Summary: When would the kiss of a prostitute EVER be acceptable? When it honored the man who forgave her sins.
ILLUS: I’ve been in churches where I’ve seen this kind of attitude. It usually happens in older congregations (more than 100 years old) where people go to church there because their grandfather did. Their daddy had been an Elder or their mother had been the piano player. And these folks regard this as “their church.” It’s not just the church they go to… it’s literally “THEIR” church. It belongs to them. And they’re not about to let anyone be part of that congregation that doesn’t measure up to their standards.
ILLUS: During an evangelistic service, an invitation was given at the close of the sermon for all those who wished to turn their lives over to
Christ and be forgiven. One of the first persons to walk down the aisle and kneel at the altar was a well-known prostitute. She knelt in very real repentance, she wept, she asked God to forgive her, and meanwhile the rest of the congregation looked on approvingly at what she was doing. Then she stood and testified that she believed God had forgiven her for her past life, and she now wanted to become a member of the church. For a few moments, the silence was deafening.
Finally, a man named Samuel Colgate arose and said, "I guess we blundered when we prayed that the Lord would save sinners. We forgot to specify what kind of sinners. We’d better ask him to forgive us for this oversight. The Holy Spirit has touched this woman and made her truly repentant, but the Lord apparently doesn’t understand that she’s not the type we want him to rescue. We’d better spell it out for him just which sinners we had in mind."
Immediately, a motion was made and unanimously approved that the woman be accepted into membership in the congregation.
(Larry R. Kalajainen, “Extraordinary Faith For Ordinary Time”, CSS Publishing Company, Inc, 1994.)
How can we know that she loved much?
Because she when she kissed Jesus’ feet, she got down on her knees. She knelt before Jesus – (kissed feet) because He was righteous… she wasn’t. She LOVED JESUS.
But, of course, Simon didn’t.
That’s what Simon revealed when he refused to kiss Jesus.
There are people like that today. They don’t want to kiss Jesus. He’s not important to them.
And there are others who are willing to kiss Jesus… but they do so as if He were an equal. Not as their God, but as an acquaintance who they can listen to if they like, but ignore if they choose.
But then there are those who kiss Jesus in the way this sinful woman did. They know they’ve sinned and fallen short. And they realize the only proper way to approach Christ is to kneel before Him and give Him the love He deserves because He has forgiven so much.
But Simon didn’t love Jesus because he really didn’t think he needed a Savior. Simon just loved himself. He was wrapped up in his own SELF-righteousness. And he had little room to love anyone other than himself. He couldn’t really even love God.