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33: Invited; Accepted; Rejected

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Matthew 11:20-30; Luke 7:36-50

Outline:

  1. Rejected Matt. 11:20-24
  2. Accepted Matt 11: 25-27
  3. Invited Matt 11:28-30
  4. Invited Luke 7:36-39
  5. Accepted and Rejected Luke 7:40-50

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Jesus has probably returned to Capernaum after another journey ministering to the needs in the Galilean cities of Korazin and Bethsaida. He expresses His disappointment because the response to His message was not well received even with all the miracles He had performed. In other words, they refused to repent of their sinful ways. Jesus says their hearts are harder than that of Tyre and Sidon, gentile cities. Even Capernaum is chastised for having harder hearts than Sodom. They wanted the miracles but not the Christ who made them possible. Jesus is frustrated, disappointed, and dejected. His ministry has hit a wall or is on a plateau, whichever way you want to look at it. It is not progressing as expected.

But Jesus offers praise and thanksgiving to God anyway because His truth is being revealed to “children”; those who are truly seeking and are willing to listen and learn. Fruit is being harvested even if it isn’t of the “wise and learned” variety. This is pleasing to God. Fellowship and unity is taking place between the Father, the Son, and His children.

Jesus continues to invite all people to come to Him, to receive rest, to learn from Him, to understand who He is, to become assured of their destiny, and to walk in fellowship with Him.

Jesus is invited to dinner at the house of a Pharisee named Simon. It evidently is a large gathering where dinner is served in the outer courtyard and highly visible to the public. A “sinful woman” [a prostitute?] comes by and begins to wash Jesus’ feet with her perfume and tears and dry them with her hair. This is somewhat embarrassing to Simon and he wants Jesus to tell her to leave.

Instead, Jesus tells a story of two men who were relieved of their debt. One mans debt was ten times larger than the other mans debt. Jesus asks Simon which man would possess the greater love to the man who cancelled their debt. He gives the obvious answer, the man with the greater debt. Jesus applies this story to Simon and the woman. Simon did not even provide water for Jesus to use to wash His feet but this woman gave of herself and more. Jesus tells the woman that her faith has given her salvation and peace. Her sins are forgiven. But He tells Simon that he doesn’t love Jesus. Simon’s invitation to dinner was not genuine; it was for show. He was not truly seeking Jesus.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Determine where your heart is; with Simon or with the woman; with the Galilean cities or with the Gentile cities; pride hardened against Christ or softened in repentance to Christ.
  2. Pride in your intellect/position is likely to bring forth spiritual death. The humble and repentant person seeks out Jesus and finds life eternal.
  3. Jesus knows your heart. You can not fake acceptance if your heart is in rejection. Acceptance brings tears, remorse, and repentance. Acceptance brings forgiveness, salvation, and peace. Acceptance reveals servant-hood, love, and faith. Acceptance brings intimate joy and fellowship with God.

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