Sunday, November 29, 2009

Falling at His Feet.

Luke 7:36-50

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and 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."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
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. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Who am I?

As I studied this passage tonight, I wondered. Am I the type of Christian who would invite Jesus over to dinner and sit around the table and chat? Or am I the type of sinner who would seek Jesus out, if I knew He was in town, so that I could fall at his feet weeping so desparately that my tears would wash the road dust off his feet, so that I could dry them with my hair, kiss them and pour my most expensive perfume on them for the sheer love of the one whom I believe could forgive my sin?

Who am I?

That's really the wrong question, isn't it? Isn't the question whether or not I recognize the depth of my sinfulness? Was the Pharisee, Simon, any less a sinner than the woman? Nope, not according to scripture. Didn't Jesus point out in the parable that neither debtor was able to pay his debt? Does it really matter how much debt I owe if I can't pay any of it? Nope.

Uh-oh! Hold on this rollercoaster is going for the inverted loop.

If I recognize that I am a sinner, completely unable to pay my debt, and I receive forgiveness from Jesus, then shouldn't my love for my Savior reflect the depth of my sin? Well, the depth of the sin that I am willing to recognize, anyway. Would it be true that the more I see my own sinfulness the more deeply and passionately I love my Jesus?

So, it's not: Who am I?

It's: Am I falling at His feet?

Am I falling at His feet, weeping?

Am I falling at His feet, weeping, washing?

Am I falling at His feet, weeping, washing, kissing?

Am I falling at the feet of Jesus, weeping, washing, kissing, pouring my best fragrance?

Or am I reclined at the table, wondering why Jesus doesn't send these sinners away, completely and utterly unaware that I desparately need him to cancel my debt?

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