29 June, 2022

April 10 | Application

by | 4 April, 2022

What We All Have in Common

By David Faust

They appeared to have nothing in common at all. People treated him like gold and they treated her like dirt.

Scripture mentions her reputation but not her name, identifying her simply as a “woman in that town who lived a sinful life” (Luke 7:37). Was she a prostitute? Perhaps. Simon, on the other hand, was a well-regarded Pharisee. Their social circles never intersected. Her group of friends never interacted with his, and he meticulously avoided people like her. But when Simon hosted a dinner party with Jesus as a guest, she slipped into the house uninvited.

Jesus’ words and deeds that evening moved the woman to cry and moved the Pharisee to criticize (see Luke 7:36-50). The woman wept so hard that her tears poured down on Jesus’ feet, and she grabbed the only towel available (her own long hair) to dry them. Spontaneously, she kissed Jesus’ feet and poured perfume on them. The Pharisee looked on with disdain, angry at the awkward way this uninvited guest had interrupted his dinner party with all her weeping, wiping, and wailing.

Answering Unspoken Questions

Notice Simon’s train of thought and his faulty conclusions. “If this man were a prophet,” he said to himself . . . but Jesus was a prophet, and more! “He would know” . . . ah, but he did know! . . . “who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

Jesus knew exactly what kind of woman she was. He came to seek, serve, and save people like her. The real problem? Simon didn’t realize what kind of Savior Jesus was, nor did Simon recognize what kind of sinner he himself was.

 “Jesus answered him” (v. 40), although the Pharisee hadn’t spoken his skeptical thoughts out loud. How startled Simon must have been when Jesus directly addressed his unspoken criticisms! The Lord told a little story to illustrate a practical point: Someone who has a large debt canceled appreciates it more than someone who has a small debt canceled. The more we recognize the magnitude of our sin-debt, the more we appreciate God’s forgiveness.

Our Common Problem

The unnamed woman and the self-righteous Pharisee had more in common than it appeared, for they were both sinners. And by the end of the evening, Jesus surprised everyone by turning the situation around. The man most viewed as righteous turned out to be the one who failed, and the woman known for her sin was commended for her faith. That evening, Simon hadn’t even shown Jesus common courtesies, but the woman honored the Lord by washing and kissing his feet. Forgiven more, she loved more.

This story is a wake-up call when we’re tempted to slip into self-righteousness. Without Christ, we are all in the same boat and it’s sinking. Some sins are more obvious than others, but we all desperately need God’s grace. How will we respond to Christ, the grace-giver? Will we be like cynical Simon, looking down our noses at others and even daring to criticize the Lord himself? Or will we be like the tearful woman, moved to sincere and uninhibited repentance?

This story teaches us to lay aside our pride and fall humbly at Jesus’ feet. Only then can we fully appreciate the Master’s words: “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (v. 50).

Personal Challenge: How much has God forgiven you—a little, or a lot? How deep is your love for the Lord? How much do you appreciate his forgiveness? If you had attended the Pharisee’s dinner party, would you have joined the woman at Jesus’ feet, or would you have kept your distance and silently found fault?

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com

0 Comments

Latest News

Fire Destroys Iowa City Church Building (Plus Other News Briefs)

The Iowa City Church building was destroyed in an early morning fire Saturday as a strong storm that produced lightning and caused flash flood warnings rolled through the area. . . . Plus briefs from Tonganoxie Christian Church, Casas por Cristo, Garfield Christian Church, and more.

Roe v. Wade Has Been Overturned . . . What Now?

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday, the church has a lot to consider. How will we love people with whom we disagree? How can we say we love babies and we love women? How can we share Jesus? How can we best serve our communities?

Fresno Church Sponsoring Summer Camp for Afghan Refugee Children

CrossCity Christian Church in Fresno, Calif., is spearheading an effort to offer a summer camp for Afghan refugee children in its community. Forty families relocated to Fresno after the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer. CrossCity has been sponsoring one of those families . . .

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Owen Crouch’s ‘Study of Acts 2:44, 45’ (1953)

Greek scholar Owen Crouch was mentioned earlier this week in an article about Del Harris’s induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Dr. Crouch served several Christian colleges and wrote 10 books. Today we share an article from 1953 that Dr. Crouch wrote about Acts 2:44-45.

e2: effective elders Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary (Plus News Briefs)

e2: effective elders is marking 10 years as a nonprofit parachurch ministry. During that time, e2 has trained more than 9,600 elders and church leaders. Also briefs about the Church of Christ on Lewis Street (in Little Rock), Tony Darling, Jack Cottrell, and more.

Follow Us