SUMMARY.--The Centurion's Servant Healed. The Son on the Widow of Nain Raised. John's Message and the Reply. The Greatness of John the Baptist. The Banquet at the House of a Pharisee. The Woman That Was a Sinner. The Rebuke of Simon. The Woman Saved by Faith.
18-33. The disciples of John. For notes on John's message, Christ's reply, and discourses about John, see Matt. 11:2-19.
36. One of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. This anointing is a different one from that recorded in Matt. 26:7 , and elsewhere. The breach between Jesus and the Pharisees was not yet so great as to prevent intercourse. Jesus accepted invitations of Pharisee and publican alike, with the like purpose of instruction in righteousness. "We must imagine the guests arriving; Simon receiving them with all courtesy, and embracing each in turn; slaves ready to wash the dust of the road from their sandaled feet, and to pour sweet olive oil over their heads to soften the parched skin. See Genesis 18:4 Genesis 19:2 Genesis 24:32 Ruth 3:3 Ruth 3:1 24:32 ; Psalms 23:5 Psalms 141:5 141:5 Eccl. 9:8 Dan. 10:3 Amos 6:6 . But there is one of the guests thus not treated. He is but a poor man, invited as an act of condescending patronage. No kiss is offered him; no slave waits upon him; of course a mechanic cannot need the luxuries others are accustomed to."
37. A woman . . . a sinner. Evidently an outcast woman. When she knew. She had them heard before of his compassion and tender mercy. She had learned to believe that there was mercy even for her, for whom earth had no mercy. Brought. How could she enter into the banquet chamber? Kitto says: "There were always many people hanging about the court and the outer parts of the guest chamber, which was wholly open in front. A door is a great hindrance to admission into a room, and where that does not exist people easily slip in."
38. Stood at his feet behind him. The Jews reclined at table, leaning upon the left elbow, with the feet stretched out behind. With tears. Heart-broken, with a sense of sin and a hope of mercy, her tears fell upon his feet.
39. When the Pharisee . . . saw it. He wondered that Jesus did not spurn her. He spake within himself. The Pharisee mentally put the Lord into this dilemma--either he does not know the true character of this woman, in which case he lacks discernment of spirits which pertains to every true prophet, or, if he knows it, and yet endures her touch, he is lacking in that holiness which is also the mark of a prophet of God.
40-43. Jesus answering. To the unspoken thought. Five hundred pence. About seventy dollars. Fifty pence. About seven dollars. Had nothing to pay. The small debtor was as helpless as the other. We are all insolvent. Forgave. Forgiveness is the only hope of sinners. To whom he forgave most. There is a peculiar gratitude which the restored wanderer realizes, to which the one who has grown up in rectitude must be a stranger. Both may love with all the heart, yet their love will not possess precisely the same characteristics.
44-46. I entered into thine house. How strong the contrast between the indifference of the Pharisees and the earnestness of the penitent! He withheld water; she gave precious tears, "the blood of her heart," says Augustine. He gave no kiss to his cheek; she covered his feet with kisses. He grudged even a drop of oil; she broke the box of rare ointment for her Lord. He treated him with despite as an underling; she adored him as a prince. The water for the feet, the kiss and the oil for the head were ordinary Oriental courtesies.
47-50. Wherefore I say unto thee. This woman, a great sinner, shows that she is forgiven by her great love. Her faith in Jesus led her to trust for forgiveness. Thy sins are forgiven. The fact which her trust led her to believe and which filled her soul with love is now announced. Thy faith hath saved thee. Her faith brought her to the feet of Christ, a contrite and weeping sinner. Go in peace. All her tokens of penitence and affection could not, even in the eyes of sinful men, wash away the stain of her life, but the grace of Christ led her to true peace, as her abiding condition.--Schaff.