Luke 7:50
And Jesus told the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
A Gracious DismissalCharles Haddon Spurgeon Luke 7:50
Go in PeaceCharles Haddon Spurgeon Luke 7:50
Go into PeaceAlexander MaclarenLuke 7:50
In Peace. -- PeaceN. Rogers.Luke 7:50
Saving FaithT. L. Cuyler, D. D.Luke 7:50
Saving FaithCharles Haddon Spurgeon Luke 7:50
The Prominence of Faith in the Thoughts of ChristA. B. Bruce, D. D., R. Winterbotham, M. A.Luke 7:50
The True and Believing Penitent Even in This Life is SaveN. Rogers.Luke 7:50
The Weeping Penitent and the Disdainful PhariseeH. Grey, D. D.Luke 7:50
The Work of Faith and Love in SalvationM. F. Sadler, M. A.Luke 7:50
A Bruised ReedH. W. Beecher.Luke 7:36-50
A Great Sinner and a Great SaviourJ. Irons.Luke 7:36-50
An Unfeeling ReligionistTrench.Luke 7:36-50
At His FeetC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 7:36-50
Faith and ForgivenessPhillips Brooks, D. D.Luke 7:36-50
Influence of Christ's LoveLuke 7:36-50
Jesus and the WomanW. M. Taylor, D. D.Luke 7:36-50
Jesus Anointed by a Weeping Penitent in the House of Simon the PhariseeJ. Grierson.Luke 7:36-50
Jesus Attracting SinnersAmerican Sunday School TimesLuke 7:36-50
Jesus in Simon's HouseD. Longwill.Luke 7:36-50
Jesus in the House of the PhariseeM. G. Pearse.Luke 7:36-50
LessonsW. M. Taylor, D. D.Luke 7:36-50
Love Produces RepentanceJ. Hamilton, D. D.Luke 7:36-50
Love the Proof of PardonR.M. Edgar Luke 7:36-50
Loving and ForgivingW. Clarkson Luke 7:36-50
Much Forgiveness, Much LoveA. Bruce, D. D.Luke 7:36-50
Oriental FeastsW. M. Taylor, D. D.Luke 7:36-50
Representative CharactersPreacher's Lantern.Luke 7:36-50
Self-Righteous MurmuringAmerican Sunday School TimesLuke 7:36-50
She is a SinnerArchbishop Thomson.Luke 7:36-50
The Nun and the PenitentS. C. Hall.Luke 7:36-50
The PenitentB. Beddome, M. A.Luke 7:36-50
The Penitent CitizenN. Rogers.Luke 7:36-50
The Pharisee's MistakeJ. Ker, D. D.Luke 7:36-50
The Secret of DevotionC. S. Robinson, D. D.Luke 7:36-50
The Weeping PenitentJ. Dobie, D. D.Luke 7:36-50
The Woman that was a SinnerC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 7:36-50
The Woman that was a SinnerJ. Burns D. D.Luke 7:36-50
There were some good points about Simon.

1. He was an eminently respectable man; he was so in the true sense of the word, for as a virtuous man he could respect himself, and his neighbours could rightly respect him; he conformed his conduct to a high standard of morality.

2. He was an open-handed, hospitable man.

3. He was an open-minded man. It was not every Pharisee that would have invited Jesus Christ to supper, or would have given him such freedom to speak his mind without resentment. But he was a much-mistaken man. He was quite wrong in three important points.

I. HIS ESTIMATE OF JESUS CHRIST. When he found that Jesus did not resent the attention of "this woman," he came to the conclusion that he could not be a prophet, or he would have known that she was a sinner, and, knowing that, he would have repelled her. Here he was wrong in his conclusion; and he was also wrong in his reasoning. His argument was this: a man as holy as a prophet would be certain to repel such guilt as is present here; when the Holy Prophet comes, the Messiah, ha will be more scrupulously separate from sin and from sinners than any other has been. Here he was completely mistaken. The Holy One came to be the Merciful One; to say to guilty men and women, "Your fellows may despair of you and abandon you. I despair of none, I abandon nobody. I see in all the possibilities of recovery; I summon you all to repentance and to life. Touch me, if you will, with the hand of your faith; I will lay my hand of help and healing upon you."

II. HIS VIEW OF THAT WOMAN.. A sinner she had been; but she was more, and indeed other than a sinner now. That word did not faithfully describe her state before God. She was a penitent. And what is a penitent? A penitent soul is one who hates the sin that had been cherished, who has cast out the evil spirit from him, in whom is the living germ of righteousness, who is on the upward line that leads to heavenly wisdom and Divine worth, on whom God is looking down with tender grace and deep satisfaction, in whom Jesus Christ beholds a servant, a friend, an heir of his holy kingdom. This is not one to turn away from in scorn, but to draw nigh unto in kindness and encouragement.


1. He thought himself a very long way on in the kingdom of God as compared with that poor woman; he did not know that, she being poor in spirit and he being proud in spirit, she was much nearer to its entrance-gates than he.

2. He thought himself in a position to patronize Jesus Christ, and consequently withheld some of the usual courtesies from his Guest; he did not know that it was on himself the distinction was conferred.

3. He supposed himself to be possessed of all the cardinal virtues: he did not know that he lacked that which is the crowning excellence of all - love, the love that can pity, that can stoop to save. We draw two main lessons.

1. That Christ makes much of love. Dwelling on the various manifestations of this woman's feeling, he declares they are the signs of her love, and he then traces her love to her deep sense of forgiven sin. God wants our love, as we want the love of our children and of our friends, and cannot accept anything, however valuable, in its stead: so Christ wants the pure, deep, lasting affection of our souls. No ceremonies, or services, or even sacrifices, will compensate for its absence (see 1 Corinthians 13.). And the measure of our love will depend on the depth of our sense of God's forgiving love toward us. Hence it is of the first importance that we

(1) should understand how much God has forgiven us, how great and serious our guilt has been (see preceding homily);

(2) should recognize how great and full is the Divine forgiveness, how much it includes - how much in the sense of overlooking the past, and in the way of granting us present favour and of promising us future blessedness. Our wisdom and our duty, therefore, is to dwell on the greatness of God's mercy to us in Jesus Christ, to rejoice much in it, to let our souls bathe in the thought of it, be filled continually with a sense of it. For they who are (consciously) forgiven much will love much; and they who love much will be much beloved of God (John 14:23).

2. That we should be ready to receive Christ's correcting word. Simon was wholly wrong in his estimate of men and of things; but he was not unwilling to hear Christ's correcting word. "Master, say on," he replied, when the great Teacher said, "I have somewhat to say unto thee." Let us see to it that this is our attitude. Our Lord may have something very serious to say to us, as he had to those seven Churches in Asia Minor, which he addressed from his heavenly throne (Revelation 2., 3.). When, through his Word, his ministry, his providence, he does thus correct us, calling us to a renewed humility, faith, love, zeal, consecration, are we ready to receive his message, to bow our head, to open our heart, and say, "Speak, Lord; thy servants hear! Master, say on"? - C.

Thy faith hath saved thee.
It is not every faith that saves the soul. There may be faith in a falsehood which leads only to delusion, and ends in destruction. There is a faith that saves; it puts us into immediate and vital and permanent union with the Son of God. What was the nature of this woman's faith? Was it merely an intellectual opinion, a clear conviction that this wonderful man of Nazareth was a strong and sympathetic character whom she could trust? Yes, it was that, and a great deal more. It was a transaction by which she approached Christ humbly, embraced His very feet, acknowledged her sinfulness, and relied on Him to do for her some great spiritual good. The woman was really saved through her faith. Jesus Christ Himself did the saving work. When I turn the faucet in my house, it is not the faucet or the water-pipe that fills my empty pitcher. I simply put my pitcher in actual connection with the inexhaustible reservoir which is at the other end of the pipe. When I exercise faith in a crucified Saviour, I put my guilty self into connection with His Divine self, my utter emptiness into connection with His infinite fulness. This is the faith which the apostles preached, and which you and I must practise. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Not in Christianity, but on Christ. Not enough to believe in the Christ described in the New Testament. Millions of unconverted people do this, just as they believe in Wilberforce as a noble philanthropist, or in Lincoln as an unselfish patriot. When the miner looks at the rope which is to lower him into the deep mine, he may coolly say to himself, "I have faith in that rope. It looks well made and strong." That is his opinion; but when he grasps it, and swings down by it into the dark yawning chasm, then he is believing on the rope, This is more than opinion, it is a voluntary transaction. Faith is the cling to the rope, but it is the rope itself that supports the miner.

I. FAITH IS A VERY SIMPLE PROCESS. The most vital of all acts is as easily comprehended as a baby comprehends the idea of drawing nourishment from a mother's breast, and falling asleep in a mother's arms.

II. FAITH IS A SENSIBLE ACT. The highest exercise of reason is to trust what the Almighty has said, and to rely on what He has promised.

III. FAITH IS A STOOPING GRACE. Self must go down before we can be lifted up into Christ's favour and likeness.

IV. FAITH IS THE STRENGTHENING GRACE. Through this channel flows in the power from on high.

V. Finally, IT IS THE GRACE WHICH COMPLETELY SATISFIES. When a hungry soul has found this food, the aching void is filled.

(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)

This was only to be expected in one who preached a gospel of grace. Grace and faith are correlatives. A gospel of grace is a gospel which proclaims a God whose nature it is to give. The proper attitude of those who worship such a God to the object of their worship is that of recipiency.

(A. B. Bruce, D. D.)To hold a correct dogmatic definition of "saving faith" has been considered the most important criterion of a standing or falling Church. Yet I defy anybody to put into dogmatic shape this woman's "saving faith." It put itself into shape, but it was the shape of feeling and of action; of love which braved all to express itself in outward acts of reverence and affection; of sorrow which found more joy in bitter weeping than ever in laughter and in song; of personal devotion which recked nothing of any one else's opinion, if only it might gain one kind word from Him. Whoever they they need not fear but that theirs is "saving faith."

(R. Winterbotham, M. A.)

It is surprising to think that the conclusion of this affecting incident should have been made the battle-field on which controversialists should have contended, whether this woman was saved by faith alone, "Thy faith hath saved thee"; or by love, "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much'; and as love is assumed to be a work, some on one side would deny that love had anything to do with saving her, whilst others, on the other side, would assert that her faith, unless it was mixed with love or issued in love, would be simply the faith of devils. Now, let us try and reconstruct, as it were, the spiritual history of this woman. In its leading features I think we cannot be far wrong. Our knowledge of human society would teach us that she could scarcely have been the only sinner of her class. Very likely great numbers who sinned either openly or secretly after the same sort of sin had heard, along with her, the Lord's call to repentance. But there was that within her which attracted her to Him, and made her listen to Him, whilst other similar sinners did not. What was that? It was an alteration in her will, a sense of sin as foul and polluting, which made her not only be willing, but "will" (i.e., strongly desire) to be rid of it. This was the root of all. What was it? Being a change of heart, or mind, a turning from sin and turning to God, we may call it repentance; but it was not repentance alone, if so, it would have turned to despair — it was inextricably mixed with faith, faith in God and goodness, a belief in the present excellence and future triumph of purity, as distinguished from the present degradation and future condemnation of impurity. So it was faith as the evidence of things not seen. This gave her the ear to listen to the words of Christ, because in them she heard the words of One who was Himself divinely pure, and yet showed Himself able and willing to relieve the hearts of all who came to Him under the burden of impurity. This was a further act of faith on her part. She not only believed in a God of purity, but in Christ as the representative of that God of purity. She consequently came to Him in spirit as she listened to His words, because His words first opened before her the door of hope. So then we have here a confirmation of the truth o! the remarkable words of the apostle, "We are saved by hope." If the words of Christ had not been full of hope for a person in her sad condition, she would not have listened to Him so as to be attracted to Him. But we have used the word "attract"; what is the attraction of soul to soul? Most people would unquestionably call it love, and they would be right; for how could there be the attraction of a penitent soul to a pure, yet loving, Saviour, for such benefits as forgiveness and cleansing, without love? What was it, then, which "saved" her? It was her will, the opposite of the will of those to whom the Lord said, "Ye will not come unto Me that ye may have life." Being the change of her will, it was repentance (metanoia), "repentance unto life"; but repentance which differed from despair or worldly sorrow, because it was inspired by hope. It was a change of mind God. ward, and so was faith in God; and Christward, because it recognized in the Lord the Saviour from sin; and yet from first to last it was faith, whose very life was holy love. She was attracted to the former guilty partners of her sin by unholy love; she was attracted to Christ by penitent, believing, hopeful, holy love. It seems to me the height of folly and presumption to try to separate the will, the repentance, the faith, the hope, the love, and assign to each their respective parts in the matter of salvation. God hath joined all together; let us not try, even in thought, to put them asunder. But what is the significance of the Lord's words, "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much"? The real drift seems to be in the many sins (αἱ πολλαί) and the loving much (πολύ), the same Greek adjective. A sinful life such as hers, in which she had laid herself out to seduce others to sin, required a deep sense of guilt, a deep repentance: a superficial, light-hearted sorrow in her case would have been, humanly speaking, of no avail, no repentance at all; but God, in His mercy, gave her true and godly sorrow. This appeared in her whole action, particularly in her washing the Lord's feet with her tears, and wiping them with the hairs of her head. Now, Mary of Bethany similarly poured precious ointment on the Lord's feet, and similarly wiped them with her hair; but in all the three accounts there is not a word said of her shedding a single tear; and if she had, her tears would not have been those of penitence, but of gratitude for the restoration of her brother. What, then, was the washing of the Lord's feet with her tears? of what, I mean, was it the sign? — of repentance? of faith? of love? Of all three, I answer, all inseparable, all permeating one another, all sustaining and nourishing one another. The whole action, if a sincere one, could not have existed without all three. The Lord's words, then, cannot have the slightest bearing on any post-reformation disputes respecting faith and works, faith and love, love as preceding forgiveness, or love as following it. They are emphatically natural words, describing the natural effect of the grace of God in the soul; for though grace be above nature, it yet works not unnaturally, but naturally, according to its own nature, and according to the nature of the human being who receives it.

(M. F. Sadler, M. A.)

d: — For —

1. We have salvation in the promises of it (2 Corinthians 7:1).

2. We have it in those graces which begin it (John 17:3; Titus 3:5, and Titus 2:12; John 3:8).

3. We have it in the assurance of it. Doth the Lord say and shall He not do? His foundation standeth sure and hath His seal. And if this counsel be, of God as Gamaliel said in another case, ye cannot destroy it.

(N. Rogers.)

I. THE PRINCIPLE TO WHICH OUR LORD ATTRIBUTED HER SALVATION WAS HER FAITH. This was the medium through which the blessing was conveyed, and this was indeed the secret spring of all her proceeding. And in what way, we ask, could this individual have been saved except by faith? As for salvation by works, that was out of the question in her case. She was a sinner, as the Evangelist testifies; and therefore, instead of being justified by the law, was convicted by it as a transgressor. What was there then that could save her? Her relation to Abraham? That she had virtually renounced, and by advancing any plea on that ground would only have convicted herself of apostasy. The comparative innocence of her early years? The sacrifices of the law? These had no power to purify the conscience; nor could "thousands of rams, or ten thousand rivers of oil" have washed away a single stain. Might her repentance, then, have saved her, and her diligent efforts after reformation? Alas, the convictions and terrors of a guilty conscience furnish no propitiation for sin, and have in them more of fretfulness and irritation than of submission and loyal obedience. And as for the feelings of broken-hearted contrition, of genuine love, of all true devotion, these are the fruits and evidences of mercy already experienced; and therefore, instead of saving the soul, they show it to be already saved. Her faith saved her as accepting the blessing freely given her of God. And this view of faith refutes the notion of those who, from a mistaken zeal for morality, ascribe the saving efficacy of faith to the moral excellence of this principle as implying submission and obedience; for this is to make faith itself a work, and to ascribe salvation to ourselves in performing it. But in Scripture, salvation by faith is constantly opposed to all idea of desert on our part; for "to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt; but to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him who justifieth the ungodly" — that is, one in himself ungodly — " his faith is counted for righteousness." We appropriate a gift, we have said, by accepting it; but does this acceptance merit the gift?

II. Having said this much of the nature of faith, it is fit we proceed to consider ITS GRACIOUS AND BLESSED EFFECTS AND EVIDENCES. For while faith saves us simply as receiving the Saviour, it is not to be forgotten that it is an intelligent, holy, and powerful principle: intelligent, as implying a just apprehension of man's state and of God's character; holy, as being the "gift of God," and the first fruit of His regenerating grace: powerful, as bringing us under the influence and authority of those great truths which it is its essential character to embrace. For let it not be thought that in matters of religion, those laws that regulate intelligent natures are reversed, or that any such strange anomaly can exist in the spiritual world as a soul that believes, yet neither feels nor acts. But instead of general language, behold the genuine effects of faith exemplified in her to whom our Lord addressed the words before us. My brethren, the graces observable in this woman are the natural fruits and proper evidences of faith, wherever it is found. The peculiarities of her situation could affect only the mode of expressing them. Is not penitence a natural and necessary effect of faith? In order of time, they are coincident and inseparable; for as there can be no impenitent believer, so neither can there be any unbelieving penitent; but in order of nature, since the discoveries of Divine truth are the means of awakening repentance, it is manifest faith must precede it, to give these discoveries effect. And faith, ushered in by contrition, has love for an inseparable associate. "Thy sins are forgiven thee"; and, in spite of the cavils of unbelief, to add, "Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace." My brethren, it is the glory of the grace of the gospel, that it enfolds the chief of sinners; and blessed are those who are enabled, as chief of sinners, to embrace this gospel grace.

(H. Grey, D. D.)

Peace is twofold.

1. There is a bad and appearing peace.

2. A true and sincere peace. Bad peace is threefold.

1. A defiled and polluted peace, as is that we find mentioned (Psalm 2:1, 2; 9:21; Psalms 83:4-6), so Ephraim against Manassah, Manassah against Ephraim; and both against Judah: Herod against Pilate, Pilate against Herod; and both against Christ. Est daemonum legio concors, there is such a peace as this amongst the devils; seven could agree well together in Mary's heart, yea a legion we read of were in another. "If a house be divided against itself it cannot stand."

2. A dissembled and counterfeited peace, when a man pretends peace, but intends mischief. So Joab spake peaceably to Abner when he stabbed him; Absolom invited Ammon to a feast when he intended to murder him.

3. An inordinate peace, which is when the greater and better obeys the less and inferior. So Adam obeyed Eve; Abraham yielded unto Lot, &c. None of these kinds of peace are here meant.That peace which our Saviour speaks of is true and sincere peace, which St. Bernard thus tripleth.

1. External This is that peace we have with men for the time we live in this world (Romans 12:18).

(1)In the commonwealth, as when we are free from civil wars within, and foreign enemies without (Jeremiah 29:7).

(2)In the family, or special places where we live, of which peace St. Peter (1 Peter 3:12), and our Saviour (Mark 9:50).

2. Internal, which is the peace of conscience, proceeding from the assurance we have of God's favour through Christ.

3. Eternal, which is that perfect rest and happiness, which the saints shall enjoy in heaven with God hereafter (Isaiah 57:2). The peace that our Saviour here speaks of to this woman is, that internal or pectoral peace, that stable and comfortable tranquility of conscience. Peace of conscience is the fruit of justification by faith. (Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 2:21; Romans 5:1.) These texts of Scripture make strongly for the truth delivered. Alas for sinners! the misery of such as are not reconciled unto God, "there is no peace to the wicked, saith my God" (Isaiah 57:21). No peace, none with God, none with angels, none with men, none with the creatures. They are like unto Ishmael, whose hand was against every man, and every man's hand against him. They may well fear with Cain, "Every one that findeth me will slay me." All creatures being God's executioners, and ready pressed to do His will. In no place peace: what Solomon speaks of an ill wife may aptly be applied to an ill conscience. At no time peace.But how doth this seeming or false peace of sinners differ from that peace which ariseth from assurance of God's favour through faith in Christ?

1. The conscience of a sinner is quiet, for that it hath no sight nor sense of sin.

2. A benumbed conscience, though it be quiet yet it comforteth not.

3. A dead or benumbed conscience feareth not sin, nor God's wrath for sin. But a good conscience is very fearful of giving God the least offence. As it was said of Hezekiah, that "he feared God greatly," so is it with the godly.

4. From the unspeakable benefits that true peace brings along with it. What is it that can make a man happy, but attends on peace? It comprehends in the very name of it all happiness, both of estate and disposition. That mountain whereon Christ ascended though it abounded with palms, pines, and myrtles, yet it carried only the name of Olives, an ancient emblem of peace. So though many mercies belong unto a Christian, yet all are comprised under this one little word which is spelt with a few letters, peace.

(N. Rogers.).

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