Luke 7:36-50 by Pastor Dan Walker
In this special Mother's Day message we look at the way Jesus treated women. We see how Jesus forgave and restored a woman who was deeply lost in sin. Jesus sees your tears. He values your love and He forgives your sins. This message will encourage you and help you grow in your love for Jesus.
Duration:33 mins 3 secs

Today’s message is entitled “Jesus and Women.” I trust that this message will speak to mothers, as well as all women. The Old Testament has many great things to say about God’s plan and purpose for women.

Exodus 20:12 (ESV) “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

This commandment with a wonderful promise tells us to honor our mothers. Through God’s grace, a mother carried each one of us and brought us into the world. There are many examples of godly women and mothers in the Old Testament. We read of Eve, the mother of all humanity. Sarah, Abraham’s wife was a mother of faith. Jochebed, Moses/ mother who hid him by faith. Rahab, who hid the Israelite spies. Deborah, judge of Israel, Ruth, Hannah, Esther and many more.

Proverbs 31:10 (ESV)  An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

This verse speaks of the great value of women and wives.

Proverbs 31:30 (ESV) Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

A woman’s worth is not measured by her beauty or outward appearance, but by her love for and fear of the Lord. Yet, despite all these examples in the Old Testament and many more, women in Jesus’ day were considered second class citizens. Yet, Jesus broke the stereotypes of his day and showed, love, care and honor for women.

Luke 8:1b-3a (ESV) And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, … and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

As Jesus travelled throughout Israel, preaching the Gospel, He as not just accompanied by the twelve apostles. There were also a group of women who had been healed and who provided finances for the ministry. Today, Jesus wants to encourage all the women and mothers listening to this message. We’re going to learn how much Jesus cares about you.

Jesus sees your tears

Luke 7:36-37 (ESV) One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,

Our story begins with Jesus attending a dinner put on by an influential Pharisee. Most likely the people invited were only men. The custom of the day was for the men to lay on couches around the table with their feet extending away from the table. An unnamed woman heard that Jesus was attending the dinner at the house. That the woman was identified as a sinner meant that she was probably a known prostitute or had a very promiscuous reputation in the city. She brought an alabaster flask of ointment. A common ointment of the day was nard, which cost an average person’s annual wage for a pound. So it was very expensive

Luke 7:38 (ESV) and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.

The woman began to weep, washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, kissing them and anointing them with ointment. Why was she weeping? I believe, as we read the entire story, that she was weeping out of her great love and gratitude for Jesus’ forgiveness and acceptance of her. This was not the first time, she had seen Jesus. He had forgiven her in the recent past and she was showing Him her love.

Luke 7:39 (ESV) Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”

The woman’s actions were met with disapproval and disgust by the hosting Pharisee. As a Pharisee, he sought to stay far away from sinners, being careful not even to touch them. Pharisees felt that to touch a sinner would defile or make them unclean. Yet as we’ll see, Jesus did not stop the woman. He saw her tears and actions and welcomed them as an expression of her love. Jesus sees your tears.

Today, on Mother’s Day, there are times when you as a woman weep. You have tears for many different reasons. Sometimes, they may be tears of sorrow over sin in your own life. Or they may be tears brought on by the hurt of others close to you. At other times, your tears may be tears of joy or gratitude to the Lord. Whatever the cause of your tears, Jesus sees your tears and knows exactly what you’re going through.

He wants to comfort you and speak words of encouragement to you. He is there with you as you walk through life, you are never alone. Not only does Jesus see your tears …

Jesus values your love

Jesus addresses Simon, the Pharisee hosting the dinner and says …

Luke 7:41-42 (ESV) “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Jesus tells Simon a parable to help him and us understand what was going on with the woman. In Jesus’ day, a denarius was the average day’s wage. So 500 denarii was over a year’s salary and 50 denarii was a couple months salary. Neither debtor had the money to repay their debt, so the lender graciously forgave both debts. Jesus asked the question as to which debtor would love the moneylender more.

Luke 7:43-44 (ESV) Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

Simon correctly replied that the debtor who had the 500 denarii debt canceled would love the lender more. Then Jesus began to contrast the actions of Simon toward him and the actions of the woman. In Jesus’ day, it was customary for the host to make arrangements for the guest’s feet to be washed. But Simon had not done the customary foot washing. Yet, the woman, who was not the host, had washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. Jesus continued in …

Luke 7:45-46 (ESV) You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

Again, it was customary for the host to give a kiss of greeting and to provide olive to anoint the heads of the honored guest. Although Simon had not even done the customary, the woman had extravagantly shown her appreciation and love for Jesus. We see that Jesus highly valued this woman and her love for Him. Jesus values your love.

As a mother and as a woman, Jesus values you. He created you in His image, loves you and values you highly. As you show your love to Him, He receives that love and values it. As a woman, Jesus knows that giving and receiving love is very important to you. There may be times when you feel that no one really understands you. That no one truly loves or appreciates you.

Even other people, even those close to you, may have let you down, Jesus will always be there for you. He loves you completely. And as you love Him in return, He receives that love and brings comfort to you. Jesus values you and your love.

Jesus forgives your sins

Luke 7:47 (ESV) Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Jesus continues to explain to Simon and to us what is going on with this woman. She had many public sins. She had lived a life of sexual sin seen by all. This woman realized that even though Jesus knew all about her many sins, He forgave her. For that great forgiveness, she was grateful and had great love for Jesus.

Simon, on the other hand, didn’t think he had much, if anything, to be forgiven of. So, he showed little love for Jesus.

Luke 7:48-49 (ESV) And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”

Jesus let everyone attending the dinner know that He had forgiven the woman’s great sin. The dinner guests began to wonder how Jesus could forgive sin. You see, they knew that only God could forgive sin. Finally …

Luke 7:50 (ESV) And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Love for Jesus and faith are intertwined. The woman’s sins had been forgiven, she trusted Jesus and she was saved. We’ll see her someday in heaven. A life had been transformed as her sins had been forgiven and her shame removed. Jesus forgives your sins.

Forgiveness of sins is what gives you your freedom to love Jesus more and more. No matter what you’ve done in the past, no matter what you’re struggling with now, Jesus wants to forgive you. This woman repented by turning from her past sin and putting her faith and love in Jesus. She believed that He was going to give her a new life and He did.

As mothers, there may be times when you feel like you’ve failed. You’ve failed your children or your family and you are filled with sadness. Yet, Jesus came to give you hope. Simply confess your sin and failures to Him and He will forgive you. He will encourage you and direct you in His path for your life going forward.

With Jesus and His love, there is always hope for tomorrow. He can repair and transform damaged relationships. His love can heal and bring love back into your life in fresh ways. Jesus still forgives sins and brings hope.

This morning as a woman and a mother, perhaps you can identify with this woman that Jesus loved and that loved Jesus. Oh, you may not have been as great a sinner as this woman, but you know that you fail and sin as we all do. If there’s sadness in your heart this morning, Jesus sees your tears. He wants to bring His comfort into your life. Pour your heart and love out to Jesus. He values you and your love.

And for the times and ways that you’ve failed, He is ready to forgive you. He is ready to give you a fresh start of following Him with joy every day. No matter what comes your way tomorrow. No matter what is going on with your relationships, Jesus is with you. And as you walk with Him, your life will be a life of beauty.