Scripture Reference: Luke 7:36-50, Rev 22:17
Even if you would show up, you would be very uncomfortable in the presence of the person you owe. That, unfortunately, is how we are with God. Whether born again or not, our biggest problem is that feeling of distance, that fear that you are not clean enough or that you need to do a number of things, settle the score as it were then you would feel confident to show up.
In Luke 7:36-50↓, Jesus is invited to the house of a Pharisee who is called Simon the leper. While He was at the table, a sinful woman or rather as the Bible puts it, an ‘especially sinful woman’ who had heard that Jesus was going to be around, came and kneeling at His feet, started to wash His feet with her tears. Now this was a very awkward scene. A sinful woman washing the feet of a holy man and touching them and kissing them was a huge scandal. Simon thought so for in his mind he wondered if Jesus knew what sort of woman was touching him.
But Jesus knew, for He knows what is in the very depths of hearts. He knows our struggles, our pain, and our sorrows. He knew her heart just as he knew the heart of Simon. Simon only wanted to be seen with Jesus so that it would be known that he knew a great man but in his heart, he was not fully convinced. He saw Jesus as just another famous figure but this sinful adulterous woman saw her savior, a person she could connect with. It was not right for women in those days to be unusually around men let alone touch them in public places. According to the law, when an unclean person touched you, you became unclean. But there was something about the character of Jesus that made this woman dare not only to come in His presence but perform a high act of worship.
God is about heart transformation, not behavior modification.
The problem with religion and the law is that it is far more pre-occupied with how things seem on the outside than the inside. It is too preoccupied with decorum and what is seemingly proper in the eyes of society. Usually, it is superficial. The problem with being raised in an environment where the emphasis is on outward appearance as opposed to heart condition is that we miss out on the reality of Christ. We become like Simon, thinking that our sins can make Jesus unclean. We become pre-occupied with “holiness” in a sense but not in the right sense. [Holiness is not what brings us to Christ but rather Christ is the One who brings us to holiness] We forget the heart of our Savior and His mandate. This woman knew something about Jesus yet she risked it all. Notably, she did not even say a word but in her brokenness and in her tears Jesus was able to see her heart.
Our guilt and shame call on us to run and hide. The devil does his part to accuse us. Self-righteousness tells us that we must do something to make this right. But grace says come as you are. It is not only a call to those who need salvation but it is a call to believers every day to show up and not to hide. Why? Because the debt has already been paid by Jesus, once and for all. The price has already been paid and we have been given access to the throne of grace.
A dirty person goes to the bathroom to get cleaned. We cannot make Jesus unclean. Rather it is Him who makes us clean. I love this story of the woman with the alabaster box because in her brokenness and her awkwardness, this woman was able to worship Jesus in a way that a self-righteous Simon could not. As Jesus Himself pointed out to Simon, she offered more because her heart was honest.
God is not looking for pretentious worship. He is looking for real raw truthful worship. Truthful worship is laying yourself bare in front of your Savior for He already knows what burdens you carry. Our relationship with Jesus is not a point proving excursion but it is a simple loving relationship.
It matters not where you have been today or yesterday or five minutes ago, just go to your Father in your pig clothes and your pig smell. He will wash you clean and give you the robe of righteousness and restore you to your position. The thing with Him is that He never leaves us as we are. The woman came in a sinner and left forgiven and redeemed. Staying away from Christ will not solve anything because you have no power to forgive and heal yourself. Rather approach that throne of grace. Show up as you are and let Him do the work.
There is nothing impossible with God. No sin is too great. No burden is too heavy. No barrier is too big. Come as you are for everything has already been settled at the cross. You need only SHOW UP.
Revelation 22:17↓And the spirit and the bride say, ‘come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.