Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 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, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the 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.” And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.”
“A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”
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. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
This woman had quite the worship experience with Jesus — the kind I long to have. First, there was authenticity, transparency, and brokenness.
Then there’s this amazing, overflowing expression of love. What is that all about? I want that!
“You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.”
Her worship wasn’t simply a declaration of “Oh holy God, untouchable Light, who dares to approach You?” There was this deep flow of love, the like of which she could barely express. How? How did it come to be there? And how can I have love like that for this Savior?
Too often, I think we recall experiences full of love, examine the current lack in our worship, and attempt to “put on” passionate love for the Lord. May I suggest that our efforts would result in more if we put them into seeking a true glimpse of Jesus, rather than in trying to turn our stony hearts into beating flesh?
I think this woman saw Jesus for what and who He was: Love.
And knowing Love, her response was to give her own, freely. In abundance.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Jesus is the personification of Love we don’t deserve. It doesn’t take a theologian to be slayed by the power of His passion for us. No, we only need a glimpse of Jesus, the Lamb standing as though slain. Jesus, the centerpiece of heaven, bearing the scars of disfiguration for all of eternity.
I’ll never forget a powerful encounter I once had. I was at a New Attitude conference. We were in worship — thousands of us, exalting and declaring and reveling in our victorious Jesus. Then the speaker painted a word picture. It was heaven. Angels worshiping. Crowns being cast down. And Jesus, beautiful, glorious Jesus, clothed in light forever, reaching out His hands to welcome me — me, unworthy, made worthy and welcomed into this beautiful light of holiness; me, born into sin and iniquity, dressed in a glowing white radiance not unlike His; me, marred by rebellion, made new and able to enjoy this perfection for the rest of eternity. His hand reached out to welcome me, and suddenly, I saw the wounds. All of this perfection all around me, all of this beauty, every trace of tears and sadness wiped away — and yet He bore these wounds. The Perfect One would forever bear scars, be marred, all so that I could wear this white, this holiness, this relationship.
Suddenly, I was that woman. My tears flowed endlessly. Love was not something I “put on” in that moment. No, it flowed from the depths of my heart, overflowing, inexpressible.
See, we only ever love because He first loved us. And when our love has grown cold, chances are, it’s because our view of Him has grown dim. What to do? Meditate on His great love. Don’t let the gospel grow old, a marker in your distant past. Amazing Love! How can it be that Thou my God should die for me! (I like Isaiah 53 and 54, to start with. What are your favorites?)
Finding a song of worshipful love is not just for us to feel goosebumps, though. Oh no! He wants our love! Only we, His redeemed, out of all creation, heaven, and hell, can sing a song of “I love you!” That’s our song! And He wants to hear it. He loves our love. And how amazing is that?
Yeah. That boggles my mind, for sure.
Does your heart overflow with love for Him? Is your response of worship the same as all of creation’s, or is there a song of love? When you worship do you see only the majestic Creator whose glory no eye can behold, or do you see the express image of that glory in the Son of His love, Jesus Christ? Today, is your love for Him fresh and passionate, stronger than any other desire? It can be.
“Open the eyes of my heart, Lord…”