Safe With A Man
Imagine we’re at a dinner party with several church friends. A famous evangelist is the main attraction of the evening. The meal is the finest—prime rib, loaded baked potato, asparagus with a tasty cheese sauce, and a special order from the Cheesecake Factory for dessert. The conversation builds around the table and then suddenly it stops. Where did she come from? Who’s watching the door?
The woman who interrupts our evening has a reputation, and it’s not for leading women’s bible studies at churches around town. Our evangelist friend champions good old-fashioned morals and carefully censors any contact with women that could be misconstrued. How will he react when this woman tries to get close to him while he’s at the table? What if she tries to touch him?
When I imagine a scenario like this and then read Luke’s account about the dinner party with Jesus at Simon’s house, it challenges me to ask what role I would play in this risky evening when a sinful woman not only crashes the party but breaks open an entire bottle of expensive perfume.
“And behold there was a woman in the city, a sinner, and when she discovered that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume. She stood behind Jesus, at His feet, and she was crying. She began to wet His feet with her tears and wipe them with the hair of her head. She kissed His feet and anointed them with the perfume.
Now when the Pharisee, the one who had invited Him, saw this, he said to himself. ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of a woman was touching him, that she is a sinner.’ Jesus replied to these thoughts and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ He replied, ‘Teacher, speak.’ ‘Two individuals were in debt to a creditor. One owed five hundred denarii and the other fifty. When neither one of them had the funds to pay their debt, the creditor forgave them both. Now which one do you think loves more?’ Simon replied, ‘I think it’s the one who was forgiven the greater debt.’ Jesus replied, ‘You have judged correctly.’
Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘See this woman? I came into your house. Water for my feet? You didn’t provide any, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them dry with her hair. A kiss of greeting? You didn’t give one, but this woman has not stopped kissing my feet from the time I entered. You didn’t anoint my head with olive oil, but this woman has anointed my feet with expensive perfume. Therefore, I say to you, her sins, and they are many, are forgiven because she has loved much. But for the one who has been forgiven little, they love little. Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’
Now those reclining at the table began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this, who even forgives sins?’ Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has delivered you. Go in peace.’” Luke 7:37- 50
LORD, You are the only One who has the credentials to legitimately forgive sins. Move me to love You more and more as I remember how much You have forgiven me. In a culture where a woman like the woman in this account is often demeaned, criticized, and expelled by the “Pharisees” of our day, use this story to reveal to women that You are the one Man they are completely safe with.
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