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And he saith, Master,
somewhat to say unto thee. say on.
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty: And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them will love him most?
Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
Wherefore, I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven: for* she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
1. Why did the Pharisee invite Christ to his house?
Probably from curiosity, or for the purpose of watching Christ's conduct to accuse him. Simon certainly appears, from the history, not to have treated Christ with the common forms of civility to which he was entitled.
2. How could this poor sinful woman approach to the feet of Jesus?
In the east, the guests at dinner recline on a sort of couch or sofa,* with the feet outwards from the table, so that she could go behind Christ to wet his feet with her tears, and to wipe them with the long tresses of her hair.
3. Did Christ know the secret thoughts of this Pharisee? Yes: Christ as God, knew that Simon was secretly despising him, because he did not spurn this notorious sinner from his feet.
4. Who is meant by the creditor?
The great God to whom we owe a debt of gratitude and love so great that we can never repay it.
5. Is not sin called a “debt ?"
Yes: we are taught to pray, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." When we think of our sins and of the mercies of God, we must confess, that we never can pay our debts, but are, on the contrary, every moment increasing them.
6. How does God treat such poor debtors?
He freely forgives all repenting sinners, as Christ forgave this believing, grateful, and penitent woman.
7. How will the pardoned sinner regard a forgiving God?
He will love Him much; and the more he thinks of the greatness of his sins, the more will he value the unsearchable riches of Christ; he will prove that he feels the obligation, though he cannot pay the debt.
8. What will slight views of sin produce?
Slight views of Christ, and of the value of his forgiving grace.
9. How should we behave to our fellow-sinners?
With compassion and love, as sensible that we owe every thing to the mercy of Him who commands us to love and to forgive one another, if we would obtain his pardon and favour.
10. What benefits arise from faith in Christ?
The pardon of sin, the salvation of the soul, peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT,
Matt. xviii. 21 to 35.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him which owed him ten thousand talents:
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants which owed him an hundred pence; and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And he would not; but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee?
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."
1. What was Christ's answer when Peter asked, " Lord