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On Being Thankful

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 28, 2020 8:00 am

On Being Thankful

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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October 28, 2020 8:00 am

Its an intimate scene that might make you squirm. Jesus is reclining at the table, and a prostitute comes up. Shes crying. Her tears drop on his feet and she wipes them with her hair. Then she kisses his feet and perfumes them. But Jesus doesnt squirm. Instead, he tells a parable about forgiveness and gratitude and love.

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It's an intimate singing that might make you squirm. Jesus is reclining at the table and a prostitute comes up. She's crying her tears drop on his feet and she wipes them with her hair. Then she kisses his fee then perfumes them. But Jesus doesn't squirm.

Instead, he tells a parable about forgiveness and gratitude and love. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. Luke seven tells how a Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to have dinner with him and ended up with an embarrassing scene at his dinner table. At least Simon found it embarrassing is dinner guest didn't seem to mind at all. When a prostitute came up to him and actually touched and washed in perfumed. His feet which made the whole thing that much more scandalous to Simon the proper Pharisee. Simon didn't say anything aloud but Jesus knew what he was thinking so he told a story. It was a story about two people who had borrowed money and couldn't pay her back. Both owed a lot of money but one owed 10 times as much as the other.

Of course Simon passed the quiz at the end with flying colors.

When Jesus asked who would love the lender more. It was obviously the person who was 10 times worse off for the beginning but at that point the conversation took an unfortunate turn against Simon in praise of the sinful woman would gotten all this started.

Let's listen now to Dr. Boyce some time ago attends church we had a baptism that was a very special baptism was a girl who had gone with her baby to have her baby baptized. She was not married and had the child out of wedlock very interesting story.

She had lived a very secular life before becoming a Christian and some aspects of that had carried over into our life, even after she had become a Christian and that was a result of one of these relationships that she had established before and had continued that this child had been conceived coming from the secular background.

She had her first instincts were to get an abortion because after all, that's the way that sort of thing is handled the day why not was the easy way out.

Even her doctor advised that she get an abortion, so she had the opinion of her friends and the opinion of her doctor and she was well on her way to doing that until she talked to her Christian friends who objected, they argued that one sin is not improved by another that fornication is not atoned for by murder and they played whether to reconsider that not on the basis of the world's culture box in terms of the understanding of the value of life as we find it in the word of God. She did it was a great struggle for a long time. It was touch and go.

I was pessimistic. I didn't expect this to be a victory but it was then at the last possible moment she canceled her appointment with the abortionist. She had the baby and she was absolutely delighted and this moment came when she presented the baby for baptism, and in her eyes as the eyes of many of us it was a testimony to the grace of God in her life to have turned her from her past, which was now in a certain sense, really behind her and her thanks to God for giving her this precious gift of the life of this child. Not everybody knew that full story, of course, and some only could see the surface things and began to ask in a mild way.

This kind of question they said to have a baptism like that, especially in public seems does it not to condone the sin, isn't that actually an encouragement on the part of the church to security answer that question is that in certain circumstances that would be true that it is possible to look so lightly upon sin by our public acts that we do condone it and encourage impurity rather than purity within the household of God is not the case in this particular life in these circumstances. There was one who had been forgiven much and therefore loved much and it was only a failure to see that or whatever reason I lack of knowledge of that that would lead one to be critical in these circumstances the situation somewhat like that that we find in the context of this next parable that we're looking at from Luke's gospel concerns for individuals really tells us about a Pharisee who had invited Jesus to his home in the Pharisee becomes the first character he tells us about Jesus the way he handled himself in the situation and he becomes the second character and then tells us about a woman who came in to this banquet didn't wept for her sin and anointed Jesus feet and she becomes the third character she lived a life of sin according to Luke's telling of the story and that's where the parallelism to my introductory story comes that is worth thinking about these characters.

There's a Pharisee. First of all, we have a very bad image of the Pharisees because of some of the things Jesus said about them things that were richly deserved.

In most cases we forgot that the Pharisees were a group of men who were serious at least about obeying the law license. As I read the story that the Pharisee in the story, whose name was Simon was of their number.

Simon would, I suppose, regarded as a responsibility of his being a leader in Israel to come to know and to evaluate and in the proper sense pass judgment upon these itinerant preachers that would come along every now and then which Jesus was one here was a man who was gaining a great deal of attention. He was teaching some things that seem to be good. He was doing miracles so they say. And Simon thought it was the responsibility of his to get to know this man to make an evaluation of it. Was he a true prophet did he speak the true words of God or was he a charlatan that he come along to fool the people. So Simon conceived the plan of inviting Jesus into his home for dinner in order that around the table in a relaxed atmosphere. They might have some conversation which would give them an answer to his questions. He was curious and rightly so. Unfortunately, when we read the story carefully. We sense that it all was not good with this Pharisee. He was curious about was good but he was also holding himself aloof and unfortunately even from what would've been the common courtesies of the day you had somebody come to your house for dinner.

One of the common things that was required to be done was that you are one of your servants would wash your guests feet didn't have asphalt roads in their day. They were dusty, even though I just had prepared himself perfectly to come to the banquet taking a shower or whatever they did in order to get clean the feet would become dusty as he traveled through the dusty streets of the village and it was just a part of courtesy to have the feet wash this Pharisee neglected to do that in Jesus case so we say well the why he forgot. Maybe he was so preoccupied with his illustrious – that he simply forgot. Common courtesy.

Perhaps that was the case, but I don't think it was I think he associated that kind of back with the sort of thing you would do the one that you really honor and he wasn't sure that he really was ready to honor Jesus as yet Villa Jesus, he was going to talk with him.

He was curious about him, but he wasn't doing any special honor until he settled in his own mind who he was, well, that's the first character Simon second character was Christ.

He was invited to this dinner. With this kind of motive in view of Moto certainly known to our Lord who needed not to inquiring the man because he knew what was in the heart of man, and certainly understood Simon at this point. Yet, he went was on trial, as it were. Simon was going to pronounce upon Jesus the judge of all the universe was to be judged saying circumstances like that. Why did Jesus ever submit such a situation, the answer was grace the same attitude that he showed when he came to earth in his incarnation. Overall, seeking to save that which was lost not because we deserve it and not in this case because Simon deserved it, simply because it was not his way to hold himself aloof for men and women. So, just as he came to earth humbling himself for our salvation. So we went to Simon's house humbling himself in order to through the conversation exchange of words. The teaching of Jesus Simon by the will of God might be brought to faith that the second character. And thirdly, there's this woman she's not even given a name. Some people have assumed that this was Mary of Bethany because of the similar story that occurs concerning her, but it's not the same setting is different to different instances and we just don't know who this woman wants all we know, according to the story as if she was a sinner. I would mean a sexual center, one who lived openly outside of wedlock with a man, presumably, though perhaps it involved much much more. She came and were told that something in her former contact with Jesus had noted her heart and as she stood there behind him are heartbreaking with its load of sin that tears ran down her cheeks and fell upon the feet of Jesus, and she wiped his feet with her hair and then in order to show her love and devotion for him. He broke a box of perfume, which she had brought with her, and anointed his feet. All the while people were standing around, looking askance at what was going on ever understand something of the way they aid in those days to get this in your mind visually didn't sit at tables the way we do. They reclined at a very low table with their feet outward their head inward, usually resting upon their left side and then they fed themselves with the right hand. That would mean that the heads would be end toward the center of the table which made it very good for conversing the feet would be out and that you have to understand to get the picture.

There's one other factor dining in a big way. In ancient times was not a private affair way it is with us, you have a dinner, very special dinner with very special guests to invite the people you want to call they all eat that's all that's not the way it happened. There the doors would be open and one of these would be prepared would be a big open thing and servants would be going in and out in the guest would be milling around that.

All I down at the table and after they were there at the table. Other people from the village would come in and they stand all around the walls and if the receipt there. They'd sit there and nobody would throw them out, this was their way of honoring the gas after all, this man who had hosted his gasket invited him. It's a way of saying why you have illustrious people that you're entertaining. We want to be in on it. Here we are in a course to get to listen to the conversation about much went on in those days there wasn't a ball game to watch on the television and all of those things was a big thing here. We are all these people standing around I came in from the village and took their position around the room listening to what was going to be said between Simon and his illustrious gas Jesus of Nazareth in came this woman almost see what it happened.

Everyone knew who she was. They know she was just on a reputable character. I can see these distinguished burgers of the city pulling the robes around them a little more carefully, moving a bit aside so eventually you had all of these bad women crowded around the room and here was this woman by herself nobody to near her standing behind the feet of Jesus and very very conscious of her sin. She's crying. The tears fall, and she wipes Jesus feet as I've indicated Simon's watching this Simon is there at the table presumably across from Jesus until he sees Jesus behind Jesus. He sees the woman, and he sees the other people moving away from her, watching to see what it is that Jesus Christ will do. Jesus does nothing.

Why the other two are a way to say well and cut that out. Get out of here. He doesn't do it… Her cry.

Lets her wipe is the heat lets her anointed his feet with the ointment.

Simon says to himself, I think I've got my answer. I invited them here to find out whether Jesus is really a prophet from God or not he were a prophet from God, he would know what kind of woman that is and he would not let her do to him the kind of things that she is doing what you see he was reasoning is good reason, but he was reasoning according to human reason to miss the point Jesus did know the kind of woman she was and it was precisely because Jesus knew the kind of woman she was. The Jesus left her do the things she did that point Jesus knowing the heart of Simon as well is the thoughts of her passing through the men were standing around again to tell his hostess parable Jesus said, Simon, I have something to tell you and Simon said tell me that our Lord two men owed money to assert moneylender. One owed him 500 denarii.

The other 50 either of them had the money to pay them back so we canceled the debts of both now which of them will love him or Simon replied I think somewhat warily.

Well, I suppose one who had the bigger debt canceled. And Jesus said you have judged correctly.

Then he applied his paragraph. He turned to the woman that he said to Simon, do you see this woman, I came into your house and you did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman from the time I entered his not stop kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.

Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven, for she loved much but he who has been forgiven little loves little.

Then he turned to the woman.

Then he said, your sins are forgiven, your faith has saved you go in peace.

The lessons of that story lessons so the story are on the surface they have to do with the ingratitude and lack of understanding on the part of Simon. He misunderstood everything he didn't understand the woman he didn't understand Jesus and he didn't understand himself why didn't he understand the woman he didn't understand the woman because he was looking only on the outward appearance and not on the heart as God looks and he didn't see what God had done that work of grace in a woman's heart partner from sin bring about repentance and the renewal of her life. All he saw was the past and so being simple himself was willing to dismiss her like that center one with whom righteous people should have nothing to do so we didn't understand this great drama. This greatest drama, all as a harpist change in life is transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ. He didn't understand Jesus either because he said if Jesus was a prophet he would understand what this woman is like and if he understood what she was like he would reject her logic was right in the first part of his reasoning. If Jesus was a prophet he would know what this woman was like and that is true, but it was long and the second part of his reasoning if he knew what she was like he would reject her know what he was like.

He did not reject her because he saw what is done and Simon misunderstood Jesus. He was a prophet and more than that he was the son of God, the one who by the end of the story is able to say, your sins are forgiven you none can forgive sins but God, then perhaps the greatest misunderstanding of all Simon misunderstood himself because what he was doing all of this story in relation to Jesus, as well as in his relationship to the woman was putting himself on a pedestal from which he could look down on them. He looked down on the woman he looked out on Jesus, after all he was the first thing he was the one that was judging was Jesus a prophet or wasn't Jesus a prophet who was this woman what she was center. Wasn't she off-center yes she was nothing to do with her. Is he a prophet know is not nothing to do with him and he didn't see that. He also was a sinner and every bit as much in need of the grace of God in Jesus Christ as was this woman and so he was perfectly ungrateful to Jesus and God and our Lord had to teach them the story about being thankful to supply that. What is it that makes us so ungrateful in our age. This is a great age of ingratitude. If you can use that were great in such a way, there's probably never been an age where people are less thankful for anything that Rh employers are thankful for their employees. Employees are not thankful for their employers and are grateful to have the job.

Husbands are not thankful to God for their wives and wives are not thankful for their husbands. Children are not thankful for their parents.

Parents are not thankful for their children were not thankful for our friends were not thankful for the common relationship we have in life are businesses any of that.

Why is it is the case that we are unthankful because we are in the same position.

See when looking down on everybody else were better than everybody else. We have no sense of our sin. Therefore we had to be thankful about it. Anybody does anything for us. We richly deserve it and what is actually the case is that they are not serving us as we do indeed desire so people really don't say I'm thankful or thank you for that great service is he is connected with sin. It always is connected with said this is very true of our civilization that we asked why are people not thankful today thankful to God, thankful to one another, thankful to parents whatever it may be. This is because we are not and who's to blame for that world world doesn't even know what sin is, the church of Jesus Christ who is not made it clear men and women are in rebellion against God and everything we have light itself, health itself itself laying from heaven pulled from the ground up houses to live in friendship, love, whatever it may be whether we are Christians or not come from the hand of a merciful God who if he did in this instant. What was just said a postponing judgment with said all of us to have the when you have that perspective you begin to thank God for being merciful to me a sinner in the morning to thank God you learn to be thankful to other people of the question remains the question with which I began is in the gospel like that the gospel of God reaching out to save sinners likely to encourage sin. Jesus forgave this woman in a public way is in this the equivalent of saying it's all right to go do what she did answer to that is no it does not imply that and practically speaking, it does not work that way. Point of fact, the opposite is true. It is a forgiveness like that and unmerited honor line supernatural glorious forgiveness on the part of God that makes us above all things, want to serve and please him. That is the way the gospel of Jesus Christ works the gospel of forgiveness that promotes promiscuity and sin not all of the gospel which is the power of God to the transformation allies when man and women recognize that simple as they are rebellious as they are, as opposed to the will of God as they may be such men and women are nevertheless the objects of his divine glory of mercy by his work in Christ have been with the dung heap of sin to be made priests of the most high God's sons and daughters of the most high. People who have that vision who are thankful were determined to live in a way that glorifies their king. Let us pray we look into our hearts. Her father and which of us does not have to confess our own ingratitude were ungrateful not only to others.

People who are dear to us who have worked for us who love us who serve us who are patient with us to bear with all our rough edges in our angers and our jealousies and our sins.

But even worse, horrible as that may be we are ungrateful to you who see us as we are sinful, simple men and women but you who never the less, have stooped down to save those who were lost. Her father restore to us a sense of our unworthiness and sin of your worthiness and purity grant that is we see those things we might be overcome anew with the wonders grace of the gospel of your salvation in Jesus Christ and seeing that might be so thankful that we become determined above all else to live in a way that pleases you. Granted, it might be. So Jesus thing you are listening to the Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by.

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