“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at this feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” Luke 7:36-38
These verses were part of our Sunday School lesson last week. The point of the study was that we are not only to love Jesus, but to love him extravagantly, like the sinful woman in the story. The Pharisee was offended by the woman’s actions. He thought to himself,
“If this man were a prophet, he would know who was touching him and what kind of woman she is –that she is a sinner.” Luke 39
He didn’t realize that he also was a sinner, and in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness. No matter how “good” we are, we fall far short of God’s standards.
Some of the questions from the study were very challenging to me, so I thought I would share them here.
- In what ways could we express extravagant devotion to Jesus today?
Those in class listed things like prayer and helping others. However, if the key word is extravagant, then shouldn’t we not only pray, but pray constantly and fervently? Shouldn’t we not just give to the church and to the needy, but give sacrificially?
- With whom do you relate more: Simon the Pharisee, who knows the Bible and is very active for God, or this woman, who is recklessly abandoned to love Him? Explain.
Most of us wanted to say we fell somewhere in between. This is a hedging way of saying, we’re not really there yet. In honesty, we probably fall closer to the Pharisee on the spectrum of devotion to Jesus. This is something we need to admit and work on.
What about you, dear reader? Is your love for your Lord and Savior extravagant?
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