When a Pharisee throws a party, it is an A lister. Only the elite are invited and, conversely, everyone invited considers themselves the elite. One such event takes place in Luke 7:36-50.
During this particular dinner party, Jesus was the guest of honor. There is great irony in that all of the guests felt completely worthy to be there. I imagine them sitting in various places around the room. There was probably some eating and some drinking and some small talking. I can tell you what did not take place because Jesus is quick to point it out.
No one gave him any water to clean his feet (Luke 7:44.)
No one kissed him in greeting (Luke 7:45.)
No one anointed his head with oil (Luke 7:46.)
They all treated him quite casually. They were oblivious to the fact that they stood in the presence of the Messiah. They were standing on holy ground and didn’t even know it because, when a Pharisee throws a party, it’s all about the Pharisee. This becomes obvious when Simon, the Pharisee, opens his mouth.
If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner. – Luke 7:39
All of the invited guests are enjoying themselves when, suddenly, she walks into the room. She was known in that city. One of the gutsiest moves in all of Scripture – right up there with David standing toe to toe with Goliath – was when this woman crossed the threshold of that house. What was she looking for that night?
All I know is that, whatever it was, she had come to the right place. Clearly, she had hit rock bottom. She didn’t care about the knowing eyes that watched her walk across the room. She didn’t care about the I know what you’ve done whispers. She didn’t care about the way everyone inched away lest her dress brush against them and defile their garments.
When a Pharisee throws a party, appearances are everything. But when a woman is desperate for something more, the last thing that matters is whether or not she has an appropriate party dress.
For all of their Pharisaical knowledge, she knew what none of those men knew. Something about the way Jesus looked at her – something in the way He didn’t pull away when she came near – she knew who Jesus was and it was more than she could bear. Her tears fell unchecked and no one else in that room mattered.
She bathed Him with her tears.
She covered Him with kisses.
She anointed Him with oil.
She honored Him the way no one else at the party had done. She loved him with everything she had and, whatever she had come looking for, she received it and more.
And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50 (emphasis mine)
When we come to Jesus in humility and faith, we are able to leave in peace. We bring our baggage but we leave with freedom. We come in shame but we leave forgiven. We enter His presence as that woman but we leave as His beloved.
You are loved. ❤
Optional Study Notes:
Luke 7:37-38 How desperate are you to be where Jesus is? How lavish is your love for Him?
Luke 7:39 What did Simon see? (a sinner)
Luke 7:44 What did Jesus want him to see? (the woman)