Crashing the party is exactly what the young woman did.
She busted in the door, uninvited, with tears streaming down her face. So many tears that they fell on His feet. She took her long hair and wiped away the tears that fell on His feet. She got on her knees as all were watching, shocked by her intrusion, and she broke an alabaster jar of perfume and poured it all over His feet! The young woman, a prostitute, was the very first “party crasher” in history.
Little did she know…her act of confession and love would be told thousands of years later. In fact, Jesus, the honored guest, said to Simon (the Party host), “Do you see this woman? I came to into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them away with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you her many sins have been forgiven as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little” (Luke 7:44-47).
What a great lesson. It is so easy to go through life feeling good about our actions–going to church, teaching Sunday school, taking a meal to the sick, visiting people in the hospital, going on a missions trip or two, giving money to the poor, knowing that we have never murdered anyone, our children are successful, we haven’t ever stolen anything, we have never been paid for sex, in general feeling very content and satisfied with ourselves. Just because our outward actions, especially to others, seem good and noteworthy doesn’t mean we don’t sin.
Sometimes, when our outward life seems all together …with very little known sin…it can make our relationship with God shallow. We can tend to feel even as if, “Hey, look at me God.” We compare ourselves to others who have outwardly and publicly stumbled, being just as pharisaical as Simon and saying to ourselves, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—- that she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39).
What a “danger zone” for any of us to put ourselves in such a lofty position…to sit in judgement of the degree or extent of someone’s sin and elevate ourselves as if we are “clean”. Jesus read Simon’s thoughts and knew the sincerity of the young woman’s heart. We learn from this story that Jesus forgives…all sins…big or small. All are filtered through our Lord. He looks at the heart…our devotion …our love. Some of the most “grievous sins” are our “private thoughts”. God sees those even if no one else does.
It makes me stop and take a moment for self-examination. Looking at my sin and repentance and whether or not I have an “All IN” devotion to God. The young woman’s ALL IN was breaking her most valuable possession…the “alabaster jar of perfume” and pouring it on Jesus’ feet. A little research shows you that the alabaster jar represented her financial security which she gave freely to Jesus.
For me/for you….…What is it that is most precious to us that we would give to HIM? Whether our sin is known by all or is just known by Jesus, are we daily allowing God to show us our sin and willing to do whatever to turn without comparing our sin to someone else’s? It is easy to say the other person’s sin is more grievous but in God’s eyes…sin is sin.
Yes, on earth there are natural consequences for some sins, the “law of reaping and sowing”. But just because some sins are not outward or visible doesn’t make them any less grievous to the Lord. It only can give us an “inflated vision of ourselves” thus, lessening our “love for God” as Jesus taught in the same passage. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which one of them will love him more?’ Simon replied, ‘I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.’ ‘You have judged correctly.’ Jesus said” (Luke 7:41-43).
Only Jesus has the authority to forgive sin. We need to see ourselves in a helpless position of sinning every day.
No matter what others see.
No matter our good works.
Realizing our need for Jesus and seeking to have Him show us our heart, our attitudes, our sin. Knowing sin is sin. Knowing we need HIM every day. Checking our “love meter” for HIM.
Our All IN heart check moment with Jesus could be that of the rich young ruler instead of the prostitute. It could be the simple love of our possessions. We don’t have to commit murder or be a prostitute.
The great news…the very great news…is: no matter what our sin…Jesus is ready to forgive…to lavish his love on us…and direct us on a new path. I encourage you, and I encourage myself, to break “the alabaster jar” for Jesus. To sit at His feet. To come to an ALL IN position at his feet.