Our Lenten series is all about worship: What it means, what it looks like, and why finding God’s will is not a mystery.
Last week, we touched on how Jesus has liberated you to worship. He’s cleared your debt of sin so you can respond out of love — not mechanical obligation.
So, what can you bring to God as worship?
First, bring your heart…
She who loved much
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.
Luke 7:36-38 (ESV)
I love the detail Luke offers us in this scene! You can see and smell the woman’s costly devotion as she pours out the oil and her affection…
...all for Jesus.
It’s her humility that sticks in my memory:
- Bowing to the ground and anointing the feet of Jesus (rather than anointing His head, which would have been customary).
- Wiping His feet with her hair to cleanse them.
- Kissing His feet continually (the Greek uses an on-going verb, rather than a one-time “kissed”).
The picture we get is a woman who is pouring her heart out of repentance and joy, and Jesus is pleased by her act of devotion!
He who loved little
But the host of the meal, Simon, feels repulsion at Jesus’s acceptance of this woman’s worship and reverence:
Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
Luke 7:39 (ESV)
Note how Simon says this “to himself.” He’s thinking two things...
- The woman is unclean as a sinner.
- Because Jesus accepts her, He must not be sent from God.
We don’t know why the woman is “sinful,” but it seems she is known for it. And here’s where Jesus upends the narrative for the self-righteous: He came for the sick, not those who see themselves as well.
The reality: we all start off not well. We’re all in need of Christ’s forgiveness. Simon, someone who hosted the Son of God, showed pride through his heart’s overflow.
From the overflow of your heart
Jesus explains the posture of our hearts like this:
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Luke 6:45 (ESV)
I believe this also applies to our attitudes and actions.
Simon, the meal’s host, never washed Christ’s feet. Never expressed joy at His presence. Never expressed sorrow over his own sin. From the “abundance of the heart” he showed a lack of worship.
But the woman, she who loved much, expressed a deep-seated repentance and joy.
Worship overflowed from her heart. And over 2,000 years later, her act of worship is still celebrated.
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What a better way to worship our Creator than to love those He's created.