Weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears.
Have we invited Jesus into our life because of His reputation or because of our need for transformation? Earlier in Luke 7 we see Jesus perform a truly miraculous thing by raising a widow’s son from the dead. Awe and wonder gripped the witnesses, and the people began calling Jesus a great prophet. Simon the Pharisee welcomed Jesus most likely because of this event and because of the growing reputation of Jesus. But when an uninvited woman, seen as unclean, begins lavishing gratefulness and love upon Jesus, Simon begins to squirm. The Jesus he had welcomed in was now welcoming someone Simon would never welcome. Jesus no longer was a great prophet who raised the dead; Jesus was now a man who could injure Simon’s reputation.
When Jesus comes to the table, He will invite others to it. He changes the makeup of the table.
When Jesus doesn’t fit into our box, how do we regard Him? What we truly think of Jesus is directly revealed in how we see others. Our non-acceptance of other humans reveals a lack of revelation of who Jesus is and what He came to do for all of humanity. Our inability to forgive reveals our need for a greater understanding of our own personal need for Jesus.
Simon lacks the level of hospitality that Jesus deserved. Simon’s lack of honor or great love for Jesus flows out of a lack of understanding about his own sinfulness. When we play down our own need for forgiveness, we diminish the value of Jesus Christ; and when we diminish Jesus, we devalue others. Yes, we know that all humans need a savior, but we create a scale of need. We think the woman needs Jesus more than we do. When we think this, we miss the opportunity to pour out worship at the feet of Jesus.When we invite Jesus to our table, if we lack emotion, expression and true worship as our response to His presence, then we know that our invitation was more about our reputation than our transformation.
If someone saved us from a burning building or from drowning in an ocean, our level of thankfulness to that person would not be small or measured. There is no such thing as measured praise or worship of Jesus. If we find ourselves boxing Jesus in, if we found ourselves lacking in extravagant worship, we are the ones who miss out.
Jesus didn’t need Simon’s help to bring forgiveness to the woman, but Simon missed the opportunity to co-labor in the accepting and welcoming of a fellow human’s healing and freedom. He missed out on the party, the celebration with heaven over one soul receiving salvation. Maybe it is our lack of revelation of what we have been forgiven that causes us to treat Jesus with a great lack of hospitality in the house of our hearts—and as a result we miss the opportunity to bring freedom to others.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey