Deuteronomy 28, 29 and Luke 7:31-50
These chapters talk about what is means to find favor with God and to lose favor with God as the people of Israel. Luke also show us what life can look like when we show our favor of, or preference for, God.
The first 14 verses of this chapter speak to the promises for Israel if they choose to follow God’s commands. They will be blessed with national security, prosperity, and political power. These things are purported to be what comes naturally from living in covenant with the Lord.
Beginning with verse 15 we get a picture of the curses that await the people if they do not live in covenant faithfully. It is important to remember that these scriptures were most likely collected and edited during the time of exile in Babylon. The view of the editors at the time might very well have been that the people had let God down and therefore were suffering the listed curses because of their lack of fidelity.
Here Moses rehearses the history of Israel with the people of God. These words are not just for those present, but for future generations. By following the commands, or revealed things of God, they will remain in right relationship with God. Most of our liturgical acts serve a similar function- reminding us of God’s promises and calling us to be faithful to the always faithful God.
Jesus is still talking here to the Pharisees and disciples about John and about Jesus’ own identity. The people of “this generation” who refuse to repent are compared to children who refuse to play a game with the other kids. They said John has a demon and Jesus ate and drank too much with the wrong people. Wisdom discerns when is the time to weep and to dance as found in Ecclesiastes. Wisdom’s children are those who hear God’s word and follow.
Then we are given the account of the so called sinful woman. What an outrageous outpouring of love and thanksgiving she offers! This is nothing short of an act of worship, worship of a heart who has experienced love and forgiveness. Simon, the Pharisee, and those around cannot see this as worship because they cannot look past their own rules/regulations of pure and unclean. They are blinded to compassion.
While they sit there having uncharitable thoughts, Jesus cements his prophetic status by knowing Simon’s thoughts. He takes this opportunity to remind Simon, and all others present, that the past is erased by grace. And that the response to forgiveness is thanksgiving and worship.