Penitent Woman In Luke

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by Ryan&Amber2013, Sep 12, 2018.

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  1. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    So this book I'm reading makes it sound like the penitent woman in Luke was acting in a promiscuous way when she came up to Jesus while he was eating. Almost like it was scandalous. he equates it to a woman walking up to a pastor now and putting his head in her bosom, and then rubbing his feet. Is this the right way to view this scenario? I've always viewed it much more reverent than that.
  2. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Are you talking about the woman in Luke 7, whom Jesus commends in these words:
    44And 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. 45Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47Wherefore 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. 48And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

    50And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.​
  3. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Who is the author? Need to toss that one out.
  4. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

    Absurd (if that's really the way the author presented it).

    What fellowship hath penitent actions with promiscuity? or weeping and abasing service with seduction and scandalous carriage? While they might abide in the same person at some point or another, they cannot share such space simultaneously*. Of course, that is the very definition of penitent, that is, sorrow over sin, repentance therefrom, and going to the only One Who can (and will, in His due time) give succor to the burdened conscience.

    Her actions were ones of abasement, humiliation, and service. No doubt it may have been "scandalous" in the eyes/perception of many of those with whom Jesus supped, but that didn't make it objectively or necessarily was so. We make wrong judgments all the time with our perception. It does not make the thing we think so, just that we think it to be so. Instead, we must take our cues and clues from the pristine law of God. We already know infallibly that what she did was not scandalous, because the Lord God of Truth commended her actions. That should be enough to take away such . . . scandalous . . . interpretations from our mind.

    *I am not saying that our penitence or sorrow over sin is ever perfect and complete as it should be. With the remaining corruption we carry, we can never quite be penitent enough, sincere enough, etc. as if we could earn God's favor by such things. He pities us a Father pities His children.
  5. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Yes this is the passage.
  6. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Your author seems to think himself wiser than Christ in his assessment.

    We live in an age in which the concept of affection that is not sexual in nature has been lost. So David and Jonathan become homosexuals, and this woman is committing some sort of sexual act toward Christ. Who are you reading? Does he confess an orthodox view of Scripture?
  7. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    It's called "a meal with Jesus" by Tim Chester. Overall it's good, there's just some questionable stuff in it though. Like he called Jesus a party animal.
  8. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Does he make any attempt to reconcile his interpretation of the woman's actions with Christ's interpretation of them?
  9. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    It got a glowing review by Tim Chailles....
  10. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    He basically says she was a prostitute and that was the only way she knew how to interact. By Jesus accepting it, He was okay with it. The point is that He's offering grace.

    He also said by her letting her hair down, that was equivalent to a woman exposing her breasts in that culture.
  11. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Moderator Staff Member

    With so many excellent reformed works in this world I would be hard pressed to spend valuable time reading this sort of thing. :2cents:
  12. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Note: I am not disputing with you, Ryan, but with Chester's view. I know you haven't adopted his position.

    She's thankful that she was forgiven her sexual immorality, and she shows her gratitude by behaving in a sexually immoral way, because she doesn't know any better.

    If she didn't understand that sexual immorality is wrong, why is she so thankful, anyway? Jesus, on the other hand, presses to Simon the Pharisee that she understands how bad her sin was--she loves much, because "her sins, which are many, are forgiven."
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  13. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Simon the Pharisee seemed to think it was potentially scandalous that Jesus allowed her behavior, but he based this on her reputation rather than on her actions. There's no condemnation of her actions in the text, but only affirmation from Jesus.

    So, since we can't get it from the text, the only basis we have left for concluding her behavior was sexually inappropriate or immodest is our general knowledge of cultural norms from that time and place. Much of that is guesswork. Such general knowledge can sometimes be helpful, but often it is speculative at best when the text doesn't point out the subtext we think we see.

    The account is already powerful enough when we focus on the point Jesus made to Simon. We don't have to speculate further. So when I've taught from this text, I have pointed out that her reputation was tarnished and her past was sinful, but her actions as a forgiven woman were full of appropriate love. That fits what the passage tells us without speculating beyond that.
  14. ArminianOnceWas

    ArminianOnceWas Puritan Board Freshman

    Is there anything in the original text that derives that she is a sexually immoral woman?
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