LOOK TO THE HEART
Luke 7:36-50If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is that touches him - that she is a sinner. v. 39 Are we like Jesus, allowing ourselves to be touched, kissed, even washed by the tears of sinners? Do we look beyond the externals of morality, culture, and religion to the heart? Do we judge and condemn or practice mercy and justice?
BE SENSITIVE TO REPENTANT SINNERS
The Pharisees provided no water for Jesus to wash his dusty feet, no kiss of greeting, and no perfumed oil of anointing. Despite their rigorous religious exercises, they were sensitive neither to Jesus nor to a sincere repentant sinner. The woman was a known sinner, yet she experienced a radical change of heart. From her repentant heart, tears flowed and fell upon the feet of Jesus. Where she once embraced and caressed men for profit, she instead wiped Jesus’ feet and anointed his head out of reverence. These external acts are made holy because of her change of heart.
LET YOUR HEART BE MOVED
Jesus responded to the Pharisees criticism by saying, "I tell you, that is why her many sins are forgiven - because of her great love. Little is forgiven the one whose love is small ... Your faith has been your salvation." In this, Jesus directly connects faith and love. "God is love, wrote John. Likewise, the book of James reminds us that true religion consists of "looking after orphans and widows and keeping oneself unspotted from the world." How can one look after orphaned children and widowed women and mothers without having their hearts moved? The world tells us to look out for yourselves while James said we must not be defiled by the self-centeredness that hardens the human heart.“Love covers a multitude of sins,” says the proverb. So today let us be people of human love if we profess true faith in God. Today look to the sinner: the prostitute, the whore, the drug addict, and let your heart be moved. Treasure their tears, let them anoint your head. Let them kiss you and touch your life. Ironically, you might find your own life "cleansed" by the "unclean," and your openness may be the door to their salvation.
Take a risk with Jesus.
- John Michael Talbot
To read more from John Michael Talbot see: http://johnmichaeltalbot.blogspot.com/