More Forgiveness - Less Faultfinding

Bible Book: Luke  7 : 36-50
Subject: Judgment of Others; Faultfinding

It is so easy to get into the trap of judging others unfairly!

Cuck Swindoll told of his being at a pastor’s conference where he would be speaking. The first day there a man approached him and said how greatly he had looked forward to hearing Dr. Swindoll speak and his delight at now finally being able to realize that desire. That evening Swindoll noticed the man was sound asleep only a few minutes into of the sermon. Swindoll thought to himself that perhaps he was tired after a long day's drive and couldn't help himself - but this continued to happen night after night. Dr. Swindoll soon became very upset in his spirit with this man! On the last night the man's wife came up and apologized for her husband's inattention to the messages. She then explained that he had recently been diagnosed as having terminal cancer and the medication he was taking to ease the pain made him extremely sleepy. But it had been one of his life-long ambitions to hear Dr. Swindoll speak before he died, and now he had fulfilled that goal. Source Unknown.

If there is a group of people in the world that know how to forgive lavishly and fault-ind sparingly, it is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s important to learn to become known as a people and place of forgiveness instead of being known with having a reputation of fault-finding.

Like Pastor Swindoll, we can think everyone else has the problem and we alone are in the right!

The Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus willingly forgives those with even the most faults in their lives.

What is the basis of God’s forgiving heart?

Extending life changing forgiveness to people whose lives have been messed up with sin is the heartbeat of Jesus. As we examine this topic of forgiveness and faultfinding in Luke 7:36-50, we’ll learn how we can imitate the Lord Jesus Christ – extending more forgiveness instead of continually looking down at others in their faults.

I. Simon’s Continual Faultfinding

A. Desired Fellowship Luke 7:36

“Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him.”

Hospitality is a very strong value in the Near East and they typically go all out for their guests. A basin would typically be provided so guests could wash the dust of the road from their feet. Scented olive oil was sometimes offered to anoint a guest’s hair. And beloved guests would be kissed as they were greeted welcoming them with joy!

With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays coming around, perhaps we could use a lesson on treating our guests with such care! Would it make any difference if Jesus Himself were coming to your house with your relatives during this season? What kind of extra preparation would you make if you would be hosting the Son of God for Thanksgiving dinner?

We see that Simon offered none of these marks of a gracious host. It wasn’t so much that Simon wasn’t interested in spending time with Jesus, but he just wasn’t putting his whole heart into it!

In spite of Simon’s lack of warmth, Jesus readily accepted this dinner invitation.

Jesus is willing to associate with people of all kinds. He is the Savior of the rich just as much as He is the Savior of the rejected! No matter what Jesus said or what He did, there was always plenty of critics and fault-finders around! d. Luke 7:34, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”

Fault-finders are always looking for something to criticize in others!

An older lady, who had no affinity for contemporary worship, was complaining about a particular song used in the worship service at her church. A fellow worshipper responded, “That is not a new song - it is a very old song! David sang that song to Saul.” The older lady replied, “Well now, for the first time, I understand why Saul threw the javelin at him when he sang.”

Fault-finders often try to hide their own faults by casting a negative light on others!

Perhaps there is someone you are constantly critical of.

(1) Focus on their good qualities – look to compliment instead of criticize.

(2) Try seeing that person through the eyes of God’s loving grace.

(3) Walk a mile in their shoes. Many adults grew up with harsh parents always bringing up the bad and never good.

B Disturbed Focus

Luke 7:37

“And behold, a woman in the city…”

While Simon apparently was curious to learn a little more about Jesus alone, all the sudden this sinful lady appears in their midst! This did not please Simon whatsoever! This is another characteristic of fault-finders. When things don’t go their way, it’s going to disturb their desire for control!

Evidently in these days, feasts were held outside in the open where others could be watching and paying attention to what was being said and done. What made this particularly disturbing to Simon was that this “sinful woman” was taking up his time with Jesus.

Religious leaders of Simon’s day would not speak to women in public or in private – so this was a doubly difficult situation for him to handle!

Our own sense of “religious pride” often leads us to exclude people from our presence rather than including them like the Son of God did!

Let’s remember God’s church God’s can become an even greater witness of the love of Jesus Christ if we ALL remembered it wasn’t our own goodness that caused us to enter God’s family…only the GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD!

Luke 7:39, “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!”

Do we realize that Simon’s self righteous attitude is just as much sin as this women who sold herself on the streets for sex? She was guilty of sins of the flesh. Simon - sins of the spirit (critical attitude, a hard heart!).

Paul says in 2 Cor.7:1 “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Unfortunately, we are often guilty of having Simon’s self righteous attitude instead of Jesus sympathetic heart!

Just as Simon was missing out on who Jesus really is because of his fault-finding spirit, we too can miss out on the presence of Jesus in our lives and churches when this attitude is found in us!

I love the story of Charles Spurgeon when he was a speaker at a conference along with another man, who publicly proclaimed that Christians could reach a place of sinless perfection where they no longer struggled with sin because they were perfected in the love of God. The speaker went on to suggest modestly that he had realized this in his own life. Spurgeon said nothing, but the next morning, at breakfast time, he crept up behind the man and poured a jug of milk on his head. He quickly discovered that the man still had his sinful nature!” (Gary Inrig. Hearts of Iron, Feet of Clay. Chicago: Moody Press, 1979, page 158).

II. The Sinner’s Courageous Faith

A. Expressive Worship Luke 7:38a

“…and she 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…”

Far from being casual and cold in her relationship to Jesus as Simon was, this “sinful woman” was extremely passionate in her love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps this extreme gratitude and devotion she showed the Lord came out of the fact that she knew Jesus had forgiven her of everything!

May we always be quick to remember, worship is not about us, but about the Lord Jesus Christ being honored simply for who He is in our lives!

I had a conversation with a lady this week at our boys student night. She was disturbed because other churches were growing and were using songs and methods that she was not used to!

While, I too, prefer a more traditional worship service, we’d better be quick to let God judge the worship and hearts in the church. How many of us would He have let enter in this sanctuary this morning if we had to be just as passionate as this former prostitute was?

Deeply immersed in meditation during a church service, Italian poet Dante Alighieri failed to kneel at the appropriate moment. His enemies hurried to the bishop and demanded that Dante be punished for his sacrilege. Dante defended himself by saying, "If those who accuse me had had their eyes and minds on God, as I had, they too would have failed to notice events around them, and they most certainly would not have noticed what I was doing." Today in the Word, March 10, 1993.

B. Expensive Worship

“…and anointed them with the fragrant oil.”

This fragrant oil was something that was highly valued and expensive in these days! She is coming before the Lord with the attitude of “all that I am and all that I am, I lay it down at your feet as a sacrifice! She had truly experienced such mercy from the Lord that the rest of her life would now be lived totally for His honor and glory! She wasn’t trying to pay the Lord back for what He’d done for her…her debt was far too great. What she was doing was yielding her life to Jesus in gratitude.

Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

True worship is going to cost you something because you know the value of both the GIVER and the GIFT!

We sing, “Lord, you are more precious that diamonds,” and then we give him our dimes!

We sing, “Lord, you are more costly than gold!” Then get upset when the church passes the offering plate for missions!

We sing, “Nothing I desire compares with you.” Then we spend all of our money on new computers, new clothes, new cars!

True worship is costly because it was cost you your whole life.

Isaac Newton, “Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were an offering far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

III. The Savior’s Complete Forgiveness

A. The Parable

Luke 7:40-49

Freedom FROM:



Separation from God

Severed relationships

Misunderstanding of the person and purpose of God! If Jesus were preaching from pulpits across America today, this would be a parable He would His body tell until we learned to obey and speak the truth in love!

I’m afraid there is a bit of Pharisee in most of us! A mom and dad were very concerned for their son and had talked to my pastor friend many times and had requested prayer for him. Finally, they were able to get their son to come to church and on that Sunday morning there was an evangelist speaking who went off on homosexuals calling them queers from the pulpit. He got a lot of “Amens” that morning but he also turned away that son. Did Paul condemn homosexuality? Yes, in the strongest biblical language (Romans 1:26-27). Did Paul win homosexuals to Christ? Yes, just read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Put yourself for just a few minutes in the shoes of those parents for whose son they were heartbroken. How do we present truth to those in sin? According to Galatians 6:1 “in the spirit of meekness.” Jesus was not harsh even with Judas Iscariot (John 13:27), His betrayer. – Dr. Tim White

B. The Peace

Freedom TO:

Have peace again!

To try a new start.

Have a new relationship.

Experience grace!

To understand who new purpose in life!

To extend that same kind of forgiveness Jesus showed her to those who had sinned against her in the past and would in the future!

C. The Price

As wonderful as forgiveness and freedom and Christ is, they did not come without great cost. While it cost you and I nothing to earn these gifts, it cost the Son of God His whole life’s blood on the cross of Calvary.

Divine forgiveness is costly. God is love, but God is holiness. God, least of all, can break the great moral laws on which the universe is built. Sin must have its punishment or the very structure of life disintegrates. And God alone can pay the terrible price that is necessary before men can be forgiven. Forgiveness is never a case of saying: 'It's all right; it doesn't matter." Forgiveness is the most costly thing in the world. William Barclay

God’s wrath is reserved only for those who refuse to come to Him for salvation, mercy, forgiveness! Don’t delay one moment in waiting to receive the gift of new life Jesus died and rose again to give you! The Bible teaches that God’s heart is one of forgiving even the greatest of sinners instead of condemning them for their faults. Have you received the forgiveness of sins that is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you known for your forgiveness or faultfinding? "Be ready to forgive others as God for Christ sake hath forgiven you." Eph. 4:32