Monday, February 4, 2013

Why did the woman weep?

A friend asked me a very interesting question today. 

Luke 7
36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 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, 38 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. 39 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.”

The question is why was the woman weeping? 

She was a sinner from the city and condemned by all the religious leaders. She was despised, slighted. But Jesus is different. She knew He is from God and she knew if she were to approach Him, He would not reject her. In her heart, she wanted holiness. Jesus is the nearest to God that she could ever reach out to. When Jesus appeared on the scene, for the first time, she has a means to be forgiven, something she could never receive under the religious leaders of the time. So she came to Him and poured out as a worship to Him everything she had - the perfume which will cost her a year's wage* meant to be kept for her own wedding. So we know in her heart she wanted to be normal like everyone else - she did prepare for her own wedding. But she would give it up as a worship to the Lord. As a sinner she probably could not look at Jesus and she saw herself fit to serve Him as the least of all the people. The sense of no condemnation and forgiveness** for the first time in her life would have been enough to move the strongest man to tears. That's what Jesus can give.

What she did not know is that by serving the Lord in the most humbled way, she has put herself in exactly the right place. She was at the foot of Jesus. The place to receive from the Lord***. Jesus protected her from the religous leaders who wanted to condemn her on the spot and shame her. Not only did He forgive her sins openly, He asked her to go "into" peace. The word "into" is "eis" in greek which means "to or into (indicating the point reached or entered, of place, time, fig. purpose, result)" according to the Strong's concordance. And "peace" would have meant "shalom". So when she left that day, not only was she forgiven (God's mercy), she became a gainer (God's grace). She has now attained "shalom" (peace) which means completeness, soundness, welfare, peace. She found grace and mercy at the foot of the Lord.

If you have a secret shame that you could not tell anyone, you can go to Jesus. He is different. With Him there is forgiveness and peace to be received. You will become whole again. The way He lays no conditions on the woman is the way He will lay no conditions on you. Just come as you are. All the sinner woman did was to approach Jesus. Approach Jesus today. The Lord will make you well, and whole.


* In another account (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 12:2-8) where Mary the sister of Lazarus and Martha anointed Jesus for His burial just before Palm Sunday, it was said that the perfume cost about 300 denarii, which is about a year's wage. Do a calculation of your yearly wage you would realize that it is very very costly! 

** Jesus later said that she has loved much because she knew she has much to be forgiven

*** Mary did that and the Lord said she has chosen the ONE THING that is needful

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