While reading and re-reading Luke chapter 7 the past weeks, I am overwhelmed by so many facets of Christ that merely 50 verses bring to my mind and heart. I have been particularly drawn to the experience in the house of one of the Pharisees.
Scripture says that “one of the Pharisees desired Him that He would eat with Him.” Christ went to the house of the Pharisee and shortly after, a woman in the city – which was a sinner – brought an alabaster box and stood at His feet. This may be a very familiar exchange, but it never ceases to flood my heart upon reading it. I close my eyes and I envision this woman, a known sinner, who comes before the King of kings with her meager offering. She breaks the alabaster box, perhaps reflecting that her heart was broken, and poured it out upon Him. She wept and washed His feet with those tears, more of her brokenness overflowing upon Him. He received her brokenness.
Let that sink in. He received her brokenness. He didn’t send her away. He didn’t say she wasn’t refined or perfect enough yet. He received her. Now, let that sink in and wash over you. He receives you. He receives you.
However, the Pharisee spoke within himself, “this man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touches him: for she is a sinner.” This Pharisee could not imagine a man of God that would receive such a broken vessel.
Matthew Henry’s commentary on this happening is as follows:
“None can truly perceive how precious Christ is, and the glory of the gospel, except the broken-hearted. But while they feel they cannot enough express self-abhorrence on account of sin, and admiration of his mercy, the self-sufficient will be disgusted, because the gospel encourages such repenting sinners. The Pharisee, instead of rejoicing in the tokens of the woman’s repentance, confined his thoughts to her former bad character. But without free forgiveness none of us can escape the wrath to come; this our gracious Saviour has purchased with his blood, that he may freely bestow it on every one that believes in him…Let us keep far from the proud spirit of the Pharisee, simply depending upon and rejoicing in Christ alone, and so be prepared to obey him more zealously, and more strongly to recommend him unto all around us. The more we express our sorrow for sin, and our love to Christ, the clearer evidence we have of the forgiveness of our sins. What a wonderful change does grace make upon a sinner’s heart and life, as well as upon his state before God, by the full remission of all his sins through faith in the Lord Jesus!”
A deep question has permeated me::do you have a heart like this Pharisee or a heart like this “sinful woman”? Do you have a heart that is too proud to acknowledge your origin and your need for Christ? Or, do you have a heart that will pour out all to Him, beckoning the only One that can receive your brokenness and your whole?
Let Him say of me, “her sins, which were many, are forgiven; for she loved much.”