The sinful woman (most likely a prostitute) comes to Simon’s home. A gathering of “religious” folks are there and Jesus is in their presence. There is an appropriateness to these things, a “right way” do behave in public, socially acceptable behavior, manors…
The woman isn’t interested in the “right way” to do things. She is there to crash the party. Jesus is there and she must have an audience with him. Caring less about what the religious leaders thought was proper, she threw herself at Jesus’ feet and kissed them. Her tears flew so freely that they washed his feet and she wiped them with her hair. The expensive perfume she had bought was broken open and she anointed his feet.
She was forgiven much. Huge sins. A disgusting, degrading life. And she was forgiven. And…she knew it. She knew she was forgiven and more importantly, she knew she unworthy of this forgiveness, she didn’t deserve it. Grace. She felt the sweet rush of grace.
Simon was a different matter. He was the “good kid”, the rule keeper, the guy who always tried to appear religious and appear to have it all together. He’d lived most all his life trying to keep the law.
And so…he truly didn’t understand his need for grace. His need for forgiveness. In fact, it probably was an honor for Jesus to be in Simon’s home among all the other “leaders” of the day.
Do you see why humility is so crucial to this entire process, to our entire walk with Jesus? Simon wasn’t humble. He was pious. He was righteous. He was a “good” person.
All this woman knew was gratitude. She knew how desperately lost she was, what a train-wreck her life was and she knew Jesus had forgiven her and so the only thing she could bring to show great love. She didn’t care what other people thought. She’d raise her hands during the worship music. She didn’t care if it wasn’t appropriate. She would tell anyone who would listen – and some who wouldn’t listen – about Jesus, about her train-wreck, and about her complete restoration that was utterly undeserved and so she was flooded with gratitude. “She who has much forgiven, loves much”
Simon – so focused on how religious he was – thought he deserved and thus he didn’t need gratitude. That’s the difference. “He who has little forgiven, loves little.”
Gratitude opens your soul to experience love and then you’ll become a great lover of others. How’s your heart? Do you feel like no one truly loves you? Do you feel like you can’t truly love others? Do you feel like your capacity for love is the size of a thimble or that you almost have this emotional defect where love is just simply missing? It may have to do with gratitude. Part II is coming and we’ll talk about this more next week at ManSchool.
gratitude & humility…