The Parables of Jesus # 1
Cancelled Debt

The parables of Jesus, stories he used to teach his listeners about things he wanted them to know. Some of them were
easy to understand and some were hard for his listeners to comprehend. Because there is such a message in them, I
thought it would be good for us to make a study of the parables. We will be approaching them alphabetically instead of
chapter by chapter.

The first parable we will be looking at, is the parable of the canceled debt, found in Luke 7. We will be looking at the
scriptures before and after the parable, in order to learn what the parable was about and the purpose of the parable.

Luke 7:36-50
 36. 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.
 37. 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,
 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.
 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.
 40. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
 41. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
 42. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of the will love him most?
 43. Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly
       judged.
 44. 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.
 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.
 49. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
 50. And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Verse 36 - 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.

 [A] The bible doesn’t tell us where exactly Jesus was, or what town he was in when this event to Place

 [B] Jesus had been teaching and preaching to the people, and there were with them the ever present Pharisees, also
         listening.
  
 [C] What’s interesting to me is that one of the Pharisees, asked Jesus to his house for a meal.
        [1] It’s been speculated that this Pharisee might have received a healing form Jesus,
        [2] It also might have been that the Pharisee was trying to trap Jesus instead of learning from him.
        [3] The bottom line is, we just don’t know why he asked Jesus to his house.

 [D] Jesus went to the Pharisee’s home and sat down to meat.
        [1] He sat down to eat – or in other words, he sat down to eat.
                [a] The King James states that Jesus sat down to eat, but actually he probably reclined Around the food eat.
                [b] It was a common practice for people to recline on their left side, on pillows and to eat with their right hand.

Verse 37-38 - 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.
  
 [A] A woman of the city, who was a sinner
        [1] Who the woman was, is not really told us, although some say it was Mary Magdalene.
        [2] What her sins were, again is not told us. She was a known sinner, --perhaps an abandoned woman or a
                 prostitute. What we do know, is that she had much to be forgiven for.
        [3] Question:
               [a] Why do you think she went to the house where Jesus was?
               [b] What would have inspired her to go into someone’s home and anoint Jesus’ feet?

[B] She brought with her an alabaster box
        [1] There are several different thoughts about his box.
                [a] It may have been a box which contained a bottle of Perfume in it
                [b] It may not have been a box, but instead a bottle – an alabaster jar as some translation state it was.

[C] She knelt at Jesus feet behind him.
        [1] As I already stated, Jesus was probably reclining, on his their left side, with his feet, extended away from the
                 table, which made it possible for the woman to approach his feet

 [D] She began to wash his feet with her tears.
         [1] The Jews wore sandals. When they entered a house, they were removed.
         [2] It was a common act of hospitality and kindness to wash the feet of your guest.  
         [3] Simon had not bothered to wash Jesus feet, but this sinner woman showed her love for Jesus, and at the
                 same time her humility and penitence, by pouring forth a flood of tears, and washing his feet in the manner
                 of a servant.

 [E] She kissed his feet.
         [1] The kiss was an emblem of love and affection in Bible times – as it is still in Arab countries.
                 [a] In this manner she showed her love for Jesus,
                        [1-a] She didn’t kiss him on the cheek. She kissed his feet, humbling herself about as much as she       
                                 possibly could.
                 [b] She showed her humility and sense of sin by kissing the feet of Jesus,
                        [1-a] She was not worthy in her own mind to kiss anything other than his feet.
                        [2-a] She was a sinner and knew it – Jesus was worthy to walk over her, she was unworthy to even look
                                 upon his face, so she kissed his feet.
                 [c] There could be few expressions of penitence more that are more deep and tender than hers were that
                         day.
                        [1-a] When I see someone come to the altar of repentance, with a broken and contrite heart, weeping
                                 and seeking forgiveness from God, I know they are sincere.
                        [2-a] When a sinner comes before Christ, they cannot stand in his presence, they can only fall to his
                                 feet and seek his mercy and grace.        
                 [d] This is the way we should come before Jesus as we embrace our Redeemer, and humble ourselves at
                         his feet, and offering him our very best, even all that we have, and all that we’ve gained wile we were
                         yet a sinner. We should offer our heart, our life and our all to him.
        [2] There seems to be so many people today who want forgiveness, and want to have eternal life, but they are not
                 willing to kiss the feet of Jesus to get it. Instead they want only what they can get from him.        

Verse 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.

 [A] If he had been a prophet
        [a] What Simon was implying was that Jesus, if he was a prophet, would have known this woman was a terrible
                 sinner and would not have allowed her to touch him

[B] The Jews were very standoffish in that they refused to touch a person who was unclean, because that made them
        unclean as well.
        [a] For this woman to touch Jesus was to make him unclean
        [b] For anyone to touch a Jew who was clean, and that person not be a Jew, made them unclean
        [c] Jewish law list numerous things that cause a person to be unclean

 [C] Because Jesus was considered a Prophet, he should have known that this woman was unclean an stopped her
         form touching him – at least that was the thought of Simon

 [D] Who if any, was Jesus unwilling to touch?
        [a] IS there any who are too unclean for him to touch?
        [b] Is there any who are too dirty for him to touch?
        [c] Is there any who are too bad of too anything for Jesus to touch?

Verse 40 - And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

 [A] Jesus who is all knowing, knew the thoughts Simon was having about him, and about the woman.

 [B] Than came the parable

Verse 41-42 - There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

 [A] A certain creditor
        [1] Someone who loaned money to others

 [B] This creditor had two debtors who owed him

 [C] Now here, the King James say they owed pence’s, whereas the NIV and the other translations I checked all say
         they owed Denarii’s
         [1] Five hundred pence is equal to 69 dollars and 26 cent
         [2] Fifty pence is equal to about 7 dollars
         [3] Whereas –  a denari is equal to one days wage
                [a] One man owed money equal to 500 days wages
                [b] One man owed money equaling 50 days wages
        [4] The Living Bible says
                [a] One man owed $5000.00
                [b] One man owed $500.00        

 [D] Than, Jesus said that the creditor forgave both men of their debts and they owed nothing.

 [E] Than, He asked a question – Which of the two debtors will love the creditor the most?

Verse 43 - Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly
 judged.

 [A] Simon answered, He that had the most forgiven

 [B] Questions
        [1] Who is it that shows the most appreciation to Jesus for what he did for them, the one who was the biggest
                 sinner, of the one who was raised in a Christian home and attended church all their lives?
        [2] In the eyes of God, who is the biggest sinner, one who is in church, and never accepted Jesus, or a prostitute
                 on the street who never heard about Christ?
        [3] What is the fate of both of these sinners, unless they give their heart to Jesus?

Verse 44 - 47
 44. 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.
 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.

 [A] With Simon’s answer in verse forty-three, he opened himself up to Jesus’ rebuke of his actions.
        [1] Seest thou this woman?
                 [a] You see what this woman has done for me?
                 [b] Compared here actions towards me with what you have done for me.
                 [c] She has shown me things which you, in your own house, have not shown.
        [2] I entered into your house.
                 [a] I came because you invited me, because I was invited, I should expect all the usual rites of hospitality.
                 [b] You gave me none
         [3] You gave me no water for my feet.
                 [a] Among the Eastern people, it was customary, before eating, to wash the feet;
                 [b] To do this, or to bring water for it, was one of the rites of hospitality.
                 [c] The reason for this was, that they all wore sandals, which covered only the bottom of their feet, and that
                         when they ate they reclined on couches or sofas.
                 [d] It became necessary that the feet should be washed often.

 [B] You gave me no kiss.
         [1] The kiss was a token of affection or a common mode of salutation, and Simon had even neglected this mark
                 of welcoming Jesus into his house.  
         [2] This woman hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
                 [a] What a striking difference between the conduct of Simon and this woman!
                         [1-a] Simon, with all the richness and his splendid preparations, had omitted the common marks of
                                 regard and affection to his guest.
                         [2-a] The woman, in humility, bowed at his feet, and washed them in her tears, and had not ceased to   
                                 kiss them.

 [C] Simon didn’t anoint Christ head with oil.
         [1] The custom of pouring oil on the head was universal among the Jews.
         [2] The oil used was sweet oil or oil of olives, prepared in such a way as to give an agreeable smell. It was also
                 used to render the hair more smooth and elegant.  
 
 [D] This woman hath anointed my feet with ointment
         [1] This ointment was a mixture of various aromatics, and was therefore far more costly and precious than the oil
                 commonly used for anointing the head.
         [2] Her conduct, compared to Simons, was striking.
                 [a] He did not give even common oil to anoint Christ head on this occasions.
                 [b] She applied to his feet a more precious and valuable ointment.
                 [c] He, showed little love.
                 [d] She showed much.

 [E] Wherefore I say unto thee. As the result of her actions, she has given evidence that her sins have been forgiven.
         Her actions showed that she had changed and that she thought Jesus the most precious thing in her life. Material
         things did not matter to her any longer.

Verse 48 - And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

 [A] Jesus said thy sins are forgiven.  
         [a] What a gracious statement of assurance to a weeping, loving, penitent person
         [b] No man can speak peace to a troubled soul, or give assurance that transgressions are pardoned, only Jesus
                 can.
         [c] Here, Jesus gave proof that he was God as well as man; that he was Lord of the conscience as well as the
                 pitying friend; and that he was as able to read the heart and give peace there, as he was to witness the
                 external expression of sorrow for sin.

Verse 49. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

 [A] This was a very pertinent question.
         [1] Who could he be but God?  
 [2] Man can’t forgive sins
 [3] There’s no wonder they were amazed.

Verse 50 - And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

 [A] What comforting words Jesus gave to the woman – Thy faith hath saved you
        [1] We too are saved by faith
                [a] It is through faith that we come to the saving Grace of Jesus
                [b] It is through faith that we seek forgiveness for our sins
                [c] It is through faith that we receive Jesus Christ into our heart
                [d] It is by faith we are saved, not by works, lest any should boast
[B] Go in peace
        [1] Don’t leave here troubled in your heart – go in peace
        [2] Don’t leave here wondering if I have forgiven you – you are forgiven – go in peace
        [3] Don’t leave here thinking you have to ask forgiveness over and over – go in peace
        [4] Don’t leave here thinking I don’t love you – go in peace
[C] When Christ forgives, he forgives, and we can go in peace.
[D] When we have faith, we can have all that Christ wants us to have.