Saturday, June 15, 2013

Proper 6

Proper 6
Luke 7:36-8; 3
16 June 2013

Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us Your gifts of faith, hope, and love that we may receive the forgiveness You have promised and love what You have commanded; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
An invited guest speaks…

Two sinners have a personal audience with the Savior. How do they fare?

  1. Simon opens his house but is far from hospitable. Despite his invitation, Simon has shown Jesus none of the hospitality one might expect to be granted as a guest in one’s home. No water. No foot -washing. No embrace.  Search the story. For any token of love on the part of Simon. There is none. He treats Jesus with dishonor. He discredits Jesus. He is a disgrace.

A.      Simon, he is impenitent. Why waste time admitting sin if there are none to confess? He is comfortable with his own righteousness. He will stand before God on his own merits. He’s perfectly capable of living his own life. He has no need of Jesus. His life is fine. He’ll do things his way.  

B.      Simon, he is impudent. He calls Jesus “teacher.” His lips dripping with sarcasm.

C.      Simon, he is loveless. Jesus is the friend of sinners.  Jesus associates with “her kind”. He should have known what sort of woman she was. That’s all he has to know about this Jesus. There are simply certain kinds of people with whom good people in a polite society do not associate. Everyone knows that!  She’s untouchable…a reject…unwashed…a “dirty!”

  1. This woman, by contrast, is an interloper. She was not invited into Simon’s house. It’s simple. Her kind is not welcome. And, she is forgiven.

A.      Her sins were many. And, it seems that people know of them. It’s one thing to live a private life. We all have secret sins. It’s quite another to be out there, in the open, in public. Had she no dignity? Doesn’t she know how to be discreet?

B.      Her sins dismiss her.   She’s rejected. With much scorn and disdain. She’s been shelved by Simon, by those who worship at the temple, by her own people. No one wants her. She’s worthless!

C.      In humbleness, she approaches the Savior. From behind. She dare not look Jesus in the face. Rather she throws herself at Jesus’ feet. Her body language alone preaches the most powerful of sermons. Kyrie Eleison!  Lord! Have Mercy!

D.      She receives absolution. Total remission of all her sin. And she is free! This woman loves greatly because her sins have already been forgiven of Him who loved her.

  1. Jesus asks the question, “Now which of them will love him more?” “Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”

A.      The current national debt according to the US National Debt Clock is over $16 trillion. That’s the number 16 with twelve zeroes. The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $2.70 billion per day since September 30, 2012! The estimated population of the United States is 317,000,000 so each citizen's share of this debt is $53,000.00. [1] The debt of your sin is greater – a debt you cannot pay.

B.      In mercy, the Father canceled the debt. Faith always respond in love – “Your faith as saved you; go in peace.” Her love was the result, and never the cause, of her forgiveness. So get over yourself!  Your sins are not forgiven because you love God.   You love God…because you are forgiven!  You love…because He first loved you. (1John 4:19). Such is the inference of the parable.  And such is the teaching of the entire New Testament. 

C.      Your reaction to all this? Not like the other dinner guests who began to say among themselves, “Who is this…who even forgives sins?” Rather, with repentant and grateful hearts we say, “Thank you Jesus…”, then show, and reflect that love with your life.

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