Summary: The Fragrance of Worship; A Sinful Woman Anoints Jesus
Some preliminary thoughts:
“Prayer focuses on the problem”
“Praise focuses on the provision”
“Worship focuses on the PROVIDER”
“Worship is the correct response to the presence of God.”
Essence of The Lesson:
Worship is a flow and a dialogue between you and your Savior, it is His means of entry into your life and into your church.
St. Francis of Assisi once said:
“Preach the Gospel at all times; if necessary, use words”.
Evangelism is a lifestyle: it’s not a class, it’s not a program, it is not a chore or a hassle. It is an absolute discipline of devotion and love that comes from a heartfelt response to the Good News of Jesus Christ. It’s a “given” for one who has been redeemed from the pit of hell. It may take many forms, but evangelism is a most natural response for the believer to tell others about what Christ has done in your life!
Another individual extended the St. Francis quote to illustrate a very relevant and hard-hitting principle.
“Worship at all times; if necessary, use music”.
Similarly worship is not a program! Worship is not a plan or a performance! Worship is NOT a given set or style of music! Worship is a heart-felt response to a Savior who has healed, delivered and forgiven you
“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.
There are absolutely no limits to the church that will worship.
As we look tonight 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 afforded.
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?
There is no substitute for time at the feet of the Savior. Corporate worship as a body is very important, but it is pointless and empty apart from lifestyles of worship living in the members of the body.
We can hire the greatest worship leader, back them with a symphony orchestra, and hire the finest mix of backup singers that money can buy, but we cannot buy worship.
It is is a response of love and devotion and can no more be purchased or contrived than these affections themselves!
The heart of worship is at the feet of Jesus.
Let’s look to this passage to see what God would have us to understand. What we see here transcends all barriers of time and social convention. It is worship of the Savior, the Second Person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God, in the purest form humanly possible.
Let’s proceed through the passage, beginning with the cast of characters. God doesn’t waste words. I believe there are principles in each verse that we can draw upon for our instruction.
II. 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 bristle with pride over our position and tradition?
Do we vociferously protect our status against any and all intruders?
Is our comfort paramount in our plans?
Are our perceptions always true?
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.
What a picture Simon chooses to ignore!
God ordained this moment in time to reveal Himself to sinners through the actions of this worshiper who had been redeemed. It could well have been Simon and Company’s last chance.
It was a cry from the Savior to extend His mercy and grace to Simon and the others.