He did not make her to sell herself as merchandise to be abused. She has fallen. So she stands behind Jesus. Did you read that?

Luke 7:36-38 (KJV) {she} stood at his feet BEHIND HIM weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 

The leper ran to Jesus and fell on the ground before Him. “If You will, You can make me whole!” Simon cried out to Jesus for healing … but this woman was not worthy in her own mind. She did not stand BEFORE Jesus, but BEHIND Him. She brought just herself and an Alabaster Box filled with precious ointment. She washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, and dried His feet with the hair of her head. Finishing cleaning His feet – feet that Simon forgot to clean – she breaks open that Alabaster Box.

The smell of that beautiful perfume filled the air.
But God did not smell the perfume of that Box.
He smelled the sacrifice of her heart to His Son.

Simon was healed. I don’t truly know if Jesus healed him or not, but if he was healed God healed him. Our God can taken the broken and heal it. But we must surrender ourselves to Him. the Scripture says:

Psalms 51:15-17 (KJV) O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. [16] For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. [17] The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

As this woman weeps and ministers our our Lord Jesus the Gospel of Matthew tells us that Simon wasn’t the only self righteous person in the house that day. As the woman breaks the Alabaster Box open and pours that beautiful perfume upon Jesus we read:

Matthew 26:8-9 (KJV) … when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? [9] For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

Oh, how we so quickly forget to worship our Jesus. Peter, weren’t you but a lost fisherman when Jesus called you to follow Him? Matthew, weren’t you a pitiful and despised tax collector? Weren’t you ALL sinners before Jesus called you to His precious side? Not one of you disciples deserve to be saved. Simon, you were sick before God healed you and restored you.

Who are ANY of you to judge another?
Who are ANY of us to judge another?

Oh, how the Scripture condemns us all. Doesn’t it say:

Psalms 14:2-3 (KJV) The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. [3] They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

This woman spoke not a word to Jesus, but Jesus heard her heart. Jesus heard Simon’s heart.

Jesus Knows Your Heart

Jesus knew who this woman was, and Jesus knows what Simon is thinking. Jesus knows what YOU are thinking right now. I don’t know, and don’t want to know. But Jesus knows. Jesus speaks not to the woman, but to Simon:

Luke 7:40 (KJV) And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

Notice the hypocrisy of Simon. He calls Jesus “Master”. This is the Greek διδάσκαλος didáskalos, (pronounced did-as’-kal-os) which is a term of great respect. Here is the hypocrite! Inwardly he accuses Jesus of not being a Prophet at all, but outwardly Simon calls Jesus “Master Teacher”, the same term that he would use for someone of great standing. Oh, how terrible is hypocrisy! But regardless as to what he says, Jesus knows Simon’s heart. Jesus said:

Luke 7:41-42 (KJV) There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. [42] And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. TELL ME THEREFORE, WHICH OF THEM WILL LOVE HIM MOST?

Which one would love the creditor more? The one who was forgiven fifty pence, or the one that was forgiven ten times that amount. When Simon heard this he said “I suppose the one that forgave him the most”. Jesus told Simon “You’re exactly right”. Then Jesus …

Luke 7:44-46 (KJV) … turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. [45] Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. [46] My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

Who loved Jesus the most? Not Simon. Simon never understood his lostness. He never processed that to the Holy God Who created all things that he is abhorrent. The sinner without Christ is an abomination to God. An abomination I say! And it does not matter what your sin is. If you have not come to Christ with all that you have and bow before Him, letting him cleanse you of sin – then you have no hope in eternity but eternal damnation.

This woman did not approach Jesus with fancy words. She probably had no education. She did not approach Jesus with religious works, beads, or rituals. She saw Jesus not as a Prophet, not as a Healer, and not as a “Master” as Simon hypocritically called Him. Jesus is all these things. But God revealed something to this woman that Simon and most of the religious crowd will never get.

Jesus Christ would die for me.

The Holy Spirit revealed this to that precious woman. I know this because we are told in Matthew that Jesus said …

Matthew 26:10, 12 (KJV) … Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. … {12} … she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

The woman – without a word spoken – worshiped the Savior. Jesus told her:

Luke 7:47-48 (KJV) Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. [48] And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

Are Your Sins Forgiven?

When Jesus forgave this woman’s sins the Bible says:

Luke 7:49 (KJV) And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

Who is this Jesus? Jesus Christ is the Only Messiah, the Only Person Who can forgive sins. There is only one way to God, and that way is by faith in Jesus Christ. You must believe that he is. You must believe in Him, trust in Him, and give your broken life to Him.

Jesus gave Himself for you.

Romans 5:6-8 (KJV) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. [8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus Christ died on a cruel Cross to make payment for your sins and mine. We are all sinners. We are all quite naturally far from God. We have sinned against the God of the Universe, the Creator Who made us and all that you see.

I do not know if Simon the Pharisee was ever saved or not. But I do know this. It is not by your strength that you can be saved from the hell of a wasted life. It is only through Jesus Christ that anyone can be saved. The Bible promises to those who believe:

Romans 10:9-13 (KJV) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. [11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. [12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. [13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

May God the Holy Spirit touch you as He touched that dear woman so long, long ago. I do not know if I will see Simon in Heaven, but I will see her. For you see, I am a sinner cleansed and being cleaned by Jesus. Jesus Christ is my Hope of Eternal Salvation. May God touch your hearts with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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