Here we are again; another Wednesday, another a look at, and another case of the threes. I love it when that happens because I don't have to search my brain for what to write about. Instead it just smacks me in the face *owww*.
Early last week I was reminded of the woman with the alabaster jar. She was first mentioned on Sunday. We were talking to our students about how meeting Jesus changes people. I was pretty excited because we were talking about #MyBoyPeter. (Inside joke referring to my unhealthy attachment to and self-identification with Simon Peter. It's to the point where I can't even stop myself from signing "hashtag" whenever his name is mentioned. Some girls love Esther I love Peter.) Then out of nowhere the story of this women and her jar was shared.
Tuesday I was at the young adult service at a different church in a different city (I say that to point out that the pastors
have probably didn't share notes). We were in the second week of a series on
marriage. The night's topic was 'the goodness of marital sex'; somehow the
woman was brought up again.
Thursday I sat on the couch reading a book I'd randomly grabbed off my roomie's bookshelf. The author started with a look at Ruth (another one of my faves but she was pre-hashtag life). I was reading the familiar story when bam out of nowhere comes that woman with her darn jar! I mean seriously the stories aren't even in the same book or testament of the Bible. It was at that point I figured God was trying to tell me something.
I thought back over the many comments made about her. She was a woman with a past who others looked down their noses at. She was a woman who literally laid (well poured out) her most valuable possession at Jesus' feet. One pastor likened the worth of the perfume to a year's salary, say what?! And she was a woman who didn't care what people thought, said, or who was watching because she kept her eyes on the Lord.
Wow, there are so many things to learn here. So many ways God could be speaking to us.
Maybe you feel like you've gone too far or done too much for Jesus to really love you and you identify with the woman's sinful past. You identify with feeling unwelcome or unworthy to walk into the house of the religious leaders (or a church). Let this story remind you that you are welcome, with open arms, by the only one in the room who matters and if the rest are truly His followers they'll fall in line.
Maybe this story is a reminder that there's something in your life that you aren't willing to lay at His feet. Is it your money, your car, a title, a loved one? What are you holding back? What's stopping you from pursuing God relentlessly?
Below I've shared the Luke 7:36-50 version of the story (it's also in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14: 1-11). Read it, meditate on it, and ask God what you can learn from the woman and her alabaster jar.
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “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.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “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 of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them 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.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”