3159 21st Street N.
St. Petersburg, FL
Elder Steve Shelton
(727) 822-1918

By Steve Shelton

Text: (Luke 7:48) And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.


In the passage before us, we have the account of a Pharisee who invited the Lord into his home as a guest. The Lord accepted the invitation and went to the house of the Pharisee and sat down to meat. During the course of the visit a woman in the city, which is described as a great sinner, learned Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house. She came in with an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping and washing his feet with tears, and wiping them with the hairs of her head; she kissed them and anointed them with the ointment. The Pharisee who had invited the Lord into his house could not believe the Lord would allow such a thing. He thought within himself: 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.

Our Lord knowing all things and being able to know what was going through the mind of the Pharisee, said: "Simon, I have some what to say unto thee" The Lord proceeds to tell him a parable. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors, the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. The creditor when he found out they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Simon which of them will love him most. Simon answered: I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. The Lord said: "Thou has rightly judged." Our Lord then said to Simon:: "Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. {46} My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. {47} Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. {48} And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven." (Luke 7:45-47) The Lord did not say here because of this woman’s love, her sins were forgiven. Rather He said: her sins are forgiven and the evidence is by the love she has shown to me.

Transition: This Morning I would like for us to consider for just a few moments these words: "Thy sins are forgiven" In considering these words I would like to first consider:


The Pharisees were known for their self-righteousness and pride.

The Pharisees were very strict when it came to the law, especially with regards to others. They laid heavy burdens upon others, but when it came to themselves, they relaxed the demands. They paraded their self righteousness before men. They stood in the synagogue and on street corners and prayed and did it to be seen of men. They gave alms and did it openly to be seen of men. They looked down on others who were not of their sect. They interpreted the law and their interpretations became law. And their interpretation even though it might contradict the law of God was what they followed. Their traditions or teachings which they taught in many instances made the commandments of God of none effect. They did not want to be near one who was considered a sinner or outcast. They thought they might be contaminated because of it. They separated themselves from those who were considered sinners and did not have anything to do with them.

The woman who is spoken of in the passage is described as a sinner by the Pharisee.

And she was a sinner who had many sins. You will note in the words which our Lord spoke to her, he acknowledge the fact of her sins (plural) It was not just one sin but sins.

Was there any difference between her and the Pharisee?

As far as being sinners - No! They both were sinners The Apostle Paul tells us in (Rom 3:9-10) What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; {10} As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Paul tells us in (Rom 3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Those of us who are here today, there is no difference between us and the Pharisee and the woman spoken of here in the passage. We are all alike in that we are sinners. We have sinned against God and broken his law. David tells us in (Psa 51:5) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. He acknowledge that he was born a sinner. He tell us in (Psa 58:3) The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.


The Pharisee was self righteous, uncharitable and fault finding

Self righteous

The Pharisee amazed at the fact the Lord allowed the woman to touch him. e thought within himself we are told in verse 39: "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."


His judgment of the woman was very harsh e considered her a sinner and he was above her. He was a Pharisee - one who kept the law and did all the things which it demanded. He kept himself pure by separating himself from such people. His judgment of the Lord was very harsh. There was no way this man could be a prophet. Here he is allowing this woman to touch her. He is contaminated now.

Fault Finding

He found fault in this woman for doing the things which he should have done. Being hospitable to one’s guest.. He found fault in the Lord for allowing this woman to touch him. Why - She was a sinner The Pharisee did not have any sense of his own sins. In his sight, he was righteous. He did not have any great sins.

The Woman knew her sins and knew they were great.

As she comes into the presence of the Lord, she bring an alabaster box of ointment to anoint the Lord. This was a possession which was very costly. She begins to wash his feet with tears and to wipe them with her hair. She anoints them with oil and kissed his feet. Kissing a rabbi’s feet was a sign of deep reverence. She in great humility, reverence and devotion renders this service. She evidenced her love and her deep indebtedness to him. This is illustrated by the parable which our Lord spoke to Simon the Pharisee.

What about you?

Do you recognize your indebtedness unto the Lord? Which one of these characters and their characteristics are a representation of you? Are you the Pharisee - self righteous, uncharitable, faultfinding and without any sense of your sins or indebtedness? Or are you the woman - who knew her indebtedness - how great it was. Who humbly, with reverence, devotion ,and love rendered service unto the Lord.


The Pharisee was ignorant of the free favor of God.

His thoughts evidenced it. (Luke 7:39) 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. He had never experience God’s gracious pardoning of sin for he didn’t have any sin in his own eyes. He was a righteous Pharisee.

His actions evidence his ignorance of the free favor of God

The Lord in reproving Simon said in (Luke 7:44-46) And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. {45} Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. {46} My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. He had no love for the Lord. The only thing he did was find fault with the Lord. He judged him harshly for allowing this woman to touch him. He rendered no service unto the Lord.

The woman had experience the pardoning grace of the Lord.

She evidenced it by her loving deeds and service unto the Lord. We are told in (Luke 7:38) 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. That which was costly to her was not to great for the Lord. She had been forgiven of her great debt and she could never repay him. She evidenced it by coming into his presence and standing before him and acknowledging him as Lord. Now we do not have this woman speaking audibly in words here but in actions we do. She profess her love for him and her devotion She evidence her faith by her works. - She believed He was the Messiah


The Pharisee was not forgiven

To the Pharisee the Lord did not say: "Thy sins are forgiven" He was still in his sins. This was evidence by his actions and deeds. He had not experience the pardoning grace of the Lord

The woman was forgiven.

The Lord said unto her: "Thy sins are forgiven" The verb "are forgiven" is in the perfect tense in the Greek It describes and action which is viewed as having been completed int he past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated. Her sins were gone, cast in the deepest sea, as far as the east is from the west, they had been removed, never to be brought up again.

Beloved, what about your sins?

Are thy forgiven? Or do you know yourself to be a sinner and one who has sinned greatly against God? The only way that we may know the pardoning grace of the Lord is: First: To have a realization of our sin. One must realize their sin and how great it is. Then and then only will the Lord become all together lovely. Second, repent of them and look to the Lord like this woman did by faith. Beloved her only hope was in the Lord and his words: "thy sins are forgiven" She rested by faith in those words. She hung on to them. May God give you grace this morning to do the same. To hang on to the gracious words of the Lord.


In the last few verses of our passage, there were those who ask the question: Who is this that forgives sins also? The answer is: The Lord Jesus Christ the Almighty God. He is the only one who can forgive you of your sins.

Beloved, God forgives us of our sins based upon the what the Lord Jesus Christ did on the cross.The Lord God received the blood sacrifice which the Lord Jesus Christ offered there on the cross. All who repent of their sins and trust in him and his work on the cross, they may know the forgiveness of sins and the hope eternal life.

Central Baptist Church February 27, 2000