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Luke 7:36-50 - The Woman with the Costly Perfume Causes Jesus to Tell the Parable of the Two Debtors

For the next three months, our group is doing a daily Discovery Bible Study on various Jesus Stories during the week and coming together to tell them to each other. We are also telling them to friends. So, ask me to tell you one too! 


Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”

Originally uploaded to the english Wikipedia: 05:48, 7 August 2003 by user M123; "My own photo." 8 Roman denarii; left to right, row 1 : ca 157 BCRoman Republic, ca 73 AD Vespasian, ca 161 AD Marcus Aurelius, ca 194 AD Septimius Severus;

And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. “When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 

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. “You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. “You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”


One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to dine with him, and Jesus entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at the dinner table. Right then, an immoral woman from the village, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of expensive perfume and stood behind Him at his feet. She wept and her tears fell on His feet, and she kept wiping away the tears with her long hair, all the while kissing His feet and anointing His feet with this expensive perfume. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him in saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, He would know what sort of immoral person this woman is who is touching Him. She is a sinner."

And Jesus answered and said, "Simon, I have something to say to you."

And Simon answered, "Say it, Teacher."

"A man who lent money at interest had two debtors: one owed him 500 hundred denarii and the other owed him 50 (a denarii was for one day's wages). When they had no ability to pay, he freely forgave the debt of them both. Which one do you think will love him more?"

Simon answered, "I supposed, the one to whom he forgave and canceled the larger debt." 

And Jesus said to Simon, "You have decided correctly." 

Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "So back to your concern about this immoral woman . See her there? When I came into your house, you did not even give Me water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss of greeting, but from the time I came here, she has not stopped kissing My feet tenderly and caressingly.  You did not anoint My head with even cheap and ordinary oil, but she has anointed my feet with very rare and costly perfume. Therefore I tell you, her sins may be many, but they are forgiven her - because like the debtor who owed more, she loves more because her sins were great. But he who is forgiven just a little loves just a little.

And He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven!"

But there were those at the table with Him who began to say among themselves, "Who is this Who even forgives sins?

But Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; enter into peace [in freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin]. 


Give this story to a friend who is writing a curriculum for women who are struggling with forgiveness (did just as I was posting this). Also I will spend a time of thanksgiving for the "much" He has forgiven me for! Maybe share this (if appropriate) with a friend going through a dry time with Him. 

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