There is always a beauty in studying Scriptures and to dig deeper into God’s truth by ourselves, like the Berean Christians in Acts 17:11. They did not simply heard and received Paul’s teaching but they themselves search the scriptures to find out whether these things were so.
What are the benefits of studying God’s words than simply hearing it from others?
1. God will speaks and teach you directly and personally. (Jeremiah 33:3)
2. You will have a better and wide understanding of who He is and what are His ways.
3. He will changed your heart and reveals His will to you.
4. You will be equipped with the truth to fight lies and deception.
Please read your Bible, study and meditate upon God’s words. As the Scriptures admonished us in 1 Peter 2:2 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.The passages we will read today, can be found in similar accounts in other Synoptic gospels (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, Luke 7:36-50) and in John 12:1-8) yet with few differences in some details but it does not mean there is a mistakes or inconsistency in the Bible. For we know and believed the Bible is the infallible word of God, written by different
writers but inspired by one Author, the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21), and each book always has its own central theme as presented by the writer. And sometimes, most of us who read the Bible especially if we are reading similar accounts in Synoptic gospels, we think that it was just a redundant stories in general as we encounter same name and place mentioned, same situations, sometimes we ignore those differences in details which really matters and had a significant impact or effects in our learning and understanding God’s words.
In the Bible, Jesus feet was anointed, washed with tears and wiped with a woman’s hair twice, on two different occasions, by two different woman and for two different purposes but with the same two reasons and that is to give honour to Jesus and to show humility in serving Him.
Both of these women recognised the greatness of Jesus and their need to take a place of humility before Him. And, in doing so, both of these women were commended by Jesus. May we recognise our place before our Master and willingly serve at His feet!
Scriptures: Luke 7:36-50 “Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” 41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 And those who sat at the table with Him
began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.
Who are the main characters in this story?
* Simon the Pharisee, a member of Jewish religious party who observed rules and rituals concerning purification, strictly following legal traditions and they are teachers of “Mosaic Law. He invited Jesus as his guest, yet he failed to honor him as guest. It was customary practice in that time that the host would pour the water himself to wash off their guest’s dirty feet.
The Bible even did not mentioned why he invited Jesus. Perhaps like many of the Pharisees, he was just curious and wanted to hear more of his teaching but not really a believer of Jesus. Maybe he just wanted to trapped and exposed Jesus as fraud because of jealousy and envy and just looking for an opportunity to do so. For in Simon’s thought to himself, after he saw Jesus did not resist to be touch by a sinful woman “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him.”
Like many of us at some point in our lives, we invited Jesus to come into our life because of His gift of salvation and of many of His blessings, yet we forgot to honour and served Him by listening and obeying His words. Perhaps like Simon, he likes Jesus to be around him, get acquainted after all His fame is widespread and to have Jesus in his house makes him famous too. Like many of us we are proud to say, we are Christian yet we are still living in worldly manner. Like Simon, who seeks Jesus teaching and blessings when we go to church, yet we withhold our honour and service to him by withholding our tithes and offerings. Indeed, We may not have a chance to wash Jesus feet to show our love and devotion to Him, yet he gave an example to follow and that is to wash one’s another feet (John 13:14-15) not literally doing so but it means to honour and serve one another.
* Unknown woman who was a sinner. – some Bible scholars believed it was Mary Magdalene but there is NO biblical evidence to support this notion. She is well known in the city in an unpleasant way, from the story we can tell that she had long hair that it can wipe Jesus feet as she kneel down, but long uncovered hair was a calling sign of a prostitute during that time.
* Jesus- He reveals the thoughts of our hearts. (Luke 2:35)
What can we learn from these passages?
1. Jesus graciously welcomes sinner– John 6:37 “Whoever will come to me, I shall not cast out” While Simon, though he too did not throw out the uninvited woman, he was irritated and in his heart he criticised her and called her sinner because of her reputation. He also criticised
Jesus by allowing himself to be touch by her.
This unknown woman came to Jesus weeping and she washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them dry with her long hair. She then kissed his feet and anointed them with expensive fragrant oil. The question is, was it her first time to see and hear Jesus speaking? I don’t think so because if we looked in verse 47-48 it was written “her sins, which are many, are forgiven, and your sins are forgiven” it was written in a present perfect tense, meaning she could have previously repented of her sins and placed her faith in Him. Her tears, her humble attitude, and her expensive gift all spoke of a changed heart.” (Wiersbe)
– She came to wash Jesus feet with tears and wipe with her hair to honour him as the honourable guest in the house, she probably thought to herself I wanted to honour you for coming to my life and helping me to see life in a different way.
– She came to anoint Him because she was grateful that God had forgiven her. The fact that she lavishly pour out her expensive perfume at Jesus feet signifies a surrendered life. We are talking here an expensive fragrance in an alabaster flask, it is her treasures, it is probably the thing she uses to herself to attract men like the harlot women found in Proverbs 7:17 “I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.” Now she is emptying the alabaster flask to anoint Jesus feet. It is a statement of faith. Just like Elisha when he burned his plowing
equipment in 1 Kings 19, it means he will no longer go back and be a farmer but he will follow Elijah’s calling to be a prophet.
Jesus the omniscient God saw her faith demonstrated in her actions. The sinful woman came not to draw attention to her but to seek nothing but the forgiveness and approval of His beloved Saviour a midst all the other judging eyes in that house. A very vivid pictures of what was written in Hebrews 12:2 “ looking unto Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith.