Wednesday, October 14, 2009

lectio divina:: luke 7

there is a story in luke 7 that is fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time. in verse 36 jesus is having dinner with a Pharisee named Simon; and this is fascinating in itself. 2 men who are experts in the bible- both had it memorized and they are sitting down for a meal. what were they talking about? what did they say? were they debating a particular passage? wouldn’t that be amazing to sit in on that meal?

an “immoral woman” came over and started pouring perfume on jesus, and she was crying, and she was wiping the dust off of his feet with her tears and her hair- which makes for an awkward moment for Simon the Pharisee. I think we have all been in situations like this: we really want to talk to someone important, and we want them to be impressed with us and our knowledge, but they are distracted with something else. (maybe that’s just me.)

Simon is offended not only by the distraction, but by WHO is doing the distracting. after all, Simon is a Pharisee. he is perfect when it comes to obeying the Bible. and he deserves to have some time with the messiah- but this lady? she is far from perfect. in Simon’s mind, she is gross. so he says, “ff this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. she’s a sinner!”

I love jesus’ response. verse 40: ““Simon, I have something to say to you.”
how cool would that be? not only having dinner with jesus, and talking about the bible with jesus, but now he has something to say to YOU! what would he say? would he congratulate him on a good outburst? give him a blessing?

he says, “a man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. but neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

is this a trick question? a riddle?

Simon says, ““I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

then Jesus says, “that’s right.” then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “look at this woman kneeling here. when I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. you didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. you neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love.
but a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

so jesus basically says, “she was forgiven a lot, so she loves me a lot, and you have been forgiven a little so you only love me a little.” but is he really saying that?

when you think about it, the only real difference between the woman and simon, in terms of forgiveness is that the woman knows that she has been forgiven much. Simon only thinks he has been forgiven for just a little, but in reality, his sins are just as bad as hers, because sins are sins- and they both cost Jesus the cross.

so the woman loves jesus much, because she recognizes that she has been forgiven much- and simon loves jesus just a little because he is under the impression that he only sinned a little.

that’s what makes this story heartbreaking for me. because as I put myself in the story- I’m simon. I’m cool. I want to chat with jesus, but I’m not weeping at his feet. there was a time when I was weeping at his feet, but as time goes on, I’m more cool than emotional. and maybe the issue isn’t necessarily that I’ve got it all together, maybe the issue is that I have forgotten just how much He has forgiven me.

they say that you shouldn’t dwell on the past- and that’s true. but you shouldn’t go and forget about it all together either. when we remember just how much Jesus has rescued us from and just how filthy we are without him, it will put us on our knees and in tears.

so maybe spiritual passion and remembering your testimony are linked together. and maybe all of us (meaning the 3 people that read my blog) should take the time to remember that no matter how long we have been saved, or how much we have grown, our sins still cost Christ the cross-
and that we have been shown

God is love.