Summary: What is worship? “Worship is the correct response to the presence of God.” Do we believe that the presence of God is here? The degree to which we believe that will determine the depths of our worship.
Mayor Gerardo Balmori
The Salvation Army
“Prayer focuses on the problem”
“Praise focuses on the provision”
“Worship focuses on the PROVIDER”
What is worship?
“Worship is the correct response to the presence of God.”
Do we believe that the presence of God is here? The degree to which we believe that will determine
the depths of our worship.
As we look at a centuries-old, inspired story of an anonymous and otherwise forgotten woman we
see one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring pictures of true worship that mankind as been
Her worship did not revolve around a particular style of music, or a performance of any kind!
She was disqualified by every social convention of her day to come into the presence of God…she
was a “sinful woman”.
She literally risked her life to come to Jesus’ feet with her gift of heartfelt love. Are we willing to risk
it all in order to come to His feet? The heart of worship is at the feet of Jesus.
Let’s proceed through the passage, beginning with the cast of characters.
I. The Pharisee
Simon was his name. He invited Jesus to his house for dinner. It seems likely that
it was a “politically correct” thing to do, and it is implied that there may have been a more
clandestine motive…an attempt to test and/or embarrass Christ.
A. His Prejudice
Towards sinners, towards women, his hypocrisy
How do we feel towards those who would come into our midst to worship with us? What if a known
prostitute came to our church services and began to praise and worship God with everything that
was in her? Would we be shocked?
B. His Pride
1. In his position 2. In his status
Do we consider that perhaps God may be attempting to do a new thing in our midst?
C. His Presuppositions
His presupposition would cost Him this unique moment in time, and quite possibly his very soul.
His presuppositions indicate that He had no idea who Jesus was. Thank God that we do know Him,
that He has revealed Himself to us.
Jesus is calling… Lets’ take a look at a woman who was considered worthless and cheap…
II. The Sinful Woman
A. Her Pain
A lifetime of sin and abuse
Life for a 1st century prostitute was not easy. Prostitution is the end product of a lifetime of abuse.
She may have been a barren woman…and no man wanted to marry her.
B. Her Predicament
Slavery and bondage, no hope, no escape
Women in general were treated like chattel in this culture. A prostitute was treated as the lowest of
the low. It was not a position to be envied.
C. Her Position
On her knees, at His feet, at the right moment in time
broken before the Lord, her tears flowing over His feet
The anointing was meant for the head of the honored guest, She was at His feet-
She threw caution to the wind. All she knew was that she must get to her Savior to thank Him.
She literally risked her life to be there at that moment. What if he didn’t accept her? What if she
couldn’t make it all the way to His Presence? She would certainly have been stoned.
D. Her Product
A gift that was normally given to kings and lords-it was a gift for the honored guest at a banquet;
Nard, perfume; It was costly, it was beautiful, it was aromatic. Perhaps it was a family heirloom.
It may have represented all that was left in her life that was beautiful-her hopes and her dreams.
Perhaps she had been saving it for a special occasion.
It was the very fragrance of worship.
Worship is often referred to in terms of a sweet smelling savor in the nostrils of God.
On the highest and holiest day in all of Judaism…Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, the high
priest would take a perfume filled burning censer with him into the Holy of Holies, as he
approached the very presence of God.
The sweet smelling savor of worship is graphically pictured here. She brought something COSTLY,
something precious. It was rare and beautiful.
What was a first century prostitute doing with something so costly, so rare, and so precious?
She made a “one shot deal”…she was placing it ALL ON THE ALTAR, at Jesus’ feet.
While the perfume was costly, it was something of worth, it was rare and precious, but it could not
even come close to what He gave her. It cost Him everything to forgive her sins. He poured his blood
at Calvary. Have you been washed in the Blood of the Lamb? YOU QUALIFY as a worshiper, white
as snow and without spot! He gave her everything He could give-the very riches of Heaven