Summary: Gratitude, Grace, Humility, Thankfulness
JAIL BREAK (Breaking the Chains of Unforgiveness) -
How Big Do You Consider Your Debt?
October 28, 2018
Luke 7:36-50 (p. 721)
I’ve got three dogs…Buck, Tucker and Evie…Buck usually is in the side yard in a place we have fenced off for him when he’s not inside…both Evie and Tucker go out front when they need to go to the restroom. They won’t run off…Buck might.
But I share this with you because if you walk through my front yard it can be a sort of doggie dodo minefield.
Now I want you to pretend with me for a moment you show up at my house to visit one evening…and you don’t know about the dog do minefield and you step in it…unknowingly you come into my house with your feet covered with poop.
And upon seeing this I break open the triangular wooden and glass box that holds the flag that covered my dad’s casket…I take this flag, get down on my knees and clean your shoes with it…all the while telling you how much I love you and how sorry I am this happened to you.
You’d be shocked right…you’d be amazed, maybe horrified that I’d take something of such importance and glory and use it to clean something so dirty and degrading. You might have many questions about why I would do this…but you wouldn’t question how important I thought you were.
I share this pretend story with you because I couldn’t think of a piece of cloth that means more to me than the flag that covered my dad’s coffin and was presented to us at his funeral…This “old glory” is special to me. I would have to worship you to use something that important to me to clean your feet.
In Biblical times Jewish women wore their hair long…viewed as a covering given by God….In fact 1 Cor. 11:15 says, “If a woman has long hair it is her crowning glory.” Please understand, I’m not sharing this to legalistically argue about short hair or long hair in men and women…but I do want you to understand how it was viewed culturally in Jesus’ time…it was important. Taking it down or having it taken down and displayed was humiliating…it was a woman’s “glory.” It was important…a crown. Like my dad’s flag.
So, when one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him at his house and while they are reclining around his table this happened:
LUKE 7:37-39 (p. 721)
There are some things we can know for sure and some we can’t. We don’t know the Pharisee’s reason for inviting Jesus to dinner…or his attitude toward Jesus…we can only guess what kind of sinful life this woman lived…I think our guesses would include the sex industry, the perfume…used in between clients…small amounts at a time. We know the Pharisee doesn’t think much of this woman…and he loses respect for Jesus because he lets her touch Him.
We know this woman wants to find Jesus…she is weeping in His presence…Her tears fall on His feet…and because she has no towel she lets down her hair and uses it…she also kisses His feet in adoration…the woman is a sinner…the Pharisee, a religious leader.
I. DO WE SEEK JESUS OR JUST INVITE HIM INTO OUR HOUSE?
Pharisees are extremely concerned about ceremonial cleanliness…they wash their hands and dishes…They strain their drinks for gnats…the smallest of unclean animals.
So to believe that Simon just forgot to have someone wash Jesus’ feet is ludicrous…It’s not an oversight…it’s a deliberate act to shame…because,
You walk everywhere you go…on the same streets that animals travel…dung and mud and filth mix together to become a disgusting minefield you walk through. So when someone enters your house you assign the lowest of the slaves to wash their feet…Simon is telling Jesus…you are not even worth the lowest of my slaves to serve you…Simon may have wanted Jesus at his house…but he didn’t want to honor him.
I wonder how many of us do the same…We want Him in “our” church so He can bless us. We want His power, but we don’t want Him to have control. We don’t want to listen to His commands and obey them. We want to go to heaven because we believe we’re good enough without His forgiveness. I’ll bet you a million dollars Simon didn’t think Jesus was the greatest person in that house.
But this woman uses her crown and glory as a rag. Her pride, her reputation means nothing in the presence of Jesus. She is broken open in repentance as she weeps…and it means nothing to shatter that expensive jar of perfume in His presence.
She didn’t care what anyone else thought…she was seeking the approval of only one man.
Can you imagine what it meant for a woman to willingly let down her hair to wash someone’s dirty feet? She came to this house seeking redemption and she found it when she let go of her pride and glory and washed the feet of God…she wasn’t coming to a house…she came to worship Jesus.