Simon the Pharisee

Simon the Pharisee was the one that invited Jesus to dine. The cause or object of the invitation we do not know; but as yet Jesus had come to no marked or open rupture with the Pharisaic party, and they may even have imagined that He might prove of use to them, as the docile instrument of their political and social purposes. Probably in inviting him, Simon was influenced partly by curiosity, partly the desire to receive a popular and distinguished teacher, partly by willingness to show a distant approval of something which may have struck him in Jesus' looks or words, or ways.

A woman stood at Jesus' feet weeping. Simon the Pharisee thought that Jesus should have know that she was a sinner but Jesus read his mind and related the story of the creditors with two debtors, one owed much and the other owed little. The creditor forgave both of the debt owed and asked Simon which one would love the debtor more, upon which Simon answered correctly in that the one who owed more. "See this woman? I entered into your house, you gave me no water for my feet but she has washed my feet with tears and wiped them with the hairs of her head. You gave me no kiss but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil you did not anoint but this woman has anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto you, her sins which are many are forgiven for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." Jesus said unto her, "Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you, go in peace."

It is quite clear that the hospitality was meant to be qualified and condescending. All the ordinary attentions which would have been paid to an honored guest were coldly and cautiously omitted. There was no water for the weary and dusty feet, no kiss of welcome upon the cheek, no perfume for the hair, nothing but a somewhat ungracious admission to a vacant place at the table.
[309, Luke 7]

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