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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Sinful Woman

I have been thinking about the passage in Luke 7:36-50.  It's a passage where Jesus is at a Pharisee's home eating dinner.  Pharisees where the top religious leaders of that time.  Apparently this man was interested in knowing more about Jesus or had come to believe in him as the Messiah (Savior).  A sinful woman, who we do not know who she is, but was likely a woman of the street, finds out where Jesus is staying. She walks in and starts to weep while kissing, cleaning his feet, and pouring perfume on them (during this time, people would sit on the floor and recline on their right side and thus would leave the feet exposed).  What a weird story you say.  Not so weird.  This sinful woman is washing his feet, something a slave or the host would do for guests.  Not only this but she poured perfume which was very costly.  This caused Simon to think to himself how Jesus could not be a prophet or else he would have known what kind of woman she was and would not have allowed her to do this. But why these thoughts? Simon knew that "good" people like him would not associate themselves with these type of people. But Jesus did not come to seek those who were righteous but those who were sinners (Matthew 9:13).

Jesus direct himself to Simon as soon as he is having those thoughts.  Stop for a moment. Think about that. You just had a bad thought in front of Jesus. He knows it. He answers you! Jesus was omniscient (all-knowing) and knew Simon quite well (and still is and knows us quite well as well. Everything we say, do, or think is before Him NOW!). He tells Simon a story of a man who forgives two people who own him money. One owed more than the other. He forgives them both. He asks Simon who he thinks would be more grateful and he answer correctly.

Now he gives him the application. You are the one who doesn't consider himself THAT sinful thus you are not as thankful for God forgiving you.  The woman knew how sinful she was and she is grateful and showed great love for Jesus. But wait, she hasn't asked anything up to this point. But Jesus knew all already. He knew her heart. This woman came seeking forgiveness from Jesus and considered herself so unworthy of it.  Jesus forgives her sins (Notice he doesn't dismiss her sins. He doesn't try to minimize her sins or to try to make her feel better).  Jesus saves her. Jesus blesses her and gives her peace! And she never really asked verbally, but Jesus knew her heart and knew Simon's heart. He knows your heart.

As I thought about this, there were some things that came to my mind. How many men are like this woman? I tried thinking of men in the New Testament that came to Jesus expressing the same emotion of repentance as this woman and I couldn't think of any. Would I have done what the sinful woman did? Not very likely. I would have been like Simon.

I thought about my own sinfulness.  As I have grown older, my sinfulness has become more apparent. I've realized how much I need Jesus to take a hold of me and not let my sinful inclinations control me. I've realized that I need his grace and forgiveness each day. I've realized that without Him I could not take a step forward without falling.

I also thought how uncomfortable we about admitting our own sinfulness (just like Simon).  And I am not talking about telling everyone our sins.  But do we show to our Savior how much we love him by our thankfulness for his forgiveness for all of our sins? Do we have the brokenness of heart that the sinful woman had?
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