Don’t stop kissing his feet!
Jesus was invited into the house of a Pharisee. To show courtesy in the Israeli culture in those days, when someone entered your home you washed his feet, or had your servants wash them. It was also customary to greet a visitor with a kiss. Pouring a little oil on a visitor’s head was also a normal greeting.
Strangely enough . . . the Pharisee did none of these three things when Jesus arrived at his home. And by this time Jesus was very, very famous.
Yes, it was an obvious censure! It makes you wonder why the Pharisee had even invited Jesus to his home.
But during the meal a woman with a terrible reputation in the city entered the Pharisee’s home. How was she able to gain entrance to the house, and how did the Pharisee “know” what kind of a woman she was? Hmmm . . .
She stood behind Jesus and she was crying. She was also holding an alabaster box of ointment. Then she began to wash his feet with her tears, and dried them with the hairs of her head. Then she kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment from the alabaster box.
The Pharisee began thinking some very critical thoughts: “If Jesus is a prophet he would know what kind of woman this is that is touching him. She is a sinner!”
Again, how did he know she was a “sinner”? Had he ever seen her or been with her before?
Of course, Jesus knew what the Pharisee was thinking. So he said some very embarrassing things to him in front of the other guests. He reminded him that he had insulted him three times when he had first arrived at his home.
Then Jesus turned to the woman, but spoke directly to the Pharisee, whose name was Simon.
“This woman has washed my feet with her tears. You did not even bother to provide water for my feet when I arrived. This woman has wiped my feet with her hair. This woman has not stopped kissing my feet since I arrived. You did not even give me a kiss on the cheek. She has anointed my feet with ointment. You did not even give me a few drops of oil for my head.”
“Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, because she loved much!
Do we love Jesus this much? Are we willing to show emotion, even in public?
Earlier in this chapter (Luke 7) Jesus told about a group of children who tried to get people to either dance or mourn. They would do neither. They refused to be emotional! But they were very good at being silent.
The woman with the alabaster box let it all hang out.
In modern America we often wonder why our meetings are so stale and dull. We sit in the pews like stiff corpses, expecting the people on the stage to sing or say something that will send a chill up our legs. As a result, it is the same-old, same-old, week after boring week.
And then we have the audacity to “blame the pastor”.
What do you think would happen if we came with open hearts, maybe even crying as we entered the church, hungry, hungry, hungry? What would happen if we came loving like this woman loved? What if we actually did not care what other people in the congregation thought about us? What if our only care was to express our love for Jesus?
I remember revival meetings as far back as sixty years ago. People were not afraid to shout, they were not afraid to laugh, they were not afraid to run the aisles, give testimonies, or wave hankies, and they were not afraid to hastily make their way to the altar to pray and to weep.
They did not care who was watching. They did not care who was criticizing.
The woman with the alabaster box LOVED MUCH! And, according to Jesus, all of her sins were forgiven because she loved him so much. She was not afraid to express her love, even in a house where she was not welcome.
She not only had LOVE, she had FAITH! She got saved, according to Jesus, because of her FAITH.
What kind of love and faith do we have today? Are we ashamed, or are we willing to demonstrate our love and faith, no matter who is looking. I have sat down to eat in restaurants with “believers” who were deeply embarrassed (and offended) when I have bowed my head to pray in public.
Why is it so easy to let our emotions hang out at a basketball or football game, but so difficult to express them in church?
As we pray for revival to once again return to our nation, let’s allow our hearts to become tender, and to allow the Holy Spirit to move through us as he pleases.
Closing question: How can we express our love for Jesus in these modern times?