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God’s Word for You

Luke 7:39 The Pharisee’s trap

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Thursday, March 1, 2018

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who this is, and what kind of woman she is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”

Simon the Pharisee thought he had figured Jesus out. He thought, “Aha, Jesus is not really a prophet of God.” His reasoning probably went something like this: (1) Jesus doesn’t know who this woman is, and so he is an imposter and he doesn’t really have the spiritual character or quality of a prophet. Or: (2) Jesus really does know who this woman is, but lets her touch his feet and is defiled by her touch, and therefore he is not a true prophet of God. In the first case, Jesus would be an imposter, and could be dismissed and ignored. In the second case, Jesus would be unholy, and probably demon-possessed. Simon the Pharisee didn’t even consider that Jesus might be the Christ, the Messiah. He was only trying to figure out whether Jesus was a prophet, and now he thought he had his answer.

His reasoning was flawed. It’s a kind of logic called a syllogism, and it goes something like this:

  1. A prophet would know what kind of woman this is.
  2. Jesus doesn’t know what kind of woman this is.
  3. Therefore, Jesus isn’t a prophet.

However, his reasoning was completely wrong. The truth was so different that he hadn’t even thought of it:

  1. Messiah would know this woman’s true inner repentance.
  2. Jesus knew this woman’s true inner repentance.
  3. Therefore, Jesus is the Messiah.

This is what we need to remember, and which Jesus proved with everything he said and did. He used even the traps of his enemies and doubters to teach about himself and about salvation through him. This is our Savior who always cares, always reaches out to sinners, and who gave everything to rescue us.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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