Jesus and His Friend Simon

Edwin Eby

Salvation and New Birth

Jesus had a friend named Simon. Jesus loved Simon. Jesus loved Simon in exactly the same manner as He loves all people, and just as fervently too. What Simon obviously misunderstood was that he was a sinner, but that Jesus was not. Deep down inside Simon lurked a thought that perhaps there was in himself potential for righteousness. Therefore, Simon seriously erred. Simon did not know how sinful he was. Simon did not know that only God is righteous. Simon had a faulty concept about how holy his guest was and how much he needed Him too! He did not know that the only saving righteousness he could ever have was that which could be imputed to him, by faith in His friend Jesus. But, Jesus loved Simon so much anyway that at Simon's invitation He went for lunch at his table.

Jesus was righteous but Simon was not. Simon knew that sin needs forgiveness. However, he must have been ignorant, either willingly or unwillingly, that sin, no matter the
amount, brings guilt upon man. Thus, Simon in terrible error clutched to a lurking belief that many sins are worse than few sins. Simon did not really understand how sin separates a man from God—because God is holy and has no sin! But Jesus loved Simon anyway and went along to lunch in fervent hope that somewhere, sometime, Simon would understand! Maybe by eating lunch with Simon He could show Simon the real truth about himself.

Simon was an honorable man. Simon was a morally upright advantage to society. Simon was intelligent. Simon could reason well. His perception about the wickedness that was all about him was keen and accurate. He could see the fruit evil bore. He had no trouble with this. But Simon, in awful mistake, misunderstood that Jesus could perceive things that he could not. He failed to understand that Jesus knew when faith was born in a heart. This misconstrued assessment blinded his spiritual eyes. He did not know that Jesus could perceive the intents of a heart even to the dividing asunder of body, soul, and spirit! Jesus wanted Simon to know that He was the only righteous, authentic judge, of human motive and standing before God. Knowing Jesus as he did Simon should have understood this, but in glaring starkness, he completely missed this eternal part of Jesus. Jesus loved Simon anyway though and came to his house that afternoon fully aware that a vivid lesson concerning this would be shown to Simon. Jesus knew Simon should accept Him and have a radical paradigm shift. He knew Simon should understand his human worth in relation to His own holy, holy, holy character. Jesus knew all this in spite of Simon's great misconceptions about himself and about who God really was. Jesus wanted Simon to receive a proper fear of His holiness—a humble understanding of his own sinfulness without Him! So, Jesus went along to meat with Simon.

A woman came to Simon's house that day Jesus was there for lunch. Simon thought that the woman who came onto the porch of his house to find Jesus was very sinful. Jesus believed so too because the holy character of Jesus cannot miss seeing sin where ever it is present. However, a vast gulf existed between Jesus and Simon's noticing of sin. Simon secretly courted the thought of himself owning some righteousness. He held a secret claim to this inside his heart. Simon had his belief about what the woman must do to receive forgiveness from Jesus. Therefore, Simon believed in alarming error that his claim gave him a percentage of advantage over the woman in the sight of his guest. Simon really wanted to love Jesus the same way Jesus loved him but Simon was not certain that the woman loved Jesus that way. Hidden deep in the shadows of a tiny closet of his heart Simon held a little scorn and a little distain for the woman whom Jesus loved. A great admiration for Jesus enveloped most of his conscious understanding but alas, he misunderstood himself.

Simon had a normal human heart. One that is exceedingly deceptive. He listened to it just a little bit too much. This led him to a very spiritually fatal mistake. He believed the axis of salvation was what he could do. Jesus knew this all yet loved Simon while they ate. in fact, Jesus loved Simon equal to anyone who walked the street just outside the house of which they dined. But Simon did not know it! Even Simon's religious backdrop added to his deceit and disillusioned understanding of himself. Yet, Jesus continued to love Simon dearly.

While Jesus communed at Simon's table, He knew all these things but Simon did not! And so, Jesus ate with Simon with great hopes and yearning that Simon would find out what he misunderstood about himself!

Shrouding Simon's thoughts was the sin of sins—the mother of sins. The mother of all sins is stealthy pride. Yet, Jesus loved Simon exactly the same way as me! All of Simon's misunderstandings were really only one—He misunderstood both God and himself. What Simon really misunderstood was God's plan of salvation. Could it be that Simon is still alive?

— Greencastle PA

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