Today is my groups “Serve for a day” day. It has gone pretty well so far, we got breakfast down, announcements done, then I did a plug for The Message Bible that I myself bought from the book shop. I bought the last copy.
Other then that fail, everything seems to have gone well so far.
This morning we had Peter Dickson preaching again. Surprised?
Straight from our work book –
Anyway, today’s “reading the Bible tool, was the “Tone and Feel” tool.
“Instead of telling us a thing is terrible, describe it so we will be terrified. Don’t say ‘it was a delight’, make us say ‘delightful’ when we’ve read the description.” – C.S. Lewis.
The incident in the passage ahead deals with read people with real problems…. How does Luke deal with this, and how does he want us to feel by the end? –
That’s the question I’ll aim to address, now lets jump into the Word.
We looked at Luke 7:36-50. This is the version in the message. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+7%3A36-50&version=MSG)
“36-39One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.”
40Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Oh? Tell me.”
41-42“Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?”
43-47Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”
“That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”
48Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.”
49That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!”
50He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
In this passage there are 4 people involved, or 3 people and a group. Jesus, the woman, the Pharisee and everybody else at the dinner party.
Imagine your hosting a dinner party. You’ve just sat everybody down, drinks are about to poured, and then the local prostitute bursts in, rushes over to one of your guests.
Starts SOBBING, all over this guy’s feet. Dries it with her HAIR. Then, she gets a bottle of perfume, and empties it all over his feet. And I’m not talking cheap perfume. This was worth a years wages.
It’s worse then you think though. In Jewish culture, woman should have their hair covered when ever any man other then their husband is around. So when this woman gets her hair out, its as if she took her top off to wipe Jesus’ feet clean with.
Simon – the host of this party, must be going into shock, because he stays calm, and it says in the passage;
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.”
We know what he’s thinking, not because we have ESP, but because its the kind of story you’d tell your friends about, recount about the time Jesus came for tea, and then all this crazy stuff starts happening! Not to mention what Jesus does later on, but I’ll come back to that.
So, how is Luke showing just how raw this emotion is?
Well, he doesn’t write in an emotive fashion, in fact the only references to emotion are the woman crying, and in the parable, he mentions gratefulness.
The way he shows us how powerful the emotions are is through an accurate description of words and actions. This woman, has come in to the home of a leading society figure – like a local MP, or minister. Started crying all over this visitors feet, then wiped it up with her HAIR, seriously. Hair, that is pretty crazy, then, she takes out this crazy expensive perfume, and just pours it all over his feet!
These actions are just so – drastic, but they are the only way this woman feels she can express the depth of her emotion. For her this is EVERYTHING, she knows the Jesus is the only way she’ll be able to turn her life around, so she gives him all she can.
I can’t begin to explain JUST how important this is – this act of love by the woman, and the responce from Jesus are just like, the most AMAZING thing.
I’m now writing the morning after, and I STILL haven’t found words to describe just how much passion there is in the passage.
I think we all showed this kind of love, that level of dedication to Jesus, then there would be nothing stopping us.
Thanks for reading!