Luke 7:36-50

Talks for Growing Christians

Jesus at the Home of Simon the Pharisee

Luke 7:36-50

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Lesson Number 20

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Love for Jesus is evidence of faith in Jesus.
  2. No love for Jesus is evidence of no faith in Jesus.

Practical Application

  1. Give your ill-gotten B.C. gain to the Lord.
  2. Don’t get carried away with your historical background studies


  1. Is this the same event recorded in Matthew 26 and Mark 14?
  2. Is this woman Mary Magdalene?
  3. Why is it inaccurate to envision this woman sneaking under the table to anoint Jesus’ feet?
  4. Was Simon the Pharisee a hospitable host to our Lord?
  5. What was the point of the parable in verses 41-42?


  1. No, Matthew and Mark record the anointing of the Lord’s head by Mary of Bethany during the last days of our Lord’s ministry in the home of Simon the Leper, in the area of Jerusalem. Luke recorded the anointing of the Lord’s feet by an unnamed woman in the Galilee region at least a year earlier, in the home of Simon the Pharisee.
  2. There is no reason to identify this woman as Mary Magdalene. This unnamed sinful woman was presumably a former prostitute. Mary Magdalene had been demon-possessed, but not necessarily a prostitute. Mary Magdalene is mentioned in Luke 8, but there is no biblical connection made to the sinful woman here in Luke 7.
  3. In that day, the dinner guests reclined on couches with their feet extended away from the table. Because there were lots of servants coming and going around the dinner table, it would have been easy for this woman to mingle among the servants and make her way to Jesus’ feet.
  4. No, Simon did not show Jesus the common courtesies of the day which included a kiss of greeting, washing the sandaled feet of road dust, and anointing the head with perfume because of the dry climate. Simon did not even provide water for Jesus to wash His own feet.
  5. Just as the great debtor who realized how much he had been forgiven loved his benefactor more, so the sinful woman realized how much she had been forgiven and as a result loved the Lord who had forgiven her.


  1. Love for Jesus is evidence of faith in Jesus. Discuss this principle. The sinful woman’s demonstration of love was not the basis of her saving faith, but the evidence of her saving faith.


  1. Supposed you acquired a sum of money through illegitimate means before you became a Christian. What do you do with it now? Give it to the Lord.

Key Verses

  • “A woman in the city who was a sinner… brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.” Luke 7:37-38
  • “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7:47

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