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Pastor's Column 3/10/2024

PASTOR’S COLUMN


“Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that He goes around forgiving sins?” And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” Luke 7:44-50, NLT


“The Real Jesus!”


There are few narratives in the life of Jesus that grab our attention, and kindle our passions, like the description of the woman who, against many odds, served our Lord sincerely and reverently. Perhaps this is so, because some translations have described her in a disingenuous manner. She’s often portrayed as a woman of moral turpitude; who seem to have appeared, uninvited, at the dinner of a wealthy citizen, who had invited Jesus as the guest of honor. Such occasions were taken seriously in Middle Eastern culture, and the host was expected to show full hospitality to the guests. Invitations were sent out, and invited guests were “expected” to attend. It was considered a great dishonor to be invited to such an affair, but to not show up. On the other hand, to appear at such a venue, uninvited, was much worse; and such persons were thrown out. Strangely, Jesus was deprived of the honored acts of welcome. The woman filled this void with sincerity; and with a broken heart. Jesus saw this sincerity, and gave her forgiveness and healing. This incident portrays the authentic Jesus; the real Jesus, who meets us where we are. This happened after the death of Lazarus and before the Crucifixion. It parallels the anointing of Jesus by Mary the sister of Lazarus. This story is to be told, because it is at the heart of why Jesus has come!

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