|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:36-50 None can truly perceive how precious Christ is, and the glory of the gospel, except the broken-hearted. But while they feel they cannot enough express self-abhorrence on account of sin, and admiration of his mercy, the self-sufficient will be disgusted, because the gospel encourages such repenting sinners. The Pharisee, instead of rejoicing in the tokens of the woman's repentance, confined his thoughts to her former bad character. But without free forgiveness none of us can escape the wrath to come; this our gracious Saviour has purchased with his blood, that he may freely bestow it on every one that believes in him. Christ, by a parable, forced Simon to acknowledge that the greater sinner this woman had been, the greater love she ought to show to Him when her sins were pardoned. Learn here, that sin is a debt; and all are sinners, are debtors to Almighty God. Some sinners are greater debtors; but whether our debt be more or less, it is more than we are able to pay. God is ready to forgive; and his Son having purchased pardon for those who believe in him, his gospel promises it to them, and his Spirit seals it to repenting sinners, and gives them the comfort. Let us keep far from the proud spirit of the Pharisee, simply depending upon and rejoicing in Christ alone, and so be prepared to obey him more zealously, and more strongly to recommend him unto all around us. The more we express our sorrow for sin, and our love to Christ, the clearer evidence we have of the forgiveness of our sins. What a wonderful change does grace make upon a sinner's heart and life, as well as upon his state before God, by the full remission of all his sins through faith in the Lord Jesus!
Verse 48. - And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. Then, turning again to the woman, in her deep penitence, and at the same time in her deep joy - joy springing from her newly found peace - he formally renews to her the assurance of that pardon which she already was conscious of; but in renewing it the Lord mentioned no more "her many sins," as in the first place (ver. 47), but simply, "thy sins," thus reducing, as Stier remarks, at last both her and Simon to a common level.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he saith unto her,.... Directing his discourse to the woman that now stood before him:
thy sins are forgiven; which was said, partly on account of the Pharisee, to let him see, that he knew this woman, what she was, and had been; that she had been a sinner, a great sinner, one that owed five hundred pence, but was now forgiven, washed, cleansed, sanctified, and justified, and therefore not to be shunned and avoided; and partly on the woman's account, that she might have a fresh discovery of the forgiveness of her sins, for her comfort under the severe censure of the Pharisee, and that her faith in it might be strengthened; as also on his own account, to show that he was not only a prophet that had extraordinary knowledge of persons, and their characters, but that he was the most high God, to whom belonged the prerogative of pardoning sin.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
48. said unto her, &c.—an unsought assurance, usually springing up unexpected in the midst of active duty and warm affections, while often it flies from those who mope and are paralyzed for want of it.
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