This coming Sunday is the last message in the series called “Worship.” Over the last 5 weeks we have learned what “Worship” is: Offering yourself to God is what worship is all about. This act of personal surrender! You may have heard surrender called many things: consecration, making Jesus Lord, taking up your cross, dying to self, yielding to the Spirit.
We are going to look at a story that will empower you to realize that worship can transform your life and be the difference that worshiping God makes in your life. This is a story that’s probably not familiar to many of you, about an encounter that two people had with Jesus. A worship encounter! Two people who seemed rather different, but they actually had a similarity. What they had in common is both of them were untouchable. One person is untouchable because of her unrighteousness. The other person is untouchable because of his self-righteousness.
We meet these two “untouchables” in a story is found Luke’s gospel. SHE was considered untouchable by the Pharisees because of her sinful life. HE was a Pharisees who, as we know, were notorious for their hypocrisy and self-righteousness. Simon, as we know he was called, would not allow himself to be touched. We don’t know the woman’s name, her background, or even specifically what her sin might have been. Many scholars suggest she was a prostitute, but all the text says is that she had lived a sinful life. God has protected her privacy, Praise the Lord. Whatever her story may have been, in this moment she risked all to ask forgiveness from Jesus. As we dig into this moment, we will see that one of these “untouchables” was forever touched by Jesus, while the other remained unchanged.
The woman who worshiped Jesus was a sinner. Our Lord neither denied this, nor minimizes it. It is important to recognize that God draws lost people to Him through worship. As you think through the complex rules and regulations of the Old Testament law, it becomes evident that God established worship for sinners. Otherwise, it would not have been necessary to have all the complicated rules and rituals and sacrifices. Worship, in the Old Testament, was for sinners. Remember Worship is offering yourself to God.
The woman who worshiped at the feet of Jesus was preoccupied with Him, and Him alone. The fact that there were those present who disdained her did not matter, for she cared only about what her Lord thought about her. The fact that many present were hypocrites did not prevent her from worshiping, for her worship was focused on the Savior.
What we can learn from her:
•She KNEW: that Jesus was nearby and accessible; and He is near you now –- look up Acts 17:27-28.
•She BROUGHT: tells us that she brought to her Lord an alabaster box of ointment, which was the token of the love she was to pour out before Him. Have you some token of your love for Him?
•She WEPT: gives us indication of her contrition, her sorrow and her repentance –- look up Psalm 51:17.
•She KNELT: she must have done, in order to wash His feet. Here we have a picture of real humility –- a humble, sinful woman prostrates at the feet of her Lord, maybe even praying in the words of Psalm 51:9-10.
•She KISSED: how wonderful that our Lord should allow her to kiss His feet, and how wonderful that we may come to Him just as she came to Him!
What we can learn from Jesus
•The Lord’s Approval: bring before us our Lord’s loving and gracious words of acclamation. How sweet those words must have been to the woman! She would feel overwhelmed with the sense of His deep understanding, His tender love and His gracious acceptance of her, despite her sinfulness. And the Savior is still willing to receive us if only we will come to Him in our deep need. How about you, have you come to Jesus?
•The Lord’s Forgiveness: The New Testament illustration of Isaiah 1:18, Her sins (like our sins) were literally “as scarlet” and “crimson”, but as she fell at the feet of her Lord and Sin-bearer she was made “white as snow” –- look up Psalm 51:7. The same gracious gift of pardon is offered to all humankind, everywhere–- read Acts 13:38-39.
•The Lord’s Assurance: This is brought before us in verse 48. Could she ever again have any doubt about the full forgiveness that the Lord had given her? She had His sure word upon which to rest, and you and I have the same –- read 1 John 2:12.
•The Lord’s Commission: The Lord said to her “Go…” Yes, she was to go back to her friends, to her home, back to tell others of the wonderful grace of her Lord. And as she went on this journey, back into a new life of fellowship with and service for her Lord, she was to experience Philippians 4:7.
I want you to remember one thing; the best thing our church could hope for is to be filled with weeping sinners.
Dear God, I want confidence like this woman. Confidence to push past my past and find expressions of love for You. Thank You for loving me and empowering me to love You back. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Make Every Day Count!
Come Worship with us Sunday!