Perry Emerick – Mesa Campus Pastor
I recently taught a lesson for one of the Stepping Stones groups that are part of our Girlfriends women’s ministry. They were finishing up a book about Bad Girls of the Bible, and had invited me to teach on the sinful woman who anoints Jesus’ feet in Luke 7:36-50. I have to admit that I found it rather ironic that they invited a man to teach a group of women about lessons learned from the lives of bad women, written about in a book by a woman writing to other women. I have a hard enough time understanding my wife and 2 daughters sometimes, this was a stretch.
This story really struck me in a number of ways though. It is a contrast between two distinct people, a ‘sinful woman’ (you got love having that as your title for all of history), and a man named Simon. Simon had invited Jesus over to his house for dinner. Not sure what motivated this invitation, but Jesus agrees and shows up for the meal. It feels very casual, almost like a networking meeting or a business luncheon. Simon was a Pharisee, and had a reputation in his town as somebody significant, somebody important, somebody very religious. You can almost sense in the text that Jesus was an up and coming, flavor of the moment, radical spiritual leader that some had even gone so far as to call a prophet. Now Simon wanted to get to know him a little and rub shoulders with him. It might look good on a resume depending on how things turned out. Either way, Jesus agrees and shows up for dinner.
The other person in the story has no name. Like the Pharisee, she has a reputation in that town too. Her’s was not quite as respectful though. She was the town “sinner”, or at least that’s how the text makes it out. She is not invited, but shows up anyway (word got around that Jesus was hanging out with Simon). She approaches this meeting in an entirely different way. She comes to worship, extravagantly.
Each of these two characters has equal access to Christ. Yet the results of that access are drastically different, and so much of that is based on the approach. Do you approach Christ as a peer, someone who might have something to learn from, someone that might benefit you? Or do you approach Christ as a sinner? Someone who has recognized who they are, and in finding the forgiveness of Christ, worships extravagantly.
I don’t know about you, but there are many times I approach like the former, not that latter. What a shame. Because just like both of them, not matter how good or bad they were in the eyes of the culture, they still could not pay the debt they had incurred. They both needed a savior. It is no different for us. You and I have the same access as they did, but the results are up to us.
How will you approach?Click here for the photo credit on this post