And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume...
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."...
Then He said to her, "Your sins have been forgiven." (Luke 7:37, 39, 48 NASB)
The three selected verses for today's consideration leave out a considerable amount of the story. If you've been following along, you will remember that the woman found the object of her searching, Jesus, seated at the table with Simon and the other guests. She knelt at His feet, overcome with emotion, weeping a river of tears on His feet, drying them with her hair. That vial of perfume was used as a sweet smelling offering to anoint His feet. Her gift of worship suffused the room with a sweet-smelling fragrance that lingered long after she was gone.
She came to the feet of Jesus as a sinner, yet the fragrance of her worship filled the room.
Simon knew her sin, and only saw her in terms of that sin. He saw nothing more, and he clearly missed the lovely aroma wafting around him. It was the aroma of a holy love, the aroma of a sinner redeemed by mercy and restored by grace. It was the very aroma you and I can have when we worship Christ with hearts overflowing with gratitude for His amazing grace.
Jesus knew her sins, too. He knew what He would soon do to purchase her redemption, what He was already doing. Knowing, He loved her and forgave her. In a gift of divine insight, He publicly forgave her sins in the hearing of all those in the room. Lest this seem trivial, remember that she had lived a publicly sinful life. She was known by her sin. With one five-word sentence, Jesus changed her from "the sinner woman" to "the forgiven woman".
She gave Jesus a lovely gift of worship and love. What Jesus gave her in return was the gift of eternity.
Dear ones, how easy it is to be a Simon, following the form of religion without the heart! Following the form of religion, however, is not discipleship. Discipleship requires the repentance and humility to worship at His feet wherever our following leads us.
Pray today for hearts willing to embrace the humility, repentance, and obedience of true discipleship, not only for ourselves but also for those we love.
Last night's link: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/06/family-surprise.html