Tuesday, March 22, 2011

To See His Face

Kneeling behind his feet, she unashamedly wept tears of repentance. Pouring a jar of expensive perfume onto his dusty feet, she continually covered them with her kisses and wiped her tears away with her loose, unbound hair.

Disgraceful. What was she doing here? Surely if Jesus knew what a sinner she was, he would send her away. Wouldn’t he?

However, Jesus rebuked not the woman, but Simon, for his lack of hospitality as Jesus had entered his home. He told a story of two debtors, unable to pay their debts, and asked Simon whose love would be greater after having been forgiven. Simon answered correctly: the one who had been forgiven a greater debt.

Jesus then made the story more personal, explaining to Simon (as he turned toward the woman), “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven….Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:40-50)

She must have looked up into the face of Jesus as he spoke to her. Love she had never known before would have radiated from his eyes, and she would have seen herself reflected there. A pure, spotless bride. Washed clean of her shameful past. Her heart rejoicing, as she embraced his forgiveness and unconditional acceptance, she might have sung a song like this:

When I look into your holiness,
When I gaze into your loveliness,
When all things that surround
Become shadows in the light of you.

When I’ve found the joy of reaching your heart,
When my will becomes enthroned in your love,
When all things that surround
Become shadows in the light of you.

I worship you, I worship you.
The reason I live is to worship you.

(When I Look into Your Holiness by Wayne and Cathy Perrin, 1980 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)

Maybe the condemnation of self-righteous men didn’t stop this immoral woman from courageously following Jesus into a Pharisee’s house (of all places!) because they were mere shadows to her in the light of Jesus. Her extravagant act of worship was her natural response of giving all that she had to this man Jesus, the Messiah, who was holy, lovely, and worthy. She had found the joy of reaching His heart, her unashamed worship had blessed Him, and her will had become enthroned in His love. The reason she now lived was to worship Him.

She had seen His face. And her life was changed.

Changed to a life of worship.


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