Your Life Tells Everyone What You Think of Jesus

Read:  Luke 7:36-8:3

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Women Accompanying Jesus

8 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

Corem Deo

Every society has ways of showing honor.  We bow, extend a handshake, offer a gift, make a meal, or publicly extol.  There are many different ways to show another person your appreciation and communicate their value and worth.  There are also ways of showing someone special honor.  These are not your common courtesies, but rather lavish gifts, special awards, or deeply meaningful tributes. The way in which you show a person honor communicates your personal esteem for them.
Our passage this week contrasts the honor shown to Jesus by two strikingly different people:  a Pharisee and a sinful woman.  Simon, the Pharisee, welcomes Jesus into his home (that’s honorable) but shows Jesus no special treatment.  The woman approaches Jesus with a bottle of ointment (likely costing a year’s wages) and cleans his feet with a mixture of the ointment and her tears.  Simon and the woman’s behavior communicated to Jesus and everyone else how each one of them felt about Jesus.  One saw him as a common man and the other as someone quite uncommon.
So, I guess those are the lingering questions I would like us to meditate on as we prepare for worship on Sunday.  How do we show honor to Jesus?  What kind of honor is he worthy of?  What is keeping us from showing him that kind of honor?