Dear Father, before the concerns of this day consume me, I pray for You to direct, control and guide me.
Read LUKE 7:36-50
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Faith, not works, is the basis of our salvation (50). And faith which accepts God’s unmerited forgiveness in Christ issues in a love for him of which the highest human loves are but a pale reflection” (Donald G. Miller).
In the media there is a lot of talk about deserving and undeserving people. n our reactions to people we can be too quick to judge what is or is not appropriate behavior. This account is one of those situations. An uninvited guest, a notorious woman, wept as she anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears and an expensive ointment that she had probably paid for from her earnings as a prostitute (38). These actions and Jesus’ acceptance of her attentions were strongly criticized by the evening’s host, Simon, a Pharisee (39). However, she didn’t care what labels she’d been given. All she knew was that the society of the day had deemed her undeserving yet Jesus treated her differently. Her gratitude to him just kept overflowing (44-46), and even while this was happening Jesus controversially spoke forgiveness of sins over her (48).
It is the person regarded as deserving, the morally upright pillar of society, who is strongly criticized by Jesus. Simon’s small-minded, mean welcome to Jesus (44) is contrasted with the woman’s extravagant actions. She knew her need and recognized something special in Jesus, whereas Simon probably had more questionable motives for inviting Jesus to his home. He offered the bare minimum of hospitality, demonstrating his unawareness of how much he, although outwardly respectable, also needed God’s forgiveness.
Luke’s third consecutive story of people regarded as being without privilege–a Gentile, a woman, and a sinner–points again to the radical nature of God’s grace and upside-down kingdom. If we’ve been Christians for some time it’s easy to forget just how remarkable all this is and consequently the importance of expressing gratitude as a daily practice.
Compose a short prayer of gratitude to God to repeat daily during the week. Then write a new one each week for as long as possible.
Heavenly Father, forgive me that so often I take Your blessings for granted, rather than with gratitude. Help me to see others as You see them.
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