A love That Pours

July 23, 2015

{“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 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.  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. 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.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” – Luke 7: 36-40}


I love the response of Jesus to this self-righteous Pharisee who hosted dinner. It seems that this man was pleased with himself just because he invited Jesus to dinner. Yet, it wasn’t a very hospitable dinner. He did the bare minimum. There was no washing, no oil, nothing out of the ordinary to make Jesus feel special. It was almost as if the Pharisee thought that because he was following the law better then most he was exempt from any kind of service.

Then comes this woman.

She has the audacity to love Jesus with everything. She decides to pour out her most prized and valued possession right at Jesus’s feet.

{“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. Matthew 6:21}

She gave freely, openly in front of everyone with reckless abandon.

How does this Pharisee host respond?

He didn’t make a scene.

He didn’t call her out.

Maybe the love and smile on Jesus’s lips stopped him from speaking out publicly against her.

But in his heart, he couldn’t move past the “sinner” touching Jesus.

Instead of having her devotion convicting him of what was lacking in his own heart, and her deep love sparkling a desire  to love like that as well, he sought reasons for why she shouldn’t.

How often do we do that? We notice someone pouring out their absolute all for Jesus and inside we want to bring them down. We want to pull apart their life, expose their ‘sin’ and find reasons for justifying why we can’t love like that. We walk around justifying ourselves as to why we cant make that hard move, why we cant love with all our finances, or why we can’t take another person into our home, etc. The list of justifications and excuses can be miles long. At the end, it’s easier to find fault in that ‘woman’.  Question her faith.

Reading the scriptures makes me want to think I would have reacted differently, that I would have been like the ‘sinner woman’.

Yet, I know better by now.

I am the self-righteous Pharisee, excusing myself from the hard, dirty work, because… well, it’s messy. It’s humbling and in this case, humiliating to love Jesus like that. It’s a lot easier to sit back, throw a dinner party and enjoy.

Jesus doesn’t call this man out. Jesus says,

“Simon, I have something to tell you”.

Don’t you love that? No judgment. No pointing out his lack of love, compassion, or his self-righteousness. He just gently, lovingly shows him where he is lacking.

The question is, when he says “I have something to tell you..”

Will you listen?

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