And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that [Jesus] sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind [him] weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed [them] with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.Luke 7:36-39
If you ever feel like you are doing pretty good with your discipleship because you are better than your neighbor, you picked the wrong standard! Simon did not see himself as a sinner because he compared himself to another sinner that he thought himself better than. What was the result?
He was angered when he saw true repentance, and he doubted even more Who Jesus truly was!
Simon thought there was no way Jesus was a man of God, much less a prophet, because He would have known how sinful this woman was. The Pharisees would not even allow the common people to be close enough to touch their garments. And yet, Jesus is allowing her to wash His feet!
The truth is Jesus did know the sinful character of this woman, but He also knew that she hated who she had been and wanted forgiveness. Further, Jesus also knew the impenitent heart of Simon. Jesus was not just a prophet; Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah. He knew everything, even the thoughts of this man!
Simon was so caught up in his religion that he didn’t recognize true repentance. Why is this? Because he had satisfied his own mind that he didn’t need repentance because he was at least better than this woman.
This sinful pride is found all too often in the Lord’s people. We have our church services, and we are comfortable in our religion. When someone who looks or acts differently interrupts this pattern, we just see a sinner. We see someone who is “less than we are.”
This judgmental pride is more dangerous than most want to admit. If we allow this attitude in ourselves or in our church, then we are in danger of the same result as Simon. When there is rejoicing in heaven over a sinner repenting, we will be angry. Even worse, we will not see Jesus as He truly is. We will not see our deep need for a savior and therefore will not clearly see Jesus as our personal Savior!