JERUSALEM, APRIL, AD 28
Jesus of Nazareth astounded the guests who attended dinner here last night at the home of Simon, the influential Pharisee. Unfavorable comments were whispered when Jesus permitted an unidentified woman to anoint his feet while he ate.
The woman, who has a reputation as a former brothel operator, washed the feet of Jesus and then dried them with her hair. Suddenly Jesus, who seemed to sense the undercurrent of disapproval, asked Simon a question. Jesus said: “Simon, if two people owed money to a lender, and one owed a great deal and the other less, if the lender forgave both debts, who would love him most? The one who owed less, or the one who owed more?” “I guess the one who was forgiven the largest debt,” replied Simon. And Jesus agreed, admonishing him: “This woman has, perhaps, sinned greatly in the past, and she is forgiven. Her gratitude is obvious. Those who have received but little forgiveness sometimes love but little.”
A new undercurrent of annoyance arose as many took issue with Jesus for implying that he could forgive sins. But Jesus rose and declared that even the most supposedly flagrant sinner was welcome in the kingdom provided he repented of his sins and sincerely sought entrance. Before leaving, he said: “It is less our station than our direction that insures our spiritual growth. Continual, sincere efforts to grow are much better than an arrogant assumption that one has acquired spiritual stature. Pride is death to spiritual growth.” Some who attended the dinner felt the comments of Jesus were sure to provoke the Sanhedrin.
(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
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