Have you ever quietly watched someone that seems to stand out? There is something about them that is different from the others surrounding them. You know it has nothing to do with their physical appearance for there are many others who have equal or even better appearance than them. There is a presence about them almost like an invisible aura emulating from them that catches your spiritual eye. The presence has a depth in that person and their mannerism that draws your eyes to want to see more. You find yourself wondering where did this come from and how do they keep it so vibrant? I believe I have been given the answer.
There were two people who owed money to a certain money-lender. One owed him five hundred and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back. The stress of having no money to pay their debts was upon them both. One debt may have felt like a boulder crushing their back and the other a heavy rock in one hand. Nevertheless, being completely broke with no money has a defeating pressure upon a person’s mind, heart, and soul of bondage that mere words cannot convey the feelings of stress.
The lender knowing they did not have the ability to pay him back forgave them both of their debts. Which one of the two debtors will love the lender most? One owed 500 and the other owed 50, which one would you believe to be the most thankful, grateful, and filled with love for the mercy shown them? If you have decided the one who had the bigger debt loved the lender most then you have judged correctly (Luke 7:41-43).
In this scene you have a Pharisee named Simon (highly religious person) that invited Jesus (God in flesh/Redeemer) into his house to sit together at the table and a woman (sin filled life sinner) from town at Jesus feet. Jesus could see that special something standing out from the others. He could see that something was different about her. It was not her physical beauty that stood apart. He could see that invisible aura emulating from her that caught his spiritual eye. Jesus saw the depth of her soul and her mannerism manifesting itself. In that moment Jesus wanted Simon to see more than her outward reputation of a sinful life. He wants all of us to see beyond outward appearances.
Simon, the Pharisee, quietly watching Jesus and the woman said inside himself “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” (:39) Simon’s observation of Jesus and the woman was not that something was different about them, but he was blind in his spiritual eyes to the invisible presence of the woman’s repentant heart and the allowance of Jesus to her giving. Simon had no idea of where this woman was coming from nor understand the why Jesus was allowing such behavior to continue. Simon’s conclusion and judgment on Jesus was him not being a true servant of God and the woman’s touch would make unclean whatever it comes in contact with.
The woman quietly saw something special within herself about Jesus. She knew Simon the Pharisee from all the years of her sinful life and the effort he made to helping her to come to nothing, a zero. She wanted that something Jesus had in her life that was beyond his physical appearance. Her spiritual eyes saw a man who had the fountain of forgiveness and mercy within him. She could not sit back any longer she wanted more. She knew she was entering a home that counted her as an enemy of sin.
Back to the scene of Simon the Pharisee and Jesus at the table with the woman at Jesus feet. I see them sitting there quietly observing one another with their own spiritual thoughts looking upon each other while the woman is pouring herself out. Jesus is the one that presented the story of a lender, the one with a great debt, and the other with a little debt. Jesus is the one who put the question out there of “Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” I believe everyone would agree with Simon’s answer of “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” (:43). This is Jesus/God extracting out of Simon to open and see with his spiritual eyes the truth of the aura on the woman and Jesus. God constantly wants us to see the invisible things in life. He doesn’t want us to miss them. They are to precious of a treasure to let slip by.
At this point Simon does not realize the lender is Jesus/God, the one with the greater debt is the sinful lived life woman, and the other with lesser debt was trying to live a righteous life was Simon himself. They both are in debt to sin with no way to pay. The only difference was one went farther into sin, stayed longer in sin, and cost her more than she wanted to pay in sin. Simon resisted going any farther, staying any longer, and costing him any more than he wanted to pay, yet he was still born into sin along with the woman.
Jesus the lender sitting between them saw their debt and wanted to forgive them both, but only one was ready to receive the forgiveness. She was that one that was standing out from the rest. She was the one that could shine the lighted path to God if only Simon could see her with the aura emulating her love towards God in-spite of her being a well-known sinner. She was not in darkness with her sin, but Simon was in his darkness of self-righteousness. Jesus is getting ready to open Simon’s blinded spiritual eyes to see the invisible that was hidden to him in plain sight.
As we continue I want you to keep score between Simon the Pharisee and the sinful woman. Jesus turns toward the woman guiding Simon’s attention to her, “Do you see this woman?” Simon is thinking physically seeing this woman and Jesus is pointing out the sight of her spirit. Jesus said I came into your house from the dusty street in my sandals and Simon you did not give me water to wash my dusty dirty feet (Simon score 0). This woman having no water except for the tears of her repentant heart poured out of her eyes upon my dusty dirty feet washing them clean (Woman score 1). After her liquid tears of repentance and unworthiness washed my feet she had no towel to dry them. She took what she knows to be her glory before God (1 Cor. 11:15) and dried my feet with the hair of her head symbolizing she is on rock bottom of life (Woman score 2, Simon score 0). Simon when I entered your house as the custom of this day you did not greet me with a kiss (Simon score 0 for the third opportunity). The woman from the time I entered has not stopped kissing my feet. If I see this correctly this woman from the rock bottom soul of her life started kissing his feet from the entrance to the table. To me this would mean she was on her knees crawling beside each foot step Jesus took going forward towards the table. Wow! Her debt of sin was a boulder crushing her to the point of death. She considered her lips to be dirtier with sin than the dust and dirt of this world upon Jesus feet. Her crawling on her knees and kissing with her lips were conveying the aura of repentance (Woman score 3, Simon score 0). Jesus continued to point out to Simon that he did not pour oil on his head another expected custom of that day. This woman took an expensive jar of alabaster perfume and poured it upon my feet (Woman score 4, Simon score 0).
Simon your final score was zero and the woman’s final score was four. Jesus said, her many sins have been forgiven as her great love has shown, but whoever has been forgiven little loves little. The hidden power of her soul came gushing forth with compassionate repenting faith in that something she saw with her spiritual eyes upon Jesus past his physical appearance into the merciful God residing inside. She had the faith that she was at the feet of the very throne of God seeking for another chance knowing only God can forgive sins. Her four points ended with four-given (Luke 7:43-48, 50).
Simon invited Jesus to his home walking shoulder to shoulder and did nothing for Jesus from his entrance to his home to the table of food, but this woman feeling unworthy crawled from the entrance of Simon’s home continually kissing the feet of Jesus, crying enough tears to wash Jesus feet, with her hair drying Jesus feet, and then pouring a jar of perfume over Jesus feet. Simon still did not see with his spiritual eyes the truth of the condition of the woman’s soul or his. He thought he was safe and alright, but his smug righteous state of mind missed the truth that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Ro. 3:23) forming a false godliness making it almost impossible for him to come to the truth (2 Tim 3:5, 7). He was in debt to sin just like the woman. His little debt ended up being the size of a plank over his eyes narrowing his judgment of the woman’s debt in comparison to a spec size (Mtt. 7:3-5).
I have seen certain people sing, worship, pray, speak, walk, talk, and even stand silently that have an aura about them that emulates a life that was once on the rock bottom, but now there is a redemption of anointed light about them that makes one hunger to have that glow in your life. Jesus revealed how all of us can have that special glow beyond our physical appearance. The secret is the amount of love. The woman had a life overflowing with sin and Simon had a life with a smaller amount of sin. If Simon could take that woman’s attitude of great love he could turn his little sin into a gratefulness of redemption like the woman whose faith in the crumbs was enough of a full meal to her needs (Mtt. 15:27). It is not the size of your sin that makes you great. It is the size of your love towards the forgiveness of those sins that makes you great.
The sins in my past and failures of the present (not perfect) drives me to pray that others would see Jesus past my outward appearance, hear Him beyond the sound of my words, and feel Him beyond my physical touch. I no longer want to give the world my darkness, but to give His light. Seeing the power this woman’s heart moves me to tears challenging my love for the Lord and the desire to see that special fresh glow in others. May you find your way past what people say about you or the blindness that is lying to your heart that you are perfectly fine the way you are. What team do you want to be on, Simon the Pharisee (Zero) or the woman (four-given)?