36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 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.
39 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.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
I see a lot of apathy toward Jesus in the life of the church. We call him around when we need someone to take care of a few problems. Often, then, he doesn’t take care of them in ways that don’t satisfy our standards. We are disillusioned and dispassionate. I know that one of the reasons for me is that I lose sight of my status. I forget that Jesus is the King and I live out his agenda. However, the Pharisees teach me how I forget how much I have been forgiven. I fluctuate between shame and forgetfulness. I sometimes remember the things that God has forgiven and forget that he has forgiven me. I then become frozen and self-loathing. In contrast with that I become consumed with a rather petty agenda.
When I have loved Jesus most is when I see both the extent of the evil that has plagued me over the years and the grace of its removal. I do not deserve to live and yet I breather clean air in a country with privilige. This is not due to a functioning western democracy as much as it is due to the grace of God.
Create in me a heart that is jealous for you. Let my heart long for you because I am conscious of my condition before you adopted me into your family.
- What was the woman’s condition?
- What was the difference between Simon the Pharisee’s perceived condition and his real condition?
- What was Jesus offering to each person?
- What is your condition?
- What does jesus desire for you?