Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Town Harlot

 Luke 7:36-50
 36-39One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee's house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him."
 40Jesus said to him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
   "Oh? Tell me."
 41-42"Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?"
 43-47Simon answered, "I suppose the one who was forgiven the most."
   "That's right," said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, "Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn't quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn't it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal."
 48Then he spoke to her: "I forgive your sins."
 49That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: "Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!"
 50He ignored them and said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace." 

Her parents had loved her as child growing up. They raised her in the values of the Jewish faith and taught her to believe in the coming Messiah. As a child, she would dream about the Messiah and imagine what he would look like. She contemplated on how he would come and save her people. She would imagine Him swinging her around and holding her in His arms.

Time went by and the Messiah never came. The Little dreamer girl grew up and found herself memorized by world.  She was tired of being poor and watching the struggles of life. She had waited for her prince charming to come , and he never came. She fell into the arms of a sinful man. She kept telling herself that he was a good man, and he was right for her. However, he was anything but a good man. He slept with her several times and then he started loaning her out to other men. She was raped several times by these other men. Next thing you know she became numb to the continual sessions of sexual intercourse, and she would have to cover up the pain with frequent drug abuse.

She started to make more and more money for her boyfriend who turned pimp. Before she knew it; her whole life became a spiraling missile crashing to the Planet. She would often reflect back on the teachings from her parents and think about the coming Messiah. He was the prince charming she had often dreamed about as a child. Her mind would wonder to a pretend place of freedom as her customer had his way with her. She would cry herself to sleep at night and succumb to internal thoughts of her uselessness. " Who will hear my cries?" she wept openly to herself. " Who would care for me?" she would whisper as she cried herself to sleep.

She woke up the next morning routinely preparing herself for the day's customers. She would see several of them before the day was over. She started to hear stories about this unusual man from Galilee. He would speak with authority the word of God and would heal the sick. His reputation for loving everyone and for giving forgiveness from sins was the talk of her town. " I would love to meet a man like that." ,she thought to herself. " He probably would have nothing to do with a woman like me." ,she declared confidently to herself.

One day word came to the town harlot about the miracle man from Galilee. He was going to be at the house of Simon. She battled with in about going to see this unusual man. " Would I be allowed in the house? Would this man even allow me to see him? I am so dirty. I am so filthy and a worthless. I will never amount to anything in life, but  I have to see him."

She mustered up enough courage to see this man whom some called a prophet. She had been saving her expensive perfume for her more high class clients. " I am tired of this life. I deserve nothing. If I could just give my all to him. Maybe just , maybe he would forgive me. He would free me from this bondage I am in." , she wept loudly.

She makes her way into Simeon's house and throws herself at the feet of Jesus. She begins to pour her perfume onto his feet. Tears ran down her face and dripped onto the feet of Jesus. She took her long hair and began to wash away the tear mixed perfume from his feet. She felt so clean while in his presence. She felt like she was free for the very first time. Then all of the sudden she heard three of the most precious words come out of the mouth from the man from Galilee. " YOU ARE FORGIVEN."  Her heart began to melt and she started to weep profusely. She had  finally been forgiven for all the wrong she had done. She was finally free from the life of being harlot. She did not have to go back.  She was no longer the TOWN HARLOT.

This story is a remarkable story about forgiveness and freedom from sin. The Town Harlot took a place in history as being the woman who washed the feet of Jesus and  helped fulfill prophecy about his burial.

The Break down of the message:

1. Jesus wants us to come to him regardless of our sin.
2. He wants us to give up our all.
3. He is looking for completely broken hearted people.
4. He wants to forgive us of the heavy burden.
5. He wants us to walk away being totally set free.

Regardless of the sin and regardless of the lifestyle, our God will forgive.  Just come to Him and you too can be set free. You never have to be called again the " TOWN HARLOT."

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