The Two Debtors
And a certain one of the Pharisees besought Him that He would eat with him; and having entered into the house of the Pharisee, He reclined.
And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, knowing that He sat in the Pharisee’s house, obtained an alabaster vessel of ointment; and standing by His feet behind Him, weeping, she began to shower His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
But when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw it, he said within himself, saying, This Man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is who touches Him, that she is a sinner.
And Jesus answering said to him, Simon, I have something to say to thee; and he declares, Teacher, say on.
A certain lender had two debtors; the one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
But they having nothing to pay, he graciously forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him most? And Simon answering said, I assume he to whom he graciously forgave most. And He said to him, Thou hast rightly judged.
And turning to the woman, He declared to Simon, Seest this woman? I came into thy house; thou gavest Me no water on My feet, but she has showered My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Thou gavest Me no kiss, but she, since I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.
My head with oil thou didst not anoint, but she has anointed My feet with ointment.
Thus I say to thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, because she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, he loves little.
And He said to her, Thy sins are forgiven.
And they who sat with Him began to say in themselves, Who is this who forgives sins also?
And He said to the woman, Thy faith has saved thee; go into peace.
The numbers 500 and 50
AE 10253:4. That “five hundred” signifies much; and its tenth part, or “fifty,” relatively something, is evident from the Lord’s words to Simon in Luke....
The Lord employed these numbers because they signified much and something. For He spoke from the Divine, thus by means of significatives according to correspondences, and also in all other places, as when He spoke of the virgins, whom He called “ten,” and “five” of them wise, and “five” foolish. He said “ten,” because by this number are signified all, that is, of the church; and “five,” because by this number is signified some part....
When faith saves
Doctrine of Life 51. ...Jesus said of the woman who anointed His feet with ointment:
Her sins are forgiven, for she loved much... Thy faith has saved thee (Luke 7:47, 50).
From this it is evident that when sins have been remitted or forgiven, thus when they exist no longer, faith saves....
Doctrine of Life 52. From these premises there follows this conclusion: That no man has in him a grain of truth more than he has of good; thus that he does not have a grain of faith more than he has of life. In the understanding indeed there may exist the thought that such or such a thing is true, but not the acknowledgment which is faith, unless there is consent to it in the will. Thus faith and life keep step as they walk. From all this it is now evident that in proportion as anyone shuns evils as sins, in the same proportion he has faith and is spiritual.
Anointing with oil
AR 779:3. It was a received custom to anoint themselves and others to testify gladness and benevolence of mind; but with common oil or some other noble oil, but not with the oil of holiness (Matt. 6:17; Mark 6:13; Luke 7:46; Isa. 61:3; Amos 6:6; Micah 6:15; Ps. 92:10; 104:15; Dan. 10:3; Deut. 28:40). That it was not permitted to anoint themselves or others with the oil of holiness, see Exod. 30:32–33.
Questions and Comments
- When we can see how much the Lord forgives us, does it help us love Him more?
- How does repenting help us love the Lord more?
- How are sins being forgiven and faith connected according to Doctrine of Life 51–52?