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The Parable of The Two Debtors Made Simple

(Luke 7:41-50)

The passage in Luke 7:41-50 reads:
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denariis, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” 
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47Therefore 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.” 
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Hello, this is Matthew Robert Payne and this is The Parable of the Two Debtors. This is found within the context of the woman who washed Jesus' feet with an alabaster flask. This is a well known story in the parables. So, this is why I've listed the story for you to have a look at and we are going to draw out some points.

At this time, Jesus was residing at a house of a Pharisee leader. The Pharisees liked Jesus coming around to their place. Being leaders in the Jewish faith, they were very important people and most times very devout. They spent their whole life doing the things of God.

Imagine if I was an international speaker who has 250 speaking engagements a year. All around the world, I was on every channel on TV. At night, you could watch me on Christian TV in every country. Let’s say, I have twenty bestselling books. In other words, I was one of most well known and loved speakers in the world. My sermons bring you so much understanding and my books bring you tears. If I was that person and I came to your house to share some time with you, discussing anything that you choose to bring up and answering any of your questions. Won’t you be very impressed with my company and be very happy I was there? This is similar to how Simon, the Pharisee was, feeling with Jesus as a guest in his house.

Jesus was very humble. A lot of people condemn the Pharisees and say bad things about them. But the Pharisees thought they were doing the best they could and were a lot more devout with their own faith than a lot of Christians. At that time, Jesus was at Simon’s house; then the most popular madam or prostitute in town burst into the house and started washing Jesus’ feet.

Let us look at the parable, starting in verse 37: 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 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.

Many people say that she was a prostitute because of what the Pharisees said in verse 39, Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself,
saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” 

She was making Jesus unclean. She was not allowed to touch him. Under the Jewish law, He should have been rebuking her. The Pharisees thought, "If this guy is really who he thinks he is, he should stop this and close this down. This is disgusting and he is a bit of a foolish guy because he's got no idea who she is. And if he was really a prophet he'd know who she is and he'd have nothing to do with her but tell her to stop making him unclean. But this guy is just a loser, you know, he's a bit naïve. I think he’s not really who he claims to be, because this just should not go on.”

Actually, I gave you a few more words than were recorded in the Bible. I just expanded the thoughts of Simon. And this is where the parable kicks in, verse 40 "And Jesus answered and said to him . . .”

You might wonder, Jesus answered what??? Simon didn’t even speak; he just thought. But here we see that Jesus answered his thought. It's very interesting; people ask me say,” how do you speak to Jesus in visions?” And I answer them and say, “I speak in thoughts.”

That is the way I communicate with Jesus. I think in thought and Jesus speaks back into my thoughts. People say how do you speak in heaven? Do you speak out loud? No, you speak in the spirit through your heart. You speak in thoughts back and forth. Likewise, your thoughts in heaven can be heard by everyone in heaven. That's a scary thought. You wouldn't want to be having bad thoughts, but no one will be having bad thoughts in heaven.

Jesus didn't answer the thought directly; instead, He told a parable. “Simon I have something to say to you” and so Simon said "Teacher, say it"

Simon called Jesus “teacher” as sign of respect, because even though Simon was thinking bad thoughts about Jesus, anyone who is learned in the things of God is very open to someone who is more learned.

A teacher of the Word of God is someone you want to listen to even if you disagree with some points that they say. So, showing respect, he said "Teacher, say it." as Jesus was the guest in his house after all and so anything Jesus had to say, he wanted to hear it. Jesus said in verse 41:

41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” 
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.”

In another parable (the vineyard), it was mentioned that a denari is equivalent to a day’s wages. This means that one debtor owed 500 days wages and the other one owed 50 days wages. A good wage in Australia for a pretty good job is $200 a day. Five hundred days wages is therefore one hundred thousand dollars; and 50 days wages is ten thousand dollars.

Jesus asked, "Who will love him more?" and Simon answered, "The one who he forgives more." To this, Jesus agreed, "You've rightly judged."

Imagine a situation. Someone loaned you a hundred thousand dollars to buy a house. Later, you lost your job and consequently, you are about to lose your house. Then you appeal to the person and he says, "Don't worry about that. Just keep that, friend. That's fine, keep your house."

Man, there's nothing you wouldn't do for that friend who forgave your debt! You'd baby sit their children, you'd work for them in their company for free. You would do anything for them and you'd be in tears because you wouldn't be able to repay.

And so, in verse 44, then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47Therefore 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.” 
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

We often hear of a drug dealer or a gang leader or former high priestess witch who have now become Christians and their testimonies are so compelling. What makes these people’s stories so compelling is that they are stories from deep dark depravity to the saving light of Jesus.

The good news of this parable is that everyone gets forgiven by Jesus Christ and every person that comes to Him receives salvation. Yet the point of this parable is similar to the parable of the prodigal son. The dirtier you lived your life, the more it seems the celebration is in heaven when you find Jesus.

In this book, I have shared with you my many years of addiction to the sex industry and I had often wondered why my love for Jesus was just so much more devoted than many Christians I knew. The Holy Spirit has pointed to the words of Jesus in this parable. The fact that I have been forgiven for so many sins makes my love for Jesus deeper than other people. It’s just such a debt I know that He has forgiven me.

Many people look at the sex addicts, the heroin dealers, the drug lords and homeless and think that these people are so hard to bring to Jesus. But the opposite is the truth. The more depraved that you are the more tender and broken your life is.

I personally believe that this woman who wept at the feet of Jesus was His devoted friend Mary Magdalene as she first gave her life to Jesus. Later on, she became Jesus’ follower and financed His ministry out of the money that she had.

This parable is deeply personal for me to share and one of my all time favorites.

I have met people with a passion and loved for Jesus similar to mine who have not sinned at all in their life compared to me, so please don’t get disheartened thinking that you need to be a bad sinner to love Jesus a lot.

But I encourage you to seek out a sinner and give them this book.



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