October 15, 2012
The Observer of our Worship
“Seest thou this woman?”
The invitation had come from Simon the Pharisee. It was he who was supposed to have provided the feast for the Lord Jesus Christ. But in the end, the feast He enjoyed came from an unexpected quarter.
“A woman which was a sinner” entered. She may have well heard the invitation of Matthew 11:28 and have come with her burden to the Lord just prior to her entrance into Simon’s house. (Compare the accounts in Matthew and Luke and you will see the time link). In appreciation for the new-found peace and rest she had come to enjoy, she came to express her thanksgiving to the One Who had saved her.
At first she stood behind Him weeping; but then slowly she made her way to His feet and began to wash His feet with her tears and then to dry them with her hair. Lastly, she anointed them with ointment.
Simon’s estimation is swift and severe. He had held the woman in contempt; now the object of her love, the Lord Jesus, comes in for his withering criticism.
The illustration which the Lord gives reveals the barrenness of Simon’s heart and his unforgiven state. But more than that, they reveal the Lord’s appreciation for the woman’s worship. Simon’s coldness and Pharisaical mentality serve as a background upon which the devotion and love of a redeemed heart are displayed.
Note that He was aware of her deed: “Seest thou this woman? She hath … ” He was aware of every detail: “she hath washed My feet … wiped them … hath not ceased to kiss … anointed My feet with ointment.“ Not one thing she had done escaped His eye. He delighted in everything and valued everything she had done. He appreciated, as well, the depth of her love: “She (lit.) rained tears” and again, “ointment” and not just oil. She had given her best. He took note of the duration of her worship: “Since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss My feet.” Her worship was not a perfunctory acknowledgment but a genuine outpouring of her heart. Above and beyond it all, He knew her devotion. “She loved much.”
The feast in Simon’s house that day was not spread by Simon but was provided by a forgiven sinner who poured out her love to Him.
1. “Since the time I came in hath not ceased.” What is our worship like when we meet together on a Lord’s day? Does it take time to get thoughts flowing?
2. Trace the theme of the feet of Christ in Luke. This is the first occasion; the last is in Luke 24:39.
3. On every occasion when the Lord Jesus forgave a person while here, He was saying in effect, that He would pay the debt their sins deserved. “Thy sins be forgiven thee” was no light pronouncement when it meant He was incurring the responsibility of Calvary for it.