Monday, March 14th, 2022
“Do you see this woman?…her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.” Luke 7:44,47
“Love … does not dishonor others.”
— 1 Corinthians 13:5 —
Bible Reading: Luke 7:36-50
“One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.’ Jesus spoke up and said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Teacher,’ he replied, ‘speak.’ ‘A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Then turning towards the woman, he said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
In our story today, Jesus does not look at the outward appearance—He looks at the heart. His gaze penetrating the external actions of the righteousness straight to the secret motivations of the heart. Many of us are like the Pharisee (Simon) in the story, hiding behind a false personas, a self protection mechanism that we can use in our relationships with others and even try to with God.
A question that came to me was this; why did Simon invite Jesus; what was his motivation? Simon was probably someone who was highly regarded in the area. He would have wanted others to see his hospitality. As the story progresses, Jesus points out that the customary actions that were omitted for one reason or another. [No water offered for Jesus’ feet; Jesus was not greeted with a kiss; and No oil to anoint His head].
Jesus said to Simon, “I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.“ Luke 7:44-46
Another question that is puzzling, how is it that this woman, who was regarded as sinful know of Simon’s home and easily entered in. It is quite clear that Simon’s motivation to invite Jesus was for external accolades and not motivated by love or even belief in who Jesus is, from verse 39 of Luke chapter 7; “Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.’” Well, Jesus did know and He knew what was in her heart. Jesus also knew the heart of Simon. Simon thinking himself better than the woman because he followed the “letter of the law” and she was a sinner! And it’s worth mentioning that many additional regulations had been added to Moses’ law at this time in history. “You must diligently observe everything that I command you; do not add to it or take anything from it.”
1. Did the way Jesus interacted with Simon and the woman frighten you?
Frightened, yes I know that I can sometimes be like Simon but I want the heart of the woman who freely gave, loved and worshipped Jesus. I am thankful that Jesus loves me and for His grace and mercy. Through this story, Jesus shows us many characteristics of how to love. Jesus’ love is pure, it is not a superficial and is unconditional. Peter says this; “Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8. Simon and the woman may have been from different background and social rankings but they were both children of God. What was needed then and is still needed today is more kindness, more compassion, more honesty and more followers of Jesus.
2. Did it bring you comfort?
This story brought me more clarity of who Jesus is, who God is and who I am. I am a child: I am a child of God; I am still growing; I am a believer in God, the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and in the Holy Spirit of God. All that I am is because of God, I was created and given purpose and a plan. I was created for God’s glory, not my own.
We should respond to Jesus’ words of forgiveness not as we feel we should, but as we really feel inside. God knows our thoughts anyway. Lay them bare before Him.
• Further Study •
1 Corinthians 13:12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=1%20Corinthians%2013:12&version=NRSVA
Lord Jesus, you knew me before you formed me in my mothers womb. You know my secret places and my heart. How wonderful is your love for me. Forgive me when I go through the motions of a relationship without love. Stir within me a sincere and clean heart. FORGIVE ME FOR JUDGING OTHERS BY MY OWN STANDARDS; help me see others through your eyes of love and compassion. You love me so very much and have forgiven much, help me love you more. ~Amen.
~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.