Thursday, June 5, 2014

Response to Devotion (Luke 7:39)

Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner." (Luke 7:39 NASB)

The dinner Jesus was attending was full of drama. First the uninvited woman had arrived and, standing behind Jesus, she had such a flood of tears that she soaked His feet, then she let her hair down and started drying His feet with her hair! As if that were not shocking enough, she starting kissing His feet and pouring perfume on Him! This behavior was better suited to the bedroom of a married couple, and was scandalous in the midst of the party. 

The Pharisee took it all in and was silently seething. "This man is no prophet," he was thinking. "If He were, He would know what kind of trashy woman was touching him and he would get rid of her. A prophet would never put up with this!" Poor Pharisee! He was wrong about so many things. 

Jesus knew exactly what kind of woman she was, as well as what kind of man the Pharisee was. He knew the motivation behind the behavior of both of them, and only one pleased Him. It wasn't the Pharisee. 

There was a great divide between the broken, humbled, woman and the proud, judgmental Pharisee. Both were sinners, but only one of them recognized it. Both approached Jesus, but only one approached with love and gratitude. Onlookers today might call the woman a fanatic, and they would be right. Her devotion to Christ was singleminded and life-changing, as ours should be. 

Are we more like the woman or the Pharisee? Are we filled with devotion to Christ or critical of those who are?

Pray today that we would be so filled with love for Christ that there is no room for criticizing others. Pray too that our loved ones will have the humble, loving heart of the woman rather than the critical judgmental spirit of the Pharisee. 
Please continue to pray for the release of the Nigerian schoolgirls. 
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