The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 22 : The Gospel According to LUKE

[Chapter 7-2] (Luke 7:36-50) The Proper Life of Faith

(Luke 7:36-50)
“Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, ‘This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.’ And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ So he said, ‘Teacher, say it.’ ‘There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, 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 rightly judged.’ Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.’ Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?” Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.’”
 
 
What Is the Proper Life of Faith?
 
You probably have heard the Word from today’s Scripture passage many times, but I do not think there are many people who know the meaning of this Scripture passage clearly. Really, there are not many people who think they are the main characters of this Scripture passage here.
One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to the dinner. The Word from the passage states that a woman in the village who was a sinner visited Jesus when Jesus was sitting in the home of a Pharisee. It is written, “a woman in the city who was a sinner,” and it means that the woman was a sinner that everyone knows. There were all kinds of rumors about her as a sinner throughout the village. How prevalent the rumors about the woman must have been for it to be recorded like that here? In the past, there was a tendency for rumors to spread rampantly when a person did something special. These days, there is not much interest whether someone is a sinner or not.
Many people among Christians also live like the Pharisees spiritually. There are many people who think they are different from this woman because they have received the remission of sins. However, we are the people who are the same as this well-known sinner, a woman who was branded as a sinner in the village. This woman is not the only woman branded as a sinner, but we are also such sinners.
Do you know how much we sin in this world? This woman is rumored to be a sinner because she committed so many sins, but we also commit many sins throughout our lives as we live in this world. Do you think the righteous are exceptional to this? There is no one who was not a grave sinner among us. Could we say that we are not sinners if our real selves were revealed before the presence of God? We are not sinners who occasionally commit sin secretly. We are well-known sinners who have committed so many sins publicly. All the people in this world are well known sinners before the presence of God just like this woman.
However, many people say they did not do such things, and pretend they walk straight and do good deeds like these Pharisees, and behave as if they do not have anything to do with sin. However, is it really like that? Who is unlike this woman who is a well-known sinner in the village before the presence of God? Pastors, Buddhist monks who practice asceticism, Catholic priests, nuns, junior high and high school students, college professors, and the members of the Red Cross Society, they are all sinners alike. However, they insist that they are not like that. They pretend they are not sinners when we are all sinners before the presence of God.
Was this woman the only sinner when there were many women living in that village? No, that is not true. All the women living in the village were sinners alike. Men living in that village were also sinners alike. Everyone is a sinner in same manner. People who pretend to live righteously are not much better. The religious people seem great, don’t they? However, they really are notorious sinners. They are filthy people that we cannot even fathom their filthiness. You and I who have been born again are same. Human beings are filthy and wretched sinners. We may act as if we are not, but human beings are all sinners in the eyes of God. Our deeds are no different from the sinners who have been branded as sinners in our village. We look like that spiritually.
People who know what grave sinners they are before the presence of God, and people who know how lacking they are humble in their hearts. Such people love Jesus who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. A person who knows himself well loves Jesus. And a person who can discern himself clearly understands that he is not different from this woman at all and becomes a person who pours fragrant oil over Jesus and preaches the gospel of Christ.
 
 
Are You Different from This Woman?
 
Most Christians think that they are different from such sinners, but what is the difference? They say they are not a prostitute, or a male prostitute, even though they do the same things; they do such filthy things at least in their hearts and they are actually all same in God’s eyes. Humans are all same before the presence of God. However, they get together every week and pray, “Forgive those sinners. Lord, forgive and save them,” as if they are any better. We must know we are such people. We are people like that. We must know our true self. We are people like that before the presence of God. However, so many people think they are not like that. They think they are just marginal sinners who are okay because they are not terrible sinners known around the village. However, we are sinners well known around our village.
We commit all kinds of terribly filthy sins with our hearts. There would only be terribly filthy things left in us if we took out the righteousness of Jesus Christ from our lives. Even so, most people think there are decent people and nasty people in this world basically. However, all humans are lowly before the presence of God. All humans are just the same as this woman who was a well-known sinner in her village.
Each one of us must know how filthy and how wretched a sinner he or she is before the presence of God. We can do the same thing this woman did when we understand this and also receive salvation from sin through faith. However, we will receive eternal destruction if we become like the Pharisees. We will be destroyed if we think we are not like this woman. We cannot receive the gospel of the water and the Spirit that is the gospel of the remission of sin and become people who cannot receive it, and even if we did receive the Word of the water for a moment, we would eventually spit it out again. Therefore, we must know our filthy self as it is without any pretense.
A woman who was a well-known sinner brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil and stood beside Jesus, stood at His feet beside Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with her tears. Here, we must know who loves God the most and who serves God the most. The person who really knows he is a well-known sinner can know the real value of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is why he could give everything before the presence of God and serve the righteousness of God preciously. This woman who was a notorious sinner in the village brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil for Jesus. However, a person who does not know what a sinner he is, a person who does not know the essence of his sinful nature cannot come before the presence of God with faith.
Are you a person who lives for the Lord throughout your life? Or, are you a person who lives for yourself? A person who knows that he really commits sin often and that he really is inadequate, and a person who knows Jesus took all his sins upon Him, such person knows how precious the righteousness of God is and serves it in a very worthy manner. Such a person brings his precious things for the spreading of the gospel. A person who does not know that he is a sinner and does not know his true self does not think preciously of the Lord and cannot offer his precious things. Only a person who knows that he has many shortcomings and weaknesses even though he has received the remission of sins can really offer up all his things for this gospel and serve the gospel before the presence of God.
However, a person who does not know his true self considers the gospel of the water and the Spirit as merely one of the basic doctrines and ignores it. They just consider the gospel of the water and the Spirit as something that is another of many teachings. But, do you know how beautiful and precious the gospel of the water and the Spirit is? We would receive a curse and die if it were not for the gospel of the water and the Spirit. How could we even think lightly of the gospel that has saved us? However, the gospel of the water and the Spirit is not an ordinary gospel that people can ignore. This gospel that Jesus saved us with is not an ordinary gospel at all. It is not a gospel that is akin to just a little candy given to a baby. It is the most precious thing of the world.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit that Jesus Christ blotted out all our sins with is not a gospel that anyone can believe easily. They serve the gospel worthlessly because they regard the gospel as worthless. They serve Jesus like an accessory because they believe in Jesus like an accessory, and they serve the gospel ritually without their hearts and misunderstand when they believe that they are serving the Lord faithfully. Is that a proper spiritual life? They become crude also because they believe crudely like that.
The gospel is something we must really have in our life. We are destined for hell without this gospel even if there is God. There would only be destruction. However, I do not know how so many people consider and believe this gospel as some ordinary worthless gospel. It is a big mistake to think that anyone could receive the remission of sins just by calling out “Lord! Lord!” How could we receive the remission of sin just by calling out “Lord, Lord!” God’s curse would be on you if you thought of the gospel as a common ordinary thing like a stone on a street when the gospel actually is a secret from Heaven. This Truth is really precious and we must definitely believe it. A person who has discovered the Truth cannot help but behave just like this woman.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Truth, is not discovered by just anyone. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is not a common ordinary gospel that anyone can have. Many people these days just believe the gospel in their own way and they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit well. Therefore, whosoever believes in Jesus is said to be “a saved sinner.” But does this make any sense? It is the same logic as you say, “I was rescued from being almost drowned, but I am still drowned in deep water.”
When we ask such people who believe in Jesus like that to say something about the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they cannot say anything and they just close their mouth firmly. They just say that Jesus died for their sins on the Cross, but is that really the true gospel that cleanses all their sins? They say that Jesus who died on the Cross saved them from all their sins, but that is not the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must first know the nature of Jesus Christ in order to know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and then we must know how Jesus Christ blotted out all our sins and know the gospel of the Truth through the Word in detail. And the people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit should know specifically how much sin was blotted out and in what manner. The Lord blotted out all the sins of this woman who was a notorious sinner in the village. That is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. People misunderstand and believe that the original sin was taken away when one starts to believe in Jesus but personal sin must be blotted out by offering prayers of repentance every day. However, the gospel of the water and the Spirit doesn’t teach like that.
The woman who is an infamous sinner of the village did not sin just once but sinned always; and everyone is a sinner who always commits sin like her. However, Jesus took all the sins of this woman through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. This woman stood at His feet beside Him weeping, and she began to wash His feet with her tears. Like this woman, a person who knows that he is a sinner believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. A person who knows and believes the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot boast of his righteousness before the presence of Jesus. A person who knows his true self cannot stand before the presence of Jesus boldly like that. He cannot do this because he is ashamed of himself.
This woman who had committed many sins stood at Jesus’ feet and shed tears. She brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil with tears of thanksgiving to Jesus Christ for saving her and taking all her many sins upon Himself. We could see the woman’s heart to serve the Lord, to spread the work of the Lord to far away places. A person who has truly received the remission of sins wholly before the presence of the Lord does same as this woman.
This woman washed Jesus’ feet with her hair, kissed His feet, and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Do you have the knowledge of the fact that Jesus Christ has blotted out all your sins perfectly and completely? The spiritual meaning of the fact that the woman washed Jesus’ feet with her hair is that this woman believes with the concrete understanding that Jesus came to this world and took all the sins she commits upon Himself. We cannot believe if we do not understand the gospel clearly. We cannot believe if we do not have the correct knowledge of how Jesus came to this world to save us and blotted out all our sins.
 
 
This Woman Washed the Feet of Jesus Christ with Her Hair
 
This woman believed that all her sins—so many sins as she has committed, so many like the fog, like the cloud, like the sands, and all the sins she would commit until she dies—were forgiven through the work our Lord has performed once and for all. This woman clearly had such knowledge and conviction. She believed with clear understanding that Jesus came to this world and blotted out all her sins; she knew and believed what the path of Jesus meant correctly. That she kissed His feet means that she kissed the work Jesus Christ performed. Have you kissed the work Jesus Christ has done for you? Jesus came to this world in human flesh for the woman who was infamous for her sins in the village and for us who are grave sinners as well. And the Lord took all our sins upon Himself. And Jesus recorded in the Bible that He took all our sins upon Himself.
To kiss means to believe. Do you kiss the work our Lord has done; the Word He has spoken in the midst of light? Do you believe? People must have wondered why this woman kissed Jesus’ feet full of dust, which were smelly and dirty, because of the sweat. What is that telling us? Jesus Christ came to this world in human flesh and took all our sins upon Himself perfectly by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist at the Jordan River, fulfilled it all when He died on the Cross and was resurrected in three days after death. And the work Jesus had performed looked very precious, not worthless, to this woman who was a well-known sinner in the village. Therefore, she kissed the feet of Jesus because Jesus’ feet looked so beautiful and holy to her.
Half of the sinners think lowly of the fact that Jesus took all the sins of the world by receiving the baptism in the Jordan River and think Jesus just died on the Cross for our sins. Why don’t they kiss the work of Jesus that took all the sins of the world by receiving the baptism in the Jordan River, the river of death, and His work of preaching thereafter even though they kiss Jesus Christ who died on the Cross? Why don’t they kiss the work of Jesus that blotted out all our sins by receiving the baptism and the work of preaching the gospel to us and making us whole?
This woman kissed the feet of Jesus and the feet signify Jesus taking all our sins upon Himself. There is no true gospel other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The gospel is the Lord coming to this world in human flesh, taking all the sins of humans upon Himself by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist in the Jordan River. This Gospel is Jesus Christ who took all our sins upon Himself receiving the judgment in our place and dying on the Cross, and God the Father resurrecting Him on the third day from His death and Having Him sit at His right hand. The true gospel consists of all such elements.
We would not be able to receive salvation if God did not come to this world clothed in human flesh. Many people who profess to be Christians only believe in Jesus who hung on the Cross or Jesus who came as a human. They intentionally neglect God’s will by not accepting the genuine gospel that says that the Lord took all the sins of the world upon Him at the Jordan River. They do not admit the true gospel as the basis of their salvation. Jesus once asked the chief priests and the scribes, saying, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?” (Luke 20:3-4) God predestined the baptism of John in His providence. God planned to blot out all the sins of the humankind through the baptism John gave to Jesus. We humans came to receive the remission of sins because all the sins of the world transferred over to Jesus when Jesus Christ received the baptism from John the Baptist. That is the genuine gospel.
Therefore, we must kiss the work Jesus Christ had done with His feet. We must kiss all the works Jesus Christ has done. However, most people do not kiss all the ministries if salvation Jesus has done. Such people are not grave sinners of the village, but only a little sinner owes just 50 denarii. Only a well-known sinner of the village comes before Jesus Christ and kisses His feet. Only a total sinner who knows that he is really inadequate before the presence of God and who admits that he has committed so many sins kisses the work Jesus Christ has done wholly. A person who thinks he is a sinner who has a little shortcoming and commits sin only occasionally never kisses the feet of Jesus Christ. All our sins have been transferred over to Jesus Christ when He received the baptism at the Jordan River. However, people who say they believe in Jesus Christ faithfully even without kissing this Truth are all sinners.
This woman kissed the feet of Jesus Christ. She was thankful that Jesus took all hers sins upon Him. This woman did not sin for just one or two days. She had committed sin wherever she went. There were rumors and gossips wherever she went. How could she lift up her face and live unashamedly when there were such rumors about her in such a small village. However, this woman came to know that Jesus had taken all her sins upon Him. Only a person who believes with the understanding like this woman that Jesus Christ took all the sins of the world upon Himself kisses the gospel of Jesus Christ. He receives it with his heart and applies it in his life naturally.
Do you accept this gospel? Are you also a sinner like this woman? Are you a sinner who commits sin a little occasionally and by mistake? No one sins just a little occasionally by mistake. No one is a little sinner who has the experience of committing sin once or twice. Human beings are sinners who commit sin in this world continuously until the moment they die. Jesus Christ took upon Himself this sin, that sin, and all the sins of the world as well. Do you believe that you are a well-known sinner of the village like this woman?
You are also a well-known sinner of your village. I am such a person and all the people in the entire world are such people. Do not try get out of it thinking you are not such a person. A person who thinks I am not a wretched person will spit out the gospel even after believing in Jesus Christ. It means that such a person skipped to kiss the feet of Jesus. Some people may wonder if there is something other than this, and there is indeed nothing more precious and beautiful than this gospel for us humans. What else could there be that is more precious to us? We could receive salvation only when Jesus Christ has taken all our sins upon Himself; and what in the world could be more precious and what in the world could be more wonderful than this? There isn’t another gospel in any religion or in any teaching that is more precious and wonderful than this gospel Truth. There is no greater love than the love of Jesus in this world.
We must kiss the feet of Jesus Christ spiritually. We must kiss the feet of Jesus Christ with the faith from the deep in our hearts. Do not think we are just sin a little and that we would not sin if we just make up our minds firmly. I mean do not be prideful and think that you would not sin any more now even though you had committed sin like that before. Even you do not know what sins you will commit in the future. However, Jesus knows them all even though you do not know. That is why the Lord came to this world and took upon Himself at the Jordan River all the sins of the humankind, all the sins of our lifetime, all the sins of the well-known sinners of the village, the evil sins, and the sins of weakness. Do you believe that you are such a person? You must know that you cannot serve the gospel preciously if you claim that you are not such a person.
We can serve the Lord with thankfulness because we have shortcomings everyday. We cannot worship the Lord if we do not have shortcomings. A person who just accepts the gospel and does not follow the Lord after that is not a person who has received the remission of sins. Some people just accept the gospel and turn back to their old way of life, and such people think that they do not sin much and they are people who confirm by themselves that they will not commit such sins anymore from now on. It is hard for such people to believe that the Lord also took even the sins he commits now. The Lord does not allow faith to such people. There are people who say they do not need the Church now because they have received the remission of sins, and they will recognize whether they really are in need of God’s Church or not.
Jesus Christ took upon Himself all the sins of this woman, sins that number more than her hair. Therefore, that woman was so thankful for the work of the salvation the Lord had done with His feet and loved them so much that she kissed them and poured the fragrant oil. Her behavior implied that she would live for the preaching of the gospel for the rest of her life.
All the Four Gospels record this woman and this woman was a well-known sinner of the village. Aren’t all the people in this world like village prostitutes, male and female alike? Who in the world could say he is not such a person? Step forward before the presence of God if you can say that you are not a village female prostitute or male prostitute. Who can do this? A Buddhist monk? A pastor? A priest? A minister? A pastor’s wife? A deacon? An elder? Or, a deaconess? All human beings are alike like that. They are just hiding themselves behind a facade.
We who are gathered here have received the remission of sins. We have received the remission of sins because we are village prostitutes and male and female prostitutes. It means that we have received the remission of sins because we are prostitutes. We have received the remission of sins because Jesus Christ took all our sins. A person who asks for forgiveness and says that he is not such a grave sinner and that he would never sin again if the Lord forgives him this one sin is a really arrogant person who does not know Himself. Such a person thinks that it is over when he finished offering prayers of repentance, but he sins again when time passes. Will you never go to the toilet ever again just because you went to the toilet once? You have to go to the toilet again because you cannot live without eating. No one can live without going to the toilet for a long time. Such a person is not a sinner from his standpoint. Such a person does not need the Lord even though he sins all the time because he does not know that he is a person that sins throughout his life.
There are many Christians who have their own righteousness. Are you not a prostitute? Are you not a male prostitute? We are all such people with not much difference before the presence of God. The human mind is corrupt before the presence of God as it is written, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Filthy things come out of the human heart like spoiled water because the heart of a human is corrupted. God forcibly puts such a person who says that he is not such a grave sinner into such difficult circumstance and brings him to submission. But the people who are filled with hypocrisy pretending to be righteous in the Church eventually leave the Church because they do not know they are the notorious sinners of the village. They eventually leave the Church and go their own way because they have so much of their own righteousness.
We need the Lord, we need the gospel, and we need the Church all through our lives. That woman washed Jesus’ feet with her hair, kissed them, and poured the fragrant oil over them. This woman poured expensive fragrant oil over the feet of Jesus, and this fragrant oil signifies the gospel of the water and the Spirit, spiritually. This is really happy news, beautiful news, and a voice that blotted out the sins of humans that is more beautiful than anything else in the world is. Absolutely the most beautiful thing, the most beautiful story is that the Lord has blotted out all the sins of human beings. Fragrant oil is oil and the aroma of the oil spreads when we pour it. Fragrant oil is many times more expensive than perfume. It is oil, but the aroma is very good and strong. The fragrant oil signifies that our Lord took upon Himself all the sins of us human beings who are well-known sinners, all the sins we commit every day, all the sins we will commit until the moment of death, by receiving the baptism at the Jordan River.
Who are these people who live such spiritual life? They are sinners. Well-known sinners live such a life. It is saying spiritually that the woman has given all her life to serving the gospel and that it is proper for the born-again to devote their lives to the preaching of the gospel. However, the Pharisees thought that they were more righteous that the woman, thinking, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
Are you a complete sinner before the presence of God? Or, are you a person who has a little shortcoming before the presence of God? Have you ever knelt down as a lowly sinner and confessed, “Lord, I am a real sinner” before the presence of God? Have you ever been a sinner with your deeds? All the people are sinners before the presence of God. However, the Pharisees said, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” They figured that she was a complete sinner whom they had to point out since she was a sinner whose sins were revealed to everybody of the village.
There are two kinds of sinners: Sinners whose sins are revealed on the outside and other sinners whose sins have not been revealed yet. We must become sinners whose sins are revealed completely before the presence of God. We must admit before the presence of God that we are complete sinners, not sinners who have little shortcomings, and that we, therefore, are people who deserve to go to hell. We must know that we are complete sinners like that. We must realize that we are such people.
We become thankful to Jesus Christ for taking all our sins upon Himself when we come to know that we are such grave sinners. That is why we can kiss His feet, kiss the work Jesus has done and follow Him with thankfulness, and pour fragrant oil on Him and serve Him. In addition, we give ourselves for the righteous work of spreading the gospel and to live together with Jesus. With such faith, the Apostle Paul professed, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). How could we be crucified with Christ? It was only possible because we could be united with Him in His baptism.
Now, our life is living the life of Christ. Our Lord took all our sins upon Himself and saved us when we could not help but receive the judgment for our sins, die, and go to hell due to our sins. I must live my whole life for the Lord since He is the Lord who has saved me properly from hell, the Lord who took upon Himself even all the sins that I will commit in the future because of my weaknesses.
This woman lived such a life. What kind of person poured an alabaster flask of fragrant oil? What kind of person received salvation? What kind of person kisses Jesus’ feet? A person who knows that he is a sinner who cannot but go to hell, a person who knows that there is much sin recorded in his heart, a person who knows that he is going to hell in light of the Word, receives salvation and kisses Jesus’ feet. A person who knows that he is a grave sinner believes that Jesus Christ came to this world in human flesh and took all our sins upon Himself and fulfilled all the righteousness by receiving the baptism in the Jordan River at the age of thirty; he believes that Jesus Christ died on the Cross; and he believes that Jesus Christ was resurrected from death and sits at the right hand of the throne of God the Father.
God gave the remission of sins and the authority of becoming the children of God to the people who believe in the work of Jesus Christ. Today’s Scripture passage says that those who believe that the Lord has blotted out all their sins kiss the feet of Jesus. Furthermore, it says that people who believe that Jesus Christ took all their sins that number more than the hairs of their heads upon Himself has received the remission of sins.
 
 
We Who Have Had All Our Sins Forgiven
 
Today’s Scripture passage says, “Simon, I have something to say to you.’ So he said, ‘Teacher, say it.’ ‘There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’”
The Lord said to us that there are two kinds of debtors. This means that there are two kinds of sinners: One is the sinner whose sins are revealed completely and the other is a sinner who thinks he has little shortcomings. We are all great debtors before the presence of God. We are grave sinners before the presence of God. But, what kind of sinner are you? Are you the kind of sinner who cannot help but die? Or, are you a sinner who has little shortcomings? This is the very critical point as to whether you will receive the grace of God or not.
There are many ‘little sinners’ in this world who are in debt for fifty denarii. There are many such sinners in the Christian circles today. But there are people who are in debt for five hundred denarii, people who admit that they cannot stop committing sin, people who are destined to go to hell if not for God’s grace, if God did not blot out all their sins perfectly, if He did not take all the sins of adultery and of prostitutes. They are people whose life itself consists of sins and sin itself constitutes them. Some are simply sinners ethically, but some admit that they are grave sinners who cannot but go to hell. There are these two kinds of sinners and they both cannot pay off the debt in their situations. A little inadequate sinner also could not pay that off before the presence of God. He could not compensate for his own sins.
The Scriptures say that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). We should receive the judgment and die because the wages of sin is death, and this death means to be cast into hell and cursed eternally. We cannot repay it while we are living because we must give up our lives for our sins. Our Lord has written off our sins since a person who has committed sin must die because the price of sin is death. Our Lord has written off all the debt by these two debtors here. The Lord forgave sins of all the people; the grave sinners and the little sinners alike. We regard ourselves as the terrible sinners or the little sinners from our human standpoint, but we are all the same sinners in light of God’s Word.
God has written off all the sins of the world. No one in the world has sin. Do you think there are still sinners? We were sinners before, but we have now become righteous. We become righteous when we understand that we really are sinners, and believe in the work Jesus has done and kiss His feet. There is no sin in this world because Jesus Christ has written off all the sins of both kinds of sinners. That all the sins were forgiven means Jesus blotted them out by paying the wages of sins with His life in our place. It means that Jesus took upon Himself all the judgment for the sins. Jesus Christ received the baptism for us and received the judgment vicariously. Jesus Christ did not just do this in word only, but He actually died for us.
Then, who did love the Lord more between the two? It means that the one who had more sins written off loves the Lord more. The one who had more sins written off loves the Lord more. A person who has received the remission of all sins loves the Lord and serves the Lord to the end. A person who knows that he is a grave sinner destined for hell loves Jesus and believes this gospel. However, a person who does not know that he is such a grave sinner does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Jesus said to Simon the Pharisee, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.” We are thankful because Jesus Christ took all the sins upon Himself even though we sin with our hearts and actions until we die before the presence of God. Therefore, it says that the woman washed the feet of Jesus with her tears. It was the tears of thanksgiving.
On the contrary, this Pharisee did not even give Jesus some water to wash His feet when Jesus went into his home. The Pharisee did not believe in Jesus Christ. He could not serve the Lord because he did not believe in Him. God was saying through this story that the one who has had more sins written off loves the Lord more. The Pharisee was a person who was in debt for 50 denarii, a person who thought that he had some shortcomings, but not a person who is a complete sinner. That is why he did not even bring out water when Jesus came to His home. He just thought that he had some shortcomings, but he did not acknowledge that he was essentially a grave sinner.
However, this woman was different. Jesus said to the Pharisee, “You gave Me no water for My feet.” That the Lord said this means that the Pharisee thought, “When did You blot out my sin? How could You be my Savior? You may be my teacher, but how could You be the Son of God?” The Pharisee just considered Jesus as a teacher. However, he did not believe in Him as the Son of God. He did not believe in Jesus Christ who actually blotted out his sins as his Savior. Even though he was a sinner, he was just a little sinner who had some shortcomings, not a sinner destined for hell. He was a sinner who thought he would not go to hell even though he had sin a little.
There are so many Christian sinners with little shortcomings in the earth like Simon the Pharisee. A sinner with little shortcomings never believes in Jesus. He pretends to believe, but never accepts the work Jesus Christ has done to blot out all our sins. Jesus came to this world and did some works during 33years of His life, but the Pharisees believe some things about Jesus and did not believe in other things. That Simon did not give water to Jesus to wash His feet means that he did not believe in Jesus as God.
However, this woman wet His feet with tears and washed them with her hair. This woman believed in all the works Jesus had done and would do by coming to this world. She believed that she was really a sinner who could not but die and that Jesus blotted out not only one or two sins that she had committed, but all the sins that were as thick as clouds and cleansed them as white as snow. She served the Lord with tears because she was so thankful. This woman washed Jesus’ feet with her hair. This woman did this because she did not have any other way to express thanks and love to Jesus who saved her. She expressed her faith like this by believing that Jesus Christ took all her sins that numbered more than the hairs of her head.
We confess our faith when we believe in Jesus. Most Christians can profess their faith just with their lips, saying, “The Lord took all my sins upon Himself and the Lord also took all the sins of the world upon Himself as well.” But they have not received the remission of sins in their hearts because they recognize themselves as little sinners fundamentally. However, a person like this woman who has received the remission of all her sins that were like thick clouds is a person who believes that the Lord took all her sins—whether they are specific sins or not or whether they are huge sins or not. Such a person is so thankful and the Lord is so precious to her because she believes that so much sin of her has gone over to the head of Jesus Christ through His baptism. Such a person is thankful that the Lord took upon Himself all his or her sins which are so many. Only a person who has ever received the remission of all those sins could serve the Lord like that.
Have you received the remission of sins that number greater than the hairs of your head? How many hairs has one had for one’s whole life? What is surprising is that you sin more than the number of the hairs of your head during your lifetime. The woman washed the feet of Jesus with her hair. Do you think she cared about how she looked when she was washing the feet of Jesus with her hair? She washed the feet of Jesus with her hair as her face was covered with tears. She was saying by this act, “I am thankful because I have received the remission of all these sins by coming to this world and receiving the baptism.”
Aren’t we such sinners as well? We are sinners that commit more sins than the number of the hairs of our heads. Not only us, but also all humans are born sinners like this woman. Because we sin more than the number the hairs of our heads before the presence of God during our lifetime, we are sinners who cannot but go to hell due to those sins. I do not know how many strands of hair we have, but scientists say that each person has 100,000~120,000 strands of hair as an average. Moreover, because each hair has its life span, 100 of them naturally fall out and grow back in turn every day. Then, we have so many strands of hair all our lives. However, Jesus Christ took all our sins upon Himself. Our Lord knew that we would sin more than the number of our hairs. Therefore, our Lord came to this world, took all our sins upon Himself personally through John the Baptist, and died in our place. This is the profession of our faith in Jesus.
Beloved saints, what do you have that is righteous? If we are righteous, it is because of the faith of believing in Jesus Christ, and not your deeds. Isn’t this right? You have nothing that is righteous. We human beings are working only for ourselves, but we do nothing for God. Are your deeds righteous? Are your thoughts righteous? What do you have that is righteous? You have nothing that is righteous.
We must kiss the feet of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to this world in human flesh for us humans who sin more than the number of the hairs of our heads. Then, He took all our sins upon Himself, received the judgment, and died in our place at the Cross. And He was resurrected from death and now sits at the right hand of God the Father. Therefore, we must kiss, by believing the Word in light of the Scriptures, the work of Jesus recorded through the prophecies in the Old Testament and the Four Gospels in the New Testament.
The Lord said to Simon the Pharisee, “You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.” The woman who knew Jesus Christ properly from the moment He entered the place kissed Him. Jesus opened the door and entered the home of the Pharisee and this woman just went to Jesus, held Him, and kissed Him with tears as she followed Him. It means that even though we have many shortcomings and weaknesses spiritually even after we have met the Lord by receiving the remission of sin we follow the Lord with thanksgiving and the faith of believing because the Lord took even all those sins that we commit out of our weaknesses.
We can receive the remission of sins completely just by believing the work the Lord has done for us. However, the confession of the remission of sins and faith must be practiced on daily basis, and therefore, we need our faith every day. We need this every day because we are weak. Take a look back at our lives. Look back and see how insufficient we are. We sin continuously in our lives even after receiving the remission of sins because we have shortcomings. Therefore, we need to kiss the gospel by believing that the Lord even took those sins upon Himself. We must also become like this woman spiritually.
Do you think we become the born again Christians just by stepping into Christianity once? We must confess our faith on daily basis. We need it until we pass away. The Lord asked Peter, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The Lord also asked Peter after He was resurrected, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” Then he said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” Jesus Christ made His disciples confess their faith every day. Jesus made them confess their faith until the day He ascended to Heaven. We also must profess with our whole heart and with our open mouth that Jesus is our Savior. I want you to confess your faith without ceasing.
The Lord said to Simon the Pharisee, “You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.” The woman poured the fragrant oil over Jesus. This means that we must spread the gospel the rest of our lives. We must spread the good news to all the people that Jesus Christ has blotted out all our sins. You must give your life for the gospel. After receiving the remission of sins, you must live for the gospel and for God, not for yourself. You must give your life for the will of Christ. A life of a person who has truly been born again must give up his life for the gospel. This woman, here, did not live for herself. She gave to Jesus the most precious thing among all the possessions she had.
All the Four Gospels describe that she gave an alabaster flask of fragrant oil to the Lord unsparingly; she gave the whole bottle of it. I want you to give all your life instead of giving it little by little. I want you to give your whole life to God. I want you to live the life of a genuine Christian by giving your whole life to Christ. I want you to give your all for the spreading of the gospel. I want you to give all the good things you possess to the Lord.
The Word from today’s Scripture passage says that she anointed His feet with the fragrant oil. It means that the woman lived a spiritual life. Only a person who has become a sinner in the midst of the light of the Word receives all the remission of sins as a gift. Only the people who have truly become sinners in light of God’s Word receive the Word of the Truth that blots out the sins through God’s Word. It means that a person who acknowledges God’s Word accepts and believes God’s Word. Only a person who believes this Bible as God’s Word accepts and believes God’s Word. Such a person receives the grace, the Word, the fact that Jesus Christ has blotted out all our sins with the Word.
However, how about so many people who are not spiritual? They do not receive the Word. Some people say, “The Scriptures contain human words as well as God’s Word. Therefore, the Scriptures could have had errors when they were translating, and therefore we should accept some parts of the Bible and do not accept certain other parts.” The Scriptures say God is the light and He reveals what is right and wrong for us and reveals the Truth in the midst of God’s Word. Only a person who has become a grave sinner in the midst of the light, a person who has become a notorious sinner through the Word, can accept the Word, become righteous, and receive the abundant grace of God. However, people who are not spiritual do not receive it because they do not know it. This Bible is the Truth.
Some of the Korean theologians have gotten together and translated the Bible again. They translated for 20 years, and they haven’t produced a Bible that is equal to the Bible we now have. There is a saying that an unskilled craftsman only blames the tool. Like this, a person who says that he cannot believe Jesus because the Bible is wrong is really a wretched person. We have evaluated the new Bible with a chapter from the Book of Psalms, and we came to a conclusion that the Bible we now use has been translated so well. Rather, the new Bible that the professors translated for 20 years was worse. It cannot even compare with the old version. They were just flaunting in their ignorance. Ignorance produces blind courage. Translators of the Bible did not translate it arbitrarily.
People who have become sinners by being illuminated with the Word receive the grace of God in the midst of the light of the Word. The bible says, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5). The light is referring to God and His Word. We receive the remission of sins through God’s Word. God’s Word tells us clearly what sin is, what the Truth is, what the sin is of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, what the judgment is, what faith is, what self-righteousness of the human is, and what the righteousness of God is. People do not believe the Word because they do not know it correctly.
Do you serve the Lord as you believe in Jesus? Or, do you serve the people? Many Christians serve the Lord just a little instead of giving all their lives and think they have served the Lord well. Is that really true? The woman broke the alabaster flask of fragrant oil as a whole. She did not just pour a little portion of it, but she broke it and poured it all. She gave the most important thing of her life as a whole. She did this because there was a complete transformation of her life.
Only the grave sinners kiss the feet of Jesus and follow Him all their lives. A person who is just a little sinner does not kiss the righteous work Jesus has done. Only a big terrible sinner, a notorious sinner, can kiss Jesus like this woman. However, the churches of this world are filled with such little sinners. Such people do not kiss the feet of Jesus. They do not kiss the gospel of the water and the Spirit. A person who does not know his weaknesses does not kiss this great Truth. They think they are not such sinners and, therefore, that they think there are other ways to attain salvation besides the baptism of Jesus and His blood. There is only hell for such people. They are destined for hell for sure. All the half-baked sinners are destined for hell. All the people who claim to be sinners with little shortcomings are destined for hell.
However, a person who knows that he is a sinner who cannot but go to hell, a person who knows that he is destined for hell according to the Word believes in the Truth of the fact that Jesus Christ blotted out all his sins. Only such terrible sinners kiss the feet of Jesus. The conclusion is that a big sinner can receive salvation.
There is a lyric from a hymn that says, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” Only a big terrible sinner kissed the feet of Jesus. He kissed the righteous work the Lord has done. A sinner who has only trivial sins does not kiss Jesus. Therefore, all the little sinners go to hell. A person who is in debt for 50 denarii cannot serve the Lord, cannot believe in the Lord, and cannot kiss the feet of Jesus. They are the Pharisees who lead merely a religious life. Religious leader, the holiness-oriented Christians, and those who do not think they are big terrible sinners—they all go to hell.
The 500 denarii spoken here refer to the spiritual grace of God. It means that we cannot receive the remission of sins if not for the grace of God. The Bible says, “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you” (Isaiah 44:22). A person who is in debt for 500 denarii, a person who cannot but go to hell because he has more sins than a thick cloud, believes that Jesus Christ blotted all the sins completely at the time He received the baptism. A person who has received the remission of sins serves the Lord. However, a person who has received the remission of only original sin cannot serve the Lord. We serve the Lord because we have received the remission of all the sins. Our Lord took upon Himself all the sins we commit every day and all the sins we will commit in the future as well. Our Lord took all our sins eternally upon Him when He came to this world because our Lord is the eternal God. Therefore, we have received the remission of all our sins for eternity. Only the person who believes that Jesus took all his sins upon Himself serves the gospel.
Our Lord asked Simon the Pharisee, “Do you see this woman?” Who is this woman? She was the notorious sinner of the village. She was a shameful person who could not but die. Our Lord saved such a person who could not help but go to hell, a person who could not but be cursed. That is why this woman washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, kissed His feet, and washed the feet of Jesus Christ with her hair. This woman believed in Jesus Christ with her whole heart and lived the life of serving the Lord. This woman believed this clear Truth that our Lord took upon Himself all the sins that numbered more than her own hairs of her head. This woman believed with firm conviction that Jesus Christ was her Savior. That is why the Lord told the Pharisee look at this woman. The Lord was saying that we must believe in God like this woman when we believe in Jesus Christ.
Do you see this woman? We have seen what this woman had done. The Lord said, “You gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven.” The Lord was telling us to live a life like this woman. That is why the Lord showed this woman to us. This woman was an object and example of salvation, and her faith was the proper faith. The Lord took all her sins upon Himself perfectly. The Lord said that He took all the sins of this woman including her personal sins, not just her original sin.
Take a look at this woman. This woman was in debt for 500 denarii and she could not help but go to jail because she could not pay off her debt. That is why the Lord took upon Himself all the sins of this woman. And our Lord is saying to us, “This woman believed in me, served me, and witnessed me. So, you must also live such a life.”
Beloved saints, we are also the same as this woman. Therefore, we must also live a life the same as she did and we can do this. We can do this not because we have a resolute heart to live such a life, but because our Lord has bestowed grace for us to be able to live like that. We are people who need the grace of the Lord every day.
Who among us is righteous by himself? Is there anyone among us who has his own righteousness? Do we have anything that is intelligent? Only our Lord is righteous and only our Lord is wise and able. Our Lord who is like that saved us. Look at the woman that our Lord was speaking about. I want you to believe the perfect salvation our Lord performed for this woman, confirm in your hearts the faith of this woman that followed and served the Lord, and follow after Him with faith before the presence of God. Halleluiah!