Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXVII: God's Certifying God's Truth For Those With A REASONABLE Cause Of Doubt
(Luke 7:36-50)
  1. Introduction
    1. Some people seem to have really genuine reasons for doubting the Christian faith or something that is taught in the Bible. Some may have come from backgrounds that are so diverse and so non-Biblical that it seems nearly impossible for them ever to conceive of the truth, let a lone believe it. Others in the field of science may have genuine reasons to doubt the claims of Genesis etc. In such cases, is it credible to say that God will give them an exception at the final judgment?
    2. Luke 7:36-50 records Jesus' encounter with a Pharisee who had a reasonable doubt about Jesus' identity because of something he observed in Jesus' conduct. What God did in that case, together with other Scriptures, serves to show us wh at God does with people who have genuine reasons of doubting His truth:
  2. God's Certifying God's Truth For Those With A REASONABLE Cause Of Doubt, Lk. 7:36-50.
    1. Jesus' conduct at one point caused a Pharisee to have a reasonable doubt about His claims, Luke 7:36-39:
      1. A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, so Jesus kept the appointment, Lk. 7:36.
      2. In the process, a sinful woman performed an exceptionally devoted act upon Jesus' feet that the Pharisees would never have allowed according to their rituals of separation from sinners, Lk. 7:37-38.
        1. As was common in Israel in Jesus' day, townspeople were allowed to enter the dining area of a home when a visiting rabbi was the guest so that they might hear what was taught, B.K.C.,N.T., p. 224.
        2. One of the people who came in was a sinful woman who was possibly immoral. She stood behind his dining divan, weeping, the tears dripping on his feet. She wiped the tears with her hair and began to anoint Jesus' feet with the expensi ve perfume, Luke 7:37-38, Ibid., p. 223.
        3. Since she was a sinner, in keeping with practices of separation promoted by the Pharisees, it was an intolerable act in the eyes of the Pharisee, cf. Bib. Know. Com., N.T., p. 224.
      3. The Pharisee, named Simon, concluded in his mind that Jesus could not be a true prophet, for a prophet would have known that the woman was sinful and thus would not have let her touch him, Luke 7:39. Thus, he had a reasonable doubt as to the credibility of Jesus being of God.
    2. Knowing of this Pharisee's thought of doubt about His credibility, Jesus immediately initiated a conversation with the Pharisee, Simon regarding what was in his thinking about Jesus, Lk. 7:40-47:
      1. Jesus initiated the conversation regarding the fact that the woman was touching him, Lk. 7:40.
      2. To explain why Jesus let her touch Him although she was a sinner as the Pharisee would judge it, Jesus used an illustration of a man who was forgiven much expressing his great thanksgiving, Lk. 7:41-43.
      3. In applying the illustration, Jesus revealed that Simon had rudely not given Jesus the common courtesies of a foot washing (v. 44), a greeting kiss (v. 45) and an anointing of the head with oil (v. 46), but the woman had done these things out of thanksgiving for forgiveness for sins, v. 47.
      4. Thus, Jesus clarified that He had accepted the woman's touching Him as she was no longer a sinner!
    3. Then, lest there be any doubt about Jesus' claims so that Simon could get the clear picture of Jesus, Christ announced that the woman's sins had been forgiven, a claim that Jews knew only GOD could make, 7:48.
    4. The Jews witnessing this claim were astounded, wondering if He might be blaspheming , Luke 7:49.
    5. Nevertheless, Jesus followed their exclamation by telling the woman that her faith had saved her, Luke 7:50. He was transparently claiming to be God so that Simon would have no cause for harboring any more reasonable doubts. [Christ's statement in verse 50 clearly shows He taught justification by faith alone : the woman was not saved from a physical ailment, but from sin, meaning she was saved by faith from hell!]
Lesson: (1) If unbelievers have REASONABLE doubts about God's truth, God will dispell the bases for such doubts so that they will be without excuse, Acts 17:26-27. (2) Also, recall that people are unbelievers by CHOICE: Simon had negative presuppositions regarding Jesus as indicated by his previous failure to offer Jesus basic hospitality in the greet ing kiss, the foot washing and anointing of the head of the honored guest, 7:44-46! He was looking for an excuse to reject Jesus' claims, a fact that coincides with the teaching of Rom. 1:18-20. (3) Thus, in the final judgment, there will be no vi able excuses for unbelief! Those sent to judgment will have no one to blame but themselves!