When Jesus was visiting the home of a Pharisee named Simon a woman washed His feet with her tears, kissed them, and poured perfume on them. Simon was repulsed and referred to her as “[that] kind of woman” and a “sinner.” Who do we most identify with in this story? I think most church people identify with the Pharisee and for this I have a theory.
I think we find it easier to identify with Simon because it is implied that this woman may have been a prostitute. Simon and I’m sure others knew of her reputation. She may have looked the part.
In some ways, it is easier to pick the person in the story whose sin is being judgmental because it is the smaller pill to swallow. Between sexual sin and judgment, judgment seems like the “little sin.”
The woman is the “big sinner” in the story and the Pharisee is the little sinner. We choose to identify with the Pharisee because we think we sin little.
What makes this story so effective is that it points out the very thing that is prominent in us. It’s the need to measure our goodness by someone else’s bad decisions and bad breaks. We judge our righteousness by the things that we “would never do.” We measure our salvation by our worthiness and not on our unworthiness and what God did to forgive us.
We are tempted to believe that our sin debt is smaller than others. We may believe that it took less grace to forgive us. If we believe that then we will have less ability to love others and more of a desire judge them.
We may identify with the Pharisee in the story but that’s not the point. The point of the story is not to say, “I am a Pharisee.” The point of the story is to say, “I am a prostitute.” The point is that we need to be on the floor.
We need to take the prostitute’s posture of love.
You don’t have to be a prostitute to love God more but you must surrender your pride and in humility find yourself at Jesus’ feet.
You don’t have to sin more to have a greater appreciation for God’s forgiveness you need to see your sin more.
We don’t want to look like sinners. We don’t want to be seen as sinners. We don’t want to look the part. We are fine, everything is fine.
Simon more than likely was at the head of the dinner table. When Jesus comes over to your house how do you want him to see you? How do you greet him? Where do you find yourself?
Are you at the head of the table or at Jesus’ feet?
“Whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” – Jesus
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