Tuesday, 29 August 2023
“God's wisdom, however, is shown to be true by all who accept it.” -Luke 7:35[GNT]
The varied responses of a few people to Jesus stand out in our reading today. Their perception of Jesus was reflected in the way they spoke and acted towards Him. Let’s try to reflect on these characters and see if our lives mirror any of their characteristics in the manner we have perceived or received the Saviour of the world.
John the Baptist-miscalculated Christ’s mission
Though John the Baptist had once declared Him to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), had probably been wearied by the distress he had to undergo nearing the end of his ministry. He like the other Jews, may have construed the coming Messiah to be a political deliverer. Jesus spoke to John’s envoys: “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (V22). Jesus’ works proved His mission! This was a fulfilment of the prophecy spoken in Isaiah 61:1.
There are many today who have accepted the Person/message of Christ to suit their social/political thinking; not accepting Him fully for who He is!
Simon the Pharisee- a misplaced outlook
Simon who invited Jesus for a meal was typical of the Pharisaical outlook and behavior. He would have seen Jesus to be a good teacher who would give a good discourse in front of his special invitees at the dinner table. The “better-than-thou” attitude is so evident in his talk and action. He could not go beyond the society’s outlook of the sinful woman and see how her life would be transformed by the Person and Preaching of Christ! Simon’s self-righteous attitude led him to find fault with Christ and His dealings with the outcast of the society.
We too can get so caught up with our human perceptions of others that we often fail to see what Christ can do to transform lives- even the worst of sinners are made saints through His mercy and grace! May we not look down on those we feel least deserve His grace!
The Forgiven woman- merited Christ’s grace
No one would have expected the outcast lady to have taken center stage in our reading today. Jesus raises her status in the society from one who was looked down on as sinful and rejected, to one who loved and honoured Him. He was quick to perceive her repentant heart that poured out her tears and willingly offered all of her life at the Lord’s feet. The fragrance of the oil she poured on His feet was a symbol of how her life had become a fragrant offering for Christ in her wholehearted acceptance of Him. The grace of Christ poured into her sin-ridden life brought forth sweet aroma.
No one is beyond the grace of God! Christ is still in the business of transforming lives even to this day- provided one comes to Him willing for a new turnover in life, by repenting of sin and humbly giving his/her life to be under His reign.
Coming to the key verse- the wisdom of God is proved true by those who accept it—through Christ, His revealed Word and His Spirit. Those who apply it in their lives, will surely enjoy its benefits just as in the case of the forgiven woman who took Christ at His word! Her faith in Christ brought her salvation (V.50). Will you allow Christ and His message to transform you?
Food for thought: "The same Jesus Who turned water into wine can transform your home, your life, your family, and your future. He is still in the miracle-working business, and His business is the business of transformation." - Adrian Rogers
Listen: 'Humbled by Your Majesty'