What an interesting wrap up of this part of the story. Jesus has a series of encounters with the religious leaders and makes some important observations. First, Jesus calls them out and compares their treatment of John the Baptist and their treatment of Him. In effect, Jesus says–there is no pleasing you fools! John lived a spartan existence and you claimed he was demon possessed. I come and live and celebrate and you call me a lush and thug. The critical thing is that the message is the same, and that Wisdom is proved by all Her children.
Second point, gratefulness is regulated by need. Those that are aware of their need are always more grateful when that need is met. Jesus is dining at a religious leader’s house (Simon). During the meal, a woman comes and lavishes a sacrifice of praise and gratefulness upon Jesus. Simon is incensed. Jesus then points out to Simon that it really is based upon a recognition of need. She realized that Jesus as the Messiah provided hope and grace. Simon in contrast saw Jesus as a deluded heretic and a challenger to all the traditions. So, Jesus makes it simple–Simon, you treat me like a burden and an imposition, meanwhile, this lady treats me like the Messiah and a benefactor. She acts like a person grateful; while you act like a person inconvenienced–guess who gets the blessing.
In our lives, we can always find a reason to be critical. Things are never perfect, and life is difficult. Wisdom teaches us to be grateful for what we have and not ungrateful for what we don’t have. That attitude produces a reverence for God and an understanding of how great a salvation we enjoy. Jesus’s line “Wisdom is proved by all her children” speaks to that attitude of reverence and gratefulness. If we could embrace the attitude of the woman, we could enjoy the forgiveness and adoption we have received. In this culture, that would be truly wise.
God Bless You
Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
“‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.’
33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”