Summary: God loves people who have failed and messed up, and there’s nothing he wants to do more than extend forgiveness for sin, and healing for brokenness. And the greater your brokenness, the greater God’s opportunity to demonstrate his grace!
Mending a Broken Spirit
Part 4 of a 4 Part Series
Swift Creek Community Church
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. And all the king’s horses, and all the king’s men -- ? (couldn’t put Humpty together again!)
Humpty’s broken. He’s fallen and he can’t get up. Like the TV commercial: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!!”
Do you ever feel broken? Broken – like things in your life are out of joint, or like there’s something about you so flawed, so out of whack, that you don’t know if you can ever get it back “in whack” again. What do you do with your brokenness?
Have you ever wondered if the little poem “Humpty Dumpty” was meant to express a deeper truth? Once Humpty Dumpty fell, it was all over – there was no power great enough to save him, no one to put back the pieces. Is that true for all of us too? I hope not!!
What are we to do with our brokenness? The short answer is: Take your brokenness to Jesus. He’s able to put you back together again. And He’s the only one you’ll ever find who has it all together.
(Read: Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman (Luke 7:36-50) and comment.)
• V. 36 – A Pharisee, part of a religious group that carefully observed all of the written, and oral, Jewish laws. Many of them had developed a smugness about their moral superiority over other people in Jesus’ day. Q: What was this man’s true motive for inviting Jesus to his home?
• V. 37-38 – No name given – just an “immoral woman.” Uninvited. Pressed her luck to go in there. Prepared. Already had the beautiful jar of expensive perfume, and knew what she wanted to do with it. Q: What had transpired earlier between her and Jesus?
• V. 39 – Now we know the Pharisee’s true motive: he was testing Jesus. His prideful, works-based religion said God would want nothing to do with sinners.
• V. 40-43 – I can imagine Simon kind of giving a start! Jesus could read his mind! (That should give us a start, too!). Key word – LOVE. Q: Do you LOVE Jesus? Why?
• V. 44-48 – Common courtesies in that day: wash dusty feet; a kiss of greeting (even men!); oil for the hair. Simon’s lack of courtesy proves his lack of love for Jesus. To answer our earlier question (What had transpired between her and Jesus?) Not recorded in Bible, but he must have confronted her about her lifestyle, and offered her healing and forgiveness.
• V. 49 – You would have thought these religious men would be happy and accepting of Jesus and the woman. Instead, they are critical. (Refer to Luke 15, and the Parable of the Lost Son? These guys are like the hostile “older brother.”) Sometimes church people can get that way over time. Christ-Followers: Please guard yourself and avoid this kind of thinking!
• V. 50 – Q: How are we saved? How is our brokenness healed? By keeping all the rules and regulations? By being super religious all the time? No. Jesus says, “Your FAITH has saved you.” Faith in Jesus. Only He can be your Forgiver. Only He can be your Leader, your Lord. Faith. The result? Go in peace. The broken life is healed. Instead of hopeless and broken, there is peace and hope. That’s what only Jesus can do.
• Simon, the Pharisee, was proud. Jesus could do little for him.
He had his rules and his religion, he was probably very well-off, and he felt that he didn’t need Jesus.
Elizabeth Elliot, the missionary, on the topic of critical people, wrote: “We all know people who are critical people. Those who are the most critical are people who have not received God’s grace!” Simon stands in sharp contrast to the “immoral woman.”
• The woman was humble and broken. She lavishly demonstrated her love and respect for Jesus.
Evidently she had encountered Jesus earlier. She placed her faith in him, and experienced forgiveness, healing, and life-change. This evening, she came prepared to worship. She had the “beautiful jar, filled with expensive perfume” ready, and she knew what she wanted to do with it. Q: Have you brought your “beautiful jar” to Jesus? Have you poured out your heart at the Master’s feet?
• When we respond in love and gratitude to Jesus, he is able to give forgiveness, healing, and peace.
The Bible says:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Jesus read Isaiah 61:1 and applied it to himself-