Fourth Sunday of Pentecost
Jesus Forgives a Sinful Woman in the House of a Pharisee

Luke 7: 36 - 50
There are three distinctly different stories in the New Testament about women who anoint Jesus with expensive ointment or perfume.

The best known is the story of Mary, the sister of Lazarus (John 12: 1 - 11) who bathes Jesus' feet with ointment and dries them with her hair.

The second story, told twice (Mark 14: 3 - 9 and Matthew 26: 6 - 13) is of a woman who comes to the house of Simon the Leper to anoint Jesus' head.

This story takes place in the house of a man named Simon, but he was a Pharisee.

The Pharisees were legalistic scholars who believed and lived the letter of the law. They believed that by keeping each of the laws in Leviticus boldly and in great detail that they would be clean in the eyes of God.

The Pharisees were afraid that they could become unclean simply by talking to or touching anyone who had ever committed any kind of sin; they were always surprised when Jesus talked to ordinary people.

Some scholars try to condense all the New Testament stories about women into just a few stories in order to connect them with those women who followed Jesus for whom we have names.

But the point of all these stories is that many women came to Jesus for forgiveness and healing, and he treated each of them with respect and dignity.

1. At whose house was Jesus eating?

[Jesus was eating at the house of a Pharisee.]

2. Why did the woman come to see Jesus?

[The woman wanted Jesus to forgive her sins.]

3. What did Jesus say to the woman?

[Jesus said, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."]

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