Learn from Jesus, He Understands us All - 7 October 2019

Louise Gevers

“As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is – that she is a sinner.’” Luke 7:38-39 

Some people, by nature, are open and direct in showing their feelings and amaze others with their frankness.  Others are reticent and conceal theirs, even though they may be no less genuine. The state of the heart determines the expression of feelings, because how we speak and behave is an indication of what is happening in it. Jesus said, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) The significance of this is seen in our verse today.

The level of feeling expressed by the woman anointing Jesus’ feet emerges in a way that is not usually seen in a public setting. Her actions come from a broken spirit; a heart that has been crushed by the guilt of her sin, since she heard the Teacher, which she now understands can be forgiven. Convicted and broken, she’s overwhelmed with gratitude and love for Him. In her repentant state, not even facing Him, she weeps copious tears over His feet as he reclines, which she wipes away with her hair; and then kisses His feet and pours perfume on them.  She is clearly on a very precious mission, overwhelmed by devotion to the one in whose presence she stands, the one who preaches forgiveness and freedom from sin.

Simon couldn’t see it. He couldn’t see past her profession. He doubted Jesus’ authenticity for failing to see that she was a prostitute and judged Him, as he did the woman, by his own narrow standards. He condemned her for what she was, a sinner; ironically, because in God’s eyes, that was what he was himself. Simon saw nothing of grace.

Jesus did not turn her away. Instead he saw her deep love for Him as she kissed His feet and anointed them, her penitent heart and her humiliation as she used her own hair as a towel. “Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’” (Luke 7:48) and later He said, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50)

To Simon, Jesus delivers a heart lesson. He tells a parable to illustrate that when someone has been forgiven much, much more love will he show in appreciation. Then Jesus compares the standard of hospitality Simon offered Him as his guest with what this woman has done and makes Simon recognise and acknowledge the facts.

Jesus understood where each one was coming from and met them where they were. What would He understand about us?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to see my own heart and how much You‘ve forgiven me, so that I may love You completely. Amen

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