Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, December 22, 2014
Based Upon Luke 7
How much more humbling an experience can someone have than to bow and wash another person’s feet?
We read of the story of Jesus preparing for His crucifixion and teaching the last object lesson of humility to His disciples. Although He knew that they would all forsake Him and flee when the rubber met the road, and one disciple in particular would out right betray Him into enemy hands, He humbled Himself and washed their feet. How much more humbling an experience can someone have than to bow and wash another person’s feet?
Then we have another story of such washing. Except this time the one doing the washing was not the high and holy One. It was a lowly woman who had been dejected, bound, abused, and sought vital connection with her Lord. It is true that she was what would have been considered an unsavory character, but is that not what we all are despite the fact that we convince ourselves otherwise? She knew Jesus would be at Simon the Pharisee’s house and would stop at nothing to show her gratitude. Of course, as was often the case, this leader murmured in his mind that if Jesus were a holy prophet, He would certainly have known what kind of woman touched Him, and would most certainly not have allowed her to do so. She worshipped Her loving Lord with her tears of experience, the richest ointments of her love, and the hair which was her beauty. She held Jesus in supreme regard as she kissed His feet, yet the Pharisee chose to criticize her homage and her God, rather than humble himself in gratitude.
Jesus saw Simon’s ingratitude, criticism, and disdain. Knowing all things, Jesus checked him for it. Simon, despite the fact that he hosted Christ, did not give him water to bathe His feet. Simon, despite the fact that he hosted Christ, did not greet Him with a kiss. Simon, despite the fact that he hosted Christ, did not anoint His head with oil. Incidentally, if you study Scripture closely, you will discover that the same Simon the Pharisee, was also Simon the Leper. You read correctly. The same person, who was considered one of the spiritual elite, was once considered among the most outcast of society due to what many considered to be a scourge from God—leprosy. This man, chose to forget how great God had been to him and snubbed another person’s worship.
This story offers us many great lessons. Among them is that Jesus welcomes humble, loving offerings of worship. The fact that this woman was a career sinner actually recommended her to Christ, because she was willing to surrender her will to Christ. As Jesus said, those who embrace their forgiveness most, also love most. It is unfortunate that Simon forgot that God had graciously healed him. He had the greatest Person who ever lived in his house an missed the ultimate healing.
So, in light of this story, we too have a choice to make. These two characters have modeled for us the two paths we can choose: We can either be forgiven and humbly love much, or reject the richest blessing of healing the world would ever know. Upon this, we should meditate throughout the day. Which will you choose?