Broken, spilled out

“And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:6-7, 9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:36-39‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Broken, spilled out

I have had a love affair with the word of God these many years. There are so many nuggets, so many little things placed within it that are instructive to the follower of Jesus. It is magical how the Bible can be translated from language to language, losing none of its power, as it is communicated to the heart by way of the Holy Spirit.

In my deep reading of Scripture, I sometimes run into questions, that lead me a bit befuddled. One such is the account of “Simon the Leper.” Early on in my studies, I began study greek and Hebrew lexicons and dictionaries, hoping to gain understanding. I also touched on Aramaic, which was the spoken language of the time and place.

I discovered that the word for “leper” was almost the same as the word for “jar maker”. Garba is the word for leper in Aramaic, and garaba is the word for jar maker. I have often wondered if, somehow, the words were interchanged.

When I go back to those passages, with that transposition in mind, a deeper narrative is unearthed, as depth of hypocrisy, sin, and pride, and humiliation, run headlong into the righteousness of God.

The woman, of alleged ill repute, manages to enter the home of a powerful Pharisee. These houses were not like modern homes or today, where you enter the front door and you are in the main room, but there was likely a labyrinth of hallways, and heavy security. I’m sure the gathering for Jesus was in the inner depth of the house.

But the woman knew exactly where to go, and had no trouble getting there. I suspect she had been there before.

Imagine Simon’s consternation, and possible embarrassment, as this woman took a handmade jar, perhaps one that he had made, filled and presented to her as payment for her sex work. This precious item is broken and spilled out, anointing the Lord.

“And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.””
Luke 7:40-48 NKJV

In that moment, this woman of ill repute, laid aside her pride, bowed in humiliation to honor the One who would be her savior. Though deemed low by those who watched her, she alone found salvation at the feet of Jesus. In the very presence of those who knew her, she was broken and spilled out.

She came to Jesus seeking forgiveness, for she had many sins. The Pharisee, in his own righteousness, did not welcome Jesus as was the custom for guests, but neglected him.

One of the hardest things in life is admitting one’s sinfulness in the presence of those with whom one has sinned.

Brothers and sisters, many of us have come from homes where our grand parents were Christian, our parents Christian, we ourselves Christian, and even our kids have gone into the baptistry at a young age. For many with such lineage, the stain of gross sin has not been visited upon their lives, leaving the deep damage.

For more of us, who much like the woman, have been saved from many sins, we are like the woman, broken and spilled out.

In these darkening days, we are dealing with many who come to the cross with deep sinfulness’s and dark pasts. Let us not be like the Simon, standing pious, filled with hypocrisy, judging those who sin differently from him. Let us be willing to reach out to others with the balanced message of the Gospel.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16 NKJV

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 NKJV

Let all of us be willing to lay down what we hold dear, if it separates us from a most Holy God, or inhibits others from coming to the cross.

Let us more so be willing to tell our stories of redemption, of our lives filled with many sins, forgiven my our Savior. Let us be broken and spilled out, that the aroma of salvation fills the lives of others.

THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me you requests!

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