But the Pharisees and experts in religious law had rejected God's plan for them, for they had refused John's baptism.
"How shall I describe this generation?" Jesus asked. "With what will I compare them?
They are like a group of children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, 'We played wedding songs, and you weren't happy, so we played funeral songs, but you weren't sad.'
For John the Baptist didn't drink wine and he often fasted, and you say, 'He's demon possessed.'
And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, 'He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!'
But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it."
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home for a meal, so Jesus accepted the invitation and sat down to eat.
A certain immoral woman heard he was there and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive perfume.
Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, "This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She's a sinner!"
Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts. "Simon," he said to the Pharisee, "I have something to say to you." "All right, Teacher," Simon replied, "go ahead."
Then Jesus told him this story: "A man loaned money to two people -- five hundred pieces of silver to one and fifty pieces to the other.
But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?"
Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt." "That's right," Jesus said.
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn't offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You didn't give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in.
You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
I tell you, her sins -- and they are many -- have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love."
Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven."
The men at the table said among themselves, "Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins?"
And Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."