Reflections on Luke (2)

Writing is good for me.  I’m forced to slow down and think and creating prose is very refreshing after a screens day.  And it forces me to turn text into reflection which hopefully becomes action…….

“If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner” (Dinner party host comment about Jesus)

“I’d not noticed the slur on Jesus’ competence and claims here. I’d been so focused on the drama of Jesus and the sinful woman. Simon the pharisee may have invited him as “guest of honour” but he certainly hasn’t shown him any respect.  How did this lady access such a respectable and formal dinner?  Did she perhaps know one of the men?  I bet that then as now, “respectable” members of the establishment were no less tangled with sleaze.  Jesus confirms she was a sinful woman – she did have “many” sins to forgive.  But I’m struck by her abandoned, public, defenceless weeping and honest display of socially risky and costly love for Jesus.  She really was repentant, she was ashamed – and she was thoroughly forgiven.

I’m not sure of the last time I wept at Jesus feet, totally floored by my sinfulness. Such a very public, messy display.  I can recall a couple of episodes of similar grace producing embarrassment – but nothing quite as dramatic as here.  I’m told it’s good for me!!

It’s so easy to assume that a half way competent life and a reasonably cleaned up character are sufficient – after all, it’s easy to measure myself along with others and feel just about ok.  But God is the gold standard and I’m pretty lacking here!  Jesus found it acceptable to be loved and cried on by this complex lady and she must have found “no part of his body language or voice gave her any rejection”.  I have had times when someone has done this to me and said exactly this and all I can say is “how can I possibly reject you – I am so aware of my own shortcomings and sin”

 

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