Friday, January 29, 2010
She's Been With Jesus
My friend, Tammy (over at Tammy On The Go), posted a statement on her Facebook page a few days ago. It struck a chord in my heart and I asked her permission to use it for this post. "The woman who washed Jesus' feet left the building smelling just like Him.".
I pondered Tammy's words for a couple of days before going to the scriptures and rereading the story (Luke chapter 7). As I read carefully and prayerfully, my heart was, once again, captivated by the love Christ has for us. I am amazed at the ability Jesus had to love, forgive, restore, and renew all those who sought Him with a pure heart.
Jesus had come to dine with a Pharisee named Simon. Since the Pharisees thought themselves superior in knowledge and intellect, one can only assume that Simon invited Jesus out of curiosity and arrogance, not out of respect and honor. It was the custom in those days to offer your guest water to wash their feet and refresh themselves from the dusty rigors of traveling by foot. It was also customary to greet your guest with an embrace of welcome, letting them know you were glad they were in your home. It is of note that Simon did neither. No honor was given to Jesus as a guest. Daily courtesies afforded any traveler were denied Him as He entered into the home of a man whose only mission was to find a fault in One who had no faults.
Into this gathering comes a woman---a woman of ill repute. A woman whose life was sin ridden and empty. Yet, she came to Jesus. The scriptures do not tell us why she came. We do not know what she had in mind when she appeared in Simon's home. Still she came, standing behind Jesus, so ashamed she could not raise her head to look into His eyes. Instead, she fell to her knees, weeping uncontrollably. Her tears mingled with dust on the Saviour's feet and she wiped them away with her hair. She had not come prepared to wash His feet, but she had come prepared to honor Him with an alabaster box filled with precious ointment. No doubt, this cost her much to purchase, the box itself being of great cost, the ointment so valuable that only a box of this material could preserve its fragrance. It was all she had to offer---the most valuable she had to give.
She opened the box at the feet of Jesus. Immediately the crowded room, filled with traveler's dust and empty hearts, became a fragrant repose. The scent of her offering filled the room as she tenderly poured it onto the feet of Jesus, kissing them all the while and honoring Him in the only way she knew. Bowing before the King of Glory, anointing His feet with a priceless ointment, she not only washed the Saviour's feet---she found cleansing for herself as well.
I cannot begin to imagine how she must have felt when Jesus finally spoke. After reproving Simon for his dishonor and lack of respect, Jesus immortalized this dear woman with words of love and forgiveness:
"...her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much..."
Turning His attention to the woman of sin He said to her:
"...thy sins are forgiven...thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace."
With the scent of precious ointment covering her hands, her hair, her face---with the memory of the voice of Jesus ringing in her ears---she left the house of the arrogant Pharisee with something money could not buy. She left forgiven. She left with peace. She left smelling just like Jesus. Wherever she went that day, all could tell she had been with Jesus---she smelled just like Him.
Oh, dear friends, so many times I have come to Jesus with my list of needs and requests, totally ignoring my need to first honor and adore Him. My forgiveness and peace, which comes from His dear hand, is lost in my "pressing" needs and the importance of telling Jesus what He needs to do for me. I leave my box unopened. But today, I am the woman with the alabaster box. Today I want the people I meet to smell Jesus on me. I want His anointing and His presence to be so rich that others can say, "She's been with Jesus.". I want the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon, the sweetness of the Lily of the Valley, to envelope me today so that others may see Jesus in me and glorify Him.
I am certain that this precious woman in our story today had no idea that she would become an inspiration to others because of her selfless act of love. I am also certain that we have no idea ourselves whose life we will touch because of our devotion to a loving Saviour. May the scent of His anointing follow us and may His glory be evident in our lives today. May those we encounter leave us saying, "She's been with Jesus.".