Anointing His Feet
36-39 One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.”
40 Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Oh? Tell me.”
41-42 “Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?”
43-47 Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”
“That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”
48 Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.”
49 That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!”
50 He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
I have a good friend I fish with now and then. He’s a very thoughtful man. After climbing into his waders and boots and gathering up his gear, he sits on the tailgate of his truck and scans the river for fifteen minutes or more, looking for rising fish. “No use fishing where they ain’t,” he says.
This makes me think of another question: “Do I fish for souls where they ain’t?” It was said of Jesus that He was “a friend of tax collectors and sinners”(Luke 7:34). As Christians, we are to be unlike the world in our behavior, but squarely in it as He was. So we have to ask ourselves: Do I, Like Jesus, have friends who are sinners? If I have only Christian friends, I may be fishing for souls “where they ain’t.”
Being with nonbelievers is the first step in “fishing.” Then comes love-a heart-kindness that sees beneath the surface of their offhand remarks and listens for the deeper cry of the soul. It asks, “Can you tell me more about that?” and follow up with compassion. “There is much preaching in this friendliness,” George Herbert (1593-1633), pastor and poet, said.
Such love is not a natural instinct. It comes solely from God. And so we pray: “Lord, when I am with nonbelievers today, may I become aware of the cheerless voice, the weary countenance, or the downcast eyes that I, in my natural self-preoccupation, could easily overlook. May I have a love that springs from and is rooted in your love. May I listen to others, show your compassion, and speak your truth today.”
We are to be channels of God’s truth-not reservoirs…..
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