Luke 7: 36-50
Simon the Pharisee and the Sinful woman
How many times do we watch someone do something and instead of admire and commend them for what they do, we immediately tear down their character or remind other people of what they have done. So today we look at our first interaction of a servant with the greatest servant of all, Jesus Christ. The new testament is filled with instances of Jesus doing things for other people. Whether he is turning water into wine or healing a person who has been blind since birth or healing a child because of a parents request, Jesus entire life on earth was one of true service to others. Few times did someone do some service for Jesus. This story begins when Jesus is invited to eat in the house of a Pharisee named Simon. This is a very rare occurrence because the Pharisee’s hated Jesus. But for some reason, Simon invited Jesus to eat at his home. While they were there, a woman who is not named, only her occupation which was a harlot, comes to see Jesus. There is no record of her saying anything. She is said to have stood behind Jesus and wept. She did not try to talk to him or make conversation. All she could do was weep. While she wept, she let the tears fall on his feet and washed his feet. Then she took the hairs of her head and dried and kissed his feet and annointed them with an alabaster box of ointment which she had brought for the occasion. You see, she planned to do this when she heard Jesus was going to be there. But when she came into the masters presence, she could do nothing but weep. There were no pretty words or impressive prayers. The only thing scripture records that she did was to give of herself in the most humble way possible. Also there is no mention of Jesus saying anything to her during this very special time. Only when the pharisee questioned his divinity did Jesus ask a question. He asked who would be more thankful, someone who is forgiven little or a lot? The pharisee said someone who is forgiven a lot and Jesus said he was right. He then preceded to inform Simon that even though he had invited him into his house for a meal, that was all he had done. He had not met the needs of Jesus of offering water to wash his feet or given a brotherly kiss, or anointed his head with oil. This woman whom Simon considered beneath him because she was a harlot, had done all these things and had not expected anything in return. In her service to Jesus, she received something greater than anything she could have imagined. Her sins were forgiven and she was told to go in peace.
What a great image of how we need to come to Christ. Both Simon and the woman had the opportunity to serve Jesus. Both of them did, but just as with Cain and Abel, only one of their offerings was truly from the heart. Sure Simon provided food and a place to sit, but the woman gave of herself. If Jesus had not been there, he would have most likely eaten and drank anyway, so there really wasn’t any sacrifice on his part. But the woman had gone out and gotten a box of ointment on her own. She then without being asked too, washed the feet of and worshiped Jesus with a passion that was rarely seen. Her tears were tears of unworthiness. Her kisses were kisses of love and adoration. Her anointing was an anointing that came from giving all she had to the one who would eventually give all for her. The Love she had for Jesus was reciprocated by Jesus forgiving her sins, not because she asked, but because he saw that she wanted and needed it. He did not condemn her for what she had done in the past. Just like the woman who was brought before him in the temple, Jesus forgave her and said go in peace.
Why can’t we as Christians realize that Jesus isn’t impressed with our big houses of worship and our big services. He doesn’t think more highly of us if we invite him to come to sit with us. Jesus is impressed when we come to him in genuine worship and service for no other reason than that he is worthy of every thing we can give him. If our all is to serve him by giving lots of money, then that is what pleases him. If our all is singing or working in the church, then that is what pleases him. But if our all is just falling at his feet and weeping, then that pleases him too. When we serve God’s servants, we do so not for that servant, but for the one he or she is serving. Everything has to come back to being about Jesus. If our service to someone isn’t about Jesus, then it is self serving and not worthy of being mentioned as Christian service. The Pharisee’s were the religious sect of the time. The harlot was the most look down upon person of those days. Yet only one of them was forgiven of their sins and that was the one who served God’s servant with everything she had.