12 June 2016
Jesus, the Friend of Sinners
A prayer for deliverance from sin: We implore You, O Lord, in Your kindness to show us Your great mercy that we may be set free from our sins and rescued from the punishments that we rightfully deserve; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Jesus’ enemies accused Him of being a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Yes, He was. And Yes! He is! – “Simon! Look at this woman…” says Jesus. “I came into your house water upon my feet you did not give. By her tears, she washed my feet. With her hair, she wiped them. A kiss you did not give. Upon my entry, she did not stop kissing them.”
Jesus is the honored guest and Simon didn't have the common decency to treat him as such. Why? Simon cannot even give insincere hospitality. He did not recognize Jesus as the Christ. Simon was scandalized! That Jesus would allow this. But Jesus teaches that forgiveness is for sinners. Not for the self-righteous. This woman. Sorry for her sin. Was forgiven by Jesus. When we repent of our sins—which are many—we, too, are forgiven. Glory be to Jesus. He is a friend of sinners. Like you!
1. The debt is great – These two debtors. Both had the obligation to pay. The liability what huge. One owed 500 denarii - a price of a house. The other owed 50 –The price of a car. But not having it to pay the
The sinner must constantly confess, “I am a sinner.” The alcoholic, must constantly confess his condition daily until Jesus returns. And declares it no more. That’s precisely the point Jesus makes. The debt of sin we could never repay. The weight is too much for us to bear. The burden is too heavy. The guilt is overwhelming. So He cancels the debt. He stops it. He revokes. Rescinds. And repeals the debt. And declares it to be no more.
Transition: The burden and guilt of sin is great. In mercy, your Father has forgiven your sin and He remembers them no more…
2. In mercy, your heavenly Father canceled the debt. – Jesus doesn't talk about faith He delivers faith. Jesus tells the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” We can literally say, “Your Jesus has saved you. Go in peace.” Faith always looks to its object.
NOTE: When using the word "faith" follow up with, "what God in Christ has given you." We do not place faith in our faith. We trust in Christ and Him alone. Jesus’ words always do what they say. When He says, “your sins are forgiven,” they are! What a relief. What a blessing. To know that your sin, though they are many, have been removed. As far as the east is from the west. And He remembers your sin no more! What a blessing. To know that Christ Jesus has paid for every single transgression. What a joy to know that we do not have to carry about the weight of sin.
What a pleasure it is to carry our burdens and our cares to the throne room of grace and know that every stain of sin has been wiped clean. What we were unable to accomplish the Father has made possible by the death and resurrection of His own dear Son Jesus Christ. In Him, all sin is purchased and forgiven period!
Transition: Our sin, as great as they are, have been forgiven. How do you respond to all this?
3. What is your reaction to all this? Not like the other guests. Who began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Those sitting at the house were insulted. That Jesus would forgive sins. This should not surprise us. When Jesus healed and forgave the paralyzed man. “At once the Scribes and Pharisees began to say to themselves ‘Who is this fellow who says things like this that are insulting to God? Is there anyone but God who can forgive sins?” [Luke 5:21]
Do you see what they infer? Only God can forgive sins. Here is Jesus. Absolving and pardoning this woman. They will have none of it! They reject Jesus’ claim to pardon, cleans and release people from the guilt of their sin.
The same question these guests wrestled with at the table now becomes yours. Who is this Jesus? Who even forgives sins? Do you believe that Jesus can forgive sin? Do you believe that Jesus can absolve you? Of your guilt? Will you exchange your fault for His pardon? Or, will you deny His invitation? Read and react. Reflect and respond. This is the challenge presented to you this week.
Just as I am Thou wilt receive
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come.
NEW TESTAMENT in Everyday American English by Julian G. Anderson © 1984 Anderson Books Naples, FL
Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden [The Book of Books in Pictures]) ©WELS.
Passive Sentences – 8%
Reading ease – 85.2Reading level – 3.2