Luke 7 Lesson

Compassion, not judgment

Compassion is defined as, “Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.”

Everyone is suffering from something. Some more than others, but we are all suffering. Perhaps if we stopped to think about this more often, we would do a better job of showing compassion to one another.  There are opportunities every day to listen and show compassion to others.

Too often, we find ourselves “too busy,” or we judge people instead of listening to them or trying to help them. That is wrong, and not what the Bible teaches us to do.

In chapter 7 of his Gospel, Luke tells the story of the woman who brought the alabaster vial to Jesus. Luke lets us know that this woman was a known sinner.  Jesus had been invited by one of the Pharisees to dine together and the woman heard that Jesus was coming to her city. 

Luke writes:

“And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, 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.” – Luke 7:37-38.

This story is a great example of two people witnessing the same event and having markedly different reactions.

The Pharisee 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.” – Luke 7:39.

Jesus responded:

“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.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” – Luke 7:44-48.

Jesus had compassion for the woman and the Pharisee did not.

What about us?

How do we react when God brings people into our lives that are suffering? Do we judge them, or do we show them compassion?

If we have compassion for somebody, then we are part of the solution. We may make them smile or give them a much-needed boost on a difficult day. 

Conversely, when we judge them, we offer no help whatsoever.  We may even make things worse. We also put our souls at risk because the Bible is clear that we are not to judge others.

Virtual Bible Study's lesson on judgement

When the women with the alabaster vile approached Jesus, He did not think about all the bad things that this woman had done.  Instead, He had compassion and showed her mercy. How much better the world would be if everybody did the same!

As Christians, we are supposed to have compassion for those that we meet. Jesus had compassion for others, and He commands us to do the same.  

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following scriptures:

  • “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” - Ephesians 4:32.

  • “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." - Colossians 3:12.

  • “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” - Galatians 6:2.


Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

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Prof. Dr. Lorin L Cranford

Thank you for a simple but effective glimpse into scripture. It followed sound hermeneutical guidelines (cf. at the BIC commentary) even as a topical study. It was a blessing to me.

Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

Virtual Bible Study

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor alive during the time of Nazi Germany. About compassion, he said, “We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”

I can think about this quote and make a conscious effort to be more compassionate.

Dan W
Virtual Bible Study

It’s far too easy to condemn when compassion requires effort, even sacrifice. The motive for loving others is the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Pat Dermody

John had prepared the way for Jesus according to the Old Testament, and all who came after John would have greater knowledge because Jesus would come and teach in their midst and die to save them. Therefore, .”even the least person in the kingdom of God is greater than he is. “

Dan W

It is a great thing when Christians determined to live in harmony because that’s what will please Christ


It is interesting that the woman with the alabaster perfume knew that Jesus was at this Pharisee's home.

She was not going to miss her chance to get right with God.

She went there, had faith, and in her own way worshiped Jesus.

Jesus knew her heart like he knows all of our hearts.

He said her faith made her whole.

How many people have an opportunity to worship Jesus and choose not to?


Interesting when it says, "Yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he" in verse 29.

This implies that there are different "levels" in heaven and ties into yesterday's lesson about how the believers will face a second judgment from the "Judgement Seat of Christ."

I take this to mean that Jesus will judge the deeds of the believers and decide where they rank in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I imagine those ranked higher will get things those ranked lower will not.

Most importantly, all believers will be saved and get to spend eternity in heaven with God, Jesus and all the saints.

How wonderful that will be!!!