Parable #5. Lender Forgives Unequal Debts:
- Today is Day #5
- The Fifth Mashal of Messiah
- The forgiveness of all debts on the day of Jubilee
- The annulment of all debts between Yehudim
- The forgiveness of all debts is connected with the Coming of Messiah
- The Rest of the Story
- We love because ‘He’ first loved us
- “The Woman Who Loved Much”
- The Testimony of the Perfect Man
- The Parush and the Prostitute
- Shim’on failed to practice well the divine principle of Hospitality
- The Untouchable One whose sins were many
- In his pride and self-vanity the Parush became separated from Adonai
- In her humility and great love the Prostitute was separated unto Adonai
Today is Day #5:
1. Today is “Day #5” in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot.
2. Today is Five days of the Omer.
.היום חמישה ימים בעומר
Haiyom chamishah yamim ba’omer.
“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days.” (Leviticus). “You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy).
“Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.”
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
The Fifth Mashal of Messiah:
לְנשֶׁה אֶחָד הָיוּ שְׁנֵי בַעֲלֵי־חוֹבוֹת הָאֶחָד חַיָּב לוֹ דִּינָרִים חֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת וְהָאַחֵר דִּינָרִים חֲמִשִּׁים׃ וּמִפְּנֵי שֶׁלּא הָיָה לָהֶם לִפְרֹעַ מָחַל לִשְׁנֵיהֶם וְעַתָּה אֱמָר־נָא מִי מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם יְחַבֵּב אֹתוֹ יוֹתֵר׃ וַיַּעַן שִׁמְעוֹן וַיֹּאמַר כִּמְדֻמֶּה אֲנִי זֶה שֶׁמָּחַל לוֹ יוֹתֵר וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו יָפָה דָנְתָּ׃
“A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred dinarim, and the other fifty dinarim. [A denarii was equal to one day’s wages.] When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave (pardoned) them both. Now, please tell Me who of the two cherished him more?” Shim’on answered (the Mashiach) and said, “I would imagine the one whom he forgave more.” He said to him, “You have judged beautifully.”
The forgiveness of all debts on the day of Jubilee:
After Messiah allows a known prostitute to wash His feet, He likens the sinful woman and the Parush (Separted One) Shim’on to being two different sinners (debtors) who are in debt to a moneylender. One debtor owes ten times more (*500 denarii) than the other debtor (50 denarii). Rabbi Yeshua masterfully uses the image of debt in the mashal as a way to describe guilt from sin. This linkage of debt with sin is represented in the Torah where the Hebrew word chayyav, that means “debtor,” also is used to describe a person who is guilty of sin.
This forensic number of 500 is not new to us. There were 500 witnesses (men, Jewish brothers) who gathered together at a mountain in Galilee to meet with the Mashiach after His resurrection, during the first 40 days of their (our) ‘counting’ the days to the observance of Shavuot. Messiah in a very subtle way associates the forgiveness of the debt of sin with the Day of Jubilee (Yovel, Yobel).
Both the number of 50 and 10 x 50 (500) are connected with the observance of Jubilee (the number ten is associated with legal-judicial completeness, fullness, the Ten Commandments; ten is also the number of a worship quorum, a minion). It is written in the Torah (Leviticus):
“You shall sanctify the 50th year and proclaim freedom throughout the land for all its inhabitants; it shall be the Jubilee year for you, you shall return each person to his ancestral heritage and you shall return each to his family. It shall be a Jubilee Year for you – the 50th year – you shall not sow, you shall not harvest its after-growth and you shall not pick what was set aside of it for yourself. For it is a Jubilee Year, it shall be holy to you; from the field you eat its crop.”
In the Jubilee we are released from our slavery (debt) to sin. The nation was notified of the Jubilee year’s arrival by the blast of the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur (Leviticus 25:8 and Numbers 36:4). “You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, *forty-nine years.”
*Our Countdown to Shavuot involves 50 Days. On the first day of firstfruits (ha-bikkurim) we are in the valley. We are meditating on the Humility of the Messiah. On the 40th day of our sojourn we observe the day of Messiah’s ascension into heaven to secure for us the gift of the Father—the Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of Holiness. On the 49th day we stand at the threshold of receiving the gift of Avinu Shebashamayim (i.e. our heavenly Father’s Gift of Living Torah). Then finally on the 50th day we receive the real Oral Torah of Adonai, the New Heart.]
Therefore, it is on the 50th day, the day of Shavuot, that a remnant of 120 Yehudim received the gift of the Father, His Living Torah—the Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of Holiness. Since G-d breathed His Spirit into the first Adam this was the greatest event in the history of mankind! This gifting by Abba Avinu to a privileged remnant of Israel marks the real beginning of the Restoration of Yisra’el (the Rule of G-d on earth). This incredible event was the very beginning of the re-establishment of the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of Adonai, on earth!
The annulment of all debts between Yehudim:
Numbers 36:4: “When Hayovel (the Jubilee) of the people of Israel shall be, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong; so their inheritance will be withdrawn from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.”
Jubilee requires all debts between Jews to be annulled. Since the Messiah is a Jew this forgiveness of Jew to Jew includes forgiveness of any debts (sins) that the Messiah may legally hold against us. There are no exceptions. And this Scripture cannot be broken! (וְאֶת הַכָּתוּב אִי אֶפְשָׁר לְהָפֵר) The Messiah must and will fulfill all of Torah. He will forgive all Israel. He will save all Israel.
All that we are required to do is to make our claim—according to the D’var HaShem. Any Jew that sold his or herself into slavery to any sin-debt against Adonai, Messiah, and each other is released! No further effort on our part is required other than to believe from our hearts that this graciousness of Adonai is, in fact, true. It is no coincidence that this wonderful time of forgiveness and restoration occurs on the tenth day and the seventh month (the Day of Atonement). Therefore, when the Shofar blows at the end of Yom Kippur, it is an announcement from the throne of heaven to the children of Israel, “All those of you who are enslaved to debt” (the debt of sin, including our past rejection of our own Messiah), “You are now free!“
The forgiveness of all debts is connected with the Coming of Messiah:
In the Year of Jubilee in Israel, all debts were to be forgiven, and any land that a family had been forced to sell in a time of famine could be reclaimed by them. It is interesting that the prophets and rabbi sages connected this thought of the year of Jubilee with the coming of the Messiah. One of Rabbi Yeshua’s earliest statements that He used to define His ministry included a quote from Isaiah 61, which says that He (Ha-Mashiach) was anointed to proclaim “the year of Adonai’s favor.” The phrase to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor (לִקְרֺא שְׁנַת רָצוֹן לַיהוה) is a direct reference to the year of Jubilee.
The Spirit of Adonai Elohim is upon me,
Because Adonai has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of Adonai (likro shnat-ratzon la Adonai)
And the day of vengeance of Eloheinu;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness (Eyley HaTzedek),
The planting of Adonai, that He may be glorified.
We love because He first loved us:
עַל כֵּן אוֹמֵר אֲנִי לְךָ: נִסְלְחוּ לָהּ חֲטָאֶיהָ הָרַבִּים, כִּי רַבָּה אַהֲבָתָהּ. אֲבָל מִי שֶׁנִּסְלַח לוֹ מְעַט אוֹהֵב מְעַט.”
Through the imagery of the Jubilee we can see something of Adonai’s immeasurable graciousness to forgive all our debts to Him. As indicated in the statement just referenced (in Hebrew) by the Messiah, the great irony here is in the general result of His forgiveness:
Those who have been forgiven much, love much;
Those who have been forgiven little, love little!
But how could this be? Surely anyone who truly is perceptive of truth knows we “all” (other than Messiah alone) carry a debt of sin so large that it is beyond the ability of any of us to repay. Therefore, since we have all been forgiven such an incredible amount of debt, should not we all greatly love Him who forgave us so very much?
The Rest of the Story:
There is more to the story of the unnamed Prostitute who loved much and the Parush Shim’on who loved little. So what follows is the Rest of the Story. It is suggested as you read the rest of the story of “The Woman Who Loved Much” that you give special consideration to the repeated emphasis upon the importance of being one that “hears.” Also as was indicated in the last parable that we studied together please recall that in Hebrew the word hear requires a lot more than just acquiring knowledge and achieving basic comprehension. In the Hebrew concept of hearing before one can truly claim that he has heard his Rabbi he (she) must be able to say that he (she) has already completely obeyed whatever the Rabbi has told him or her to do.
Question #1. Obedience is Man’s love language to G-d. But what does He demand of us? How shall we love Him who is our one true-Eternal Rabbi? The Holy One has told us to turn-in our old dirty wedding garments for new wedding garments. Have you obeyed?
Question #2. The Son of the Highest (Ben Elyon) our Messiah has told us to accept His New Wine and to keep this special beverage only in the New Wineskin He has given us. Have you obeyed?
Question #3. The Son of the Living One (Ben Elohim Chayim) has told us to be the Light of the World, to be His City of Light on a hill that shines out upon all the peoples and nations of the World, like the glorious light that shone from the Temple in Jerusalem. Have you obeyed?
Question #4. The True and Righteous Witness (Ed HaEmet v’haTzedek) has told us to be the House of G-d that is wisely built upon no other foundation than the sure foundation of His Word. For Messiah is the One whom Adonai in these last days has spoken to us through. For Adonai has appointed the Messiah to be Nachalah Vako (heir of all things). Have you obeyed?
Question #5. And now He, Who is the lover of our souls, tells us yet again to hear His Voice, “you are released from your slavery (debt) to sin;” and so are we now to proclaim to the family of Israel and to all the nations, peoples, and families of the world (the Commonwealth of Israel), “You are forgiven!” Have you obeyed?
“The Woman Who Loved Much:”
The narrative of “The Woman Who Loved Much” is the second of Messiah’s Ten Forgiveness Sayings. (All ten of these forgiveness sayings are recited and discussed in chapters 11-20 of the Messiah in Yom Kippur.) It is found only in the third Jewish Gospel (the third Face of Ezekiel): “Now one of the Prushim was requesting Him to dine with him. And He entered the house of the Parush, and reclined at the table. And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He (Ha-Mashiach) was reclining at the table in the house of the Parush, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet, and anointing them with the perfume. Now when the Parush who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself:
“If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”
And the Salvation of Adonai (Yeshua the Messiah) answered and said to him, “Shim’on, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Rabbi” (Teacher): “A certain money lender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them, therefore, will love him more?” Shim’on answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged beautifully (יָפֶה פָּסַקְתָּ).” And turning toward the woman (facing the woman), He said to Shim’on, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And He said to her:
“Your sins have been forgiven”
And those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this Man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman:
“Your faith has saved you; go in(to) shalom.”
The Testimony of the Perfect Man:
The Second Forgiveness Saying of Messiah is found only in the third Face of Ezekiel (that of the Perfect Man). The Testimony of the third Jewish Gospel is written by the Medical Doctor Lukas. Dr. Lukas (the Light-bringer; same meaning as Aaron) communicates to us the Testimony of the Perfect Man, the Messiah of Israel, who is the “Light of the World.”
The Parush and the Prostitute:
In this narrative the scene is set when Messiah is invited to the home of Shim’on (whose name means “Heard”). Shim’on is identified as being a member of the elite religious-political party called the Prushim (i.e. Pharisees, meaning the Separated Ones). The other key figure in the story is an unnamed sinful woman. This woman is quite the opposite of Shim’on. She is a Jewess of lowly status. The context of the narrative quite clearly infers the unnamed woman is a prostitute. As much as Shim’on is religious (orthodox), the woman is irreligious (not orthodox). Shim’on the Parush is of the highest social status. The woman is of the lowest.
Shim’on failed to practice the divine principle of Hospitality:
Shim’on invited Rabbi Yeshua to dine at his home as his special guest. It was customary during the Messiah Yeshua’s day that the host would provide for the washing and cleansing of the guest’s feet before the meal. Due to the roads being unpaved, dusty, or muddy, and the normal footwear being sandals, people’s feet would get quite dirty. Shim’on failed to provide the customary service to his guests at the beginning of the dinner party (cf. “hachnasat orchim” – הכנסת אורחים). Hospitality was considered a Divinely mandated sacred responsibility that was ‘binding’ on everyone living in the Middle East in ancient times (and thankfully it still is in many parts of the Middle East today). So Shim’on’s behavior here would have been considered pretty low form for any person; especially of his high social status. The Master was reclined because the custom was to recline on the floor, or on low level couches while eating.
The Untouchable One whose sins were many:
The woman arrived at the dinner no doubt as soon as she “heard” (inference and emphasis mine) Rabbi Yeshua was eating at Shim’on’s house (בַּיִת שֶׁל שִׁמְעוֹן- House of Hearing). The woman had lived a sinful life. She had lived a sufficiently despicable enough life that Yeshua characterized her sins as being “many” and Shim’on labeled her a person of exceedingly sinful disposition, unworthy to even be touched (מְנוּדֶה-an outcast, untouchable one).
She was an unwanted guest.
Yet the unwanted one attended anyway, bringing a jar of perfume. The presence of the unwanted (untouchable) woman was not unusual. For when a famous rabbi was invited to a person’s home, especially a rabbi of Yeshua’s renown, others within the community at large were allowed to visit that they might overhear the conversation. The pouring of expensive costly perfume and the kissing of Rabbi Yeshua’s feet were expressions of deep gratitude, respect and affection by the repentant, tearful woman.
Shim’on was convinced of his own self-sufficiency and self-importance:
The opening up story about the two debtors, one owing fifty days pay and the other five-hundred days pay (50 and 500 denarii), and the follow-up preference question, “Which one loved the lender more?” afforded Shim’on opportunity to perceive his sins of omission and commission. Shim’on had not greeted Rabbi Yeshua with an attitude of proper humility and respect. He was arrogantly convinced of his own self-sufficiency and prideful self-value and was unaware of his own relational impoverishment with the Almighty, whose Presence he failed to detect in the company of the Messiah Yeshua and others like the lowly Jewess; whose value to the Creator he completely failed to understand.
In his pride and self-vanity the Parush became separated from Adonai:
The Parush Shim’on was self-deluded.
The self-righteous ‘separated one’ saw himself as being pure, innocent, and virtuous. His self-perception was that he, unlike the woman, was not a sinner. Therefore, forgiveness was something of which he needed very little. In contrast, the woman knew very well she was a sinner. Therefore, she fully understood that she was in desperate need of forgiveness. Therefore, the pious one perceived little need for Adonai and thus he possessed little appreciation or love for Adonai. The untouchable one perceived great need for Adonai, and thus she possessed and demonstrated much love and appreciation for Adonai.
In her humility and great love the Prostitute was separated unto Adonai:
It is a tragedy that the Parush Shim’on (‘Separated one who Hears’) while dwelling in his House of Hearing could not live up to the meaning of his name. If Shim’on had truly heard, understood, and obeyed what Rabbi Yeshua was saying to him he too would have humbly approached the Messiah to repent of his sins. Then he too would have heard the words:
“Your sins have been forgiven.”
“Your faith has saved you; go into shalom.”
Instead, in his pride the Separated One chose to live in a state of genuine separation (מֶרְחָק-in a far away place) from Adonai; thereby living a life of little forgiveness and little relational life-love; an impoverished life without the shalom of Avi HaRachamim (Father of Mercies). In stark contrast we see the lowly woman: In her humility she chose to live in a state of genuine separation unto Adonai; thereby living a life of great forgiveness and an abundance of relational life-love; an abundant life with the shalom of Avi HaRachamim.