May 15 Devotional

This week’s message is looking at the end of Luke 7:
 
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward 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 wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss 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 are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at 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.”
Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.
 
The text doesn’t specify why this man invited Jesus into his home, but it does specify that he didn’t treat Jesus like a normal guest! It was customary at the time to have meals take place in the center courtyard of a home, and because they didn’t have cars people’s feet would be filthy! So the first thing anyone did when they got to your house was have their feet cleaned. The next thing they’d do is anoint someone’s head as a welcoming sign. Simon didn’t do either! So everyone would have seen the rudeness! This would be a little bit like inviting someone over, then ignoring them when they got to your house! You would be able to cut the tension with a knife! And then in the middle of that tension, a “sinner” walks into their midst! At this time, sin was treated as a contagious disease, so Pharisees would avoid sinners like, well, the plague! So this sinful woman walks in and falls at Jesus’ feet. What those nearby should have expected was Jesus to kick her away, but he didn’t. Instead, he addresses the man who rudely ignored his needs. I read a book sometime (can’t remember which one) that stated imagine how a woman like this would have felt when she met Jesus for the first time. Instead of men looking at her to objectify her and use her, he looked at her with compassion and love and no ulterior motives. Think of how that would completely change her view of men! 
 
Jesus then uses a parable of debts. When someone owes someone else a debt they could never repay, you feel destitute! You feel like you’ll never get out of that burden! But if it’s only five bucks, it doesn’t feel like as big of a deal. The women knew she had many sins to be forgiven of, and the idea that she could be forgiven so overwhelmed her she was willing to anoint Jesus with oil! The irony of this is both Simon and the woman owe the same debt that they could never repay: their entire lives. There’s no sin so big that God’s love does not cover. You can’t out-sin God! That should be freeing for us! Freeing to not continue living in our sin (Rom. 6:1-2), but freeing in that despite our propensity to sin, God’s grace covers our sin, freeing us to relentlessly pursue Him with all we have!
 
SONG:
Today’s song is by Brooke Fraser, who also sings with Hillsong! You’ll recognize her voice from songs like Hosanna or King of Kings. This song is called ‘C.S. Lewis Song’ and you can listen on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
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