Oh, today you and I are going to study one of the most beautiful acts of worship in the Bible. Yesterday we studied a story in the Bible about communal worship and today, you and I are going to another dinner party. This is becoming a regular thing for you and I, and we are going to study the most beautiful act of personal worship, I believe, in the whole Bible. Join me, will you?
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Oh, today you and I are going to study one of the most beautiful acts of worship in the Bible. Last time on the Bible for Busy People… By the way, I’m Erica, your host, we studied a story in the Bible about communal worship. King Jehoshaphat leading all of the Israelites to bow down and worship and trust their God who had been faithful in the past, who they knew would be faithful again. But today, you and I are going to another dinner party. This is becoming a regular thing for you and I, and we are going to study the most beautiful act of personal worship, I believe, in the whole Bible. Join me now in Luke chapter seven, beginning in verse 36.
One of the Pharisees,
They were the religious rulers of the day. By the way, the ones who were kind of always picking on Jesus. So…
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. 37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.
I want to pitch a tent here because what a beautiful gift this woman gave her Lord. By pouring perfume on the feet of Jesus and kissing his feet and crying on his feet and drying his feet with her hair, she was saying, my hope, my only hope is in you. I worship you. I look to you, Lord, just as King Jehoshaphat did, as you and I met last time. Lord, we’re looking to you for help. This woman whose life had gone off the rails at some point knew that she had gotten off at the hope exit when she heard about Jesus. We don’t know from this story if they had ever met before. Perhaps she was a person in the crowd one day who heard the words of hope that Jesus was always speaking. And she knew she had to go to him. She had to worship him in her own beautiful way. So, let’s see what happens at this dinner party, because let’s talk about it. It took guts to do this. It took putting aside her personal pride and laying that at the feet of Jesus. The feet that were wet by her tears and dried by her hair. It’s such a touching story to me. Alright, verse 39 now.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
Now, remember what we just read. He thought this. He didn’t say it out loud.
Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied. 41 Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” 43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.” “That’s right,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. 47 “I tell you, her sins—
And I picture Jesus looking at this woman so tenderly now.
and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?” 50 And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Again, faith and worship linked together. It was an act of faith to walk into that dinner party. It was an act of worship to break that perfume bottle open, and it was personal. It was between her and Jesus, even though they were surrounded by people whose noses were wrinkled, and who thought that she was beneath them. Jesus accepted her beautiful act of worship. Our tears are precious to God. I believe to Jesus in that moment, her tears were more valuable than that very rare perfume that scholars say would’ve cost a year’s worth of wages. Do you know what the Bible says about this woman’s tears and your tears and mine? We find out in Psalm 56, I’m going to go all King James on you here because it’s such a beautiful verse. Psalm 56, verse eight.
Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
Your tears are so precious to God that he keeps them. I picture this gigantic window up in heaven and the glass is perfectly clean and lined up on the sill is bottle after bottle. All the colors of the rainbow and each bottle is filled with our tears. Perhaps he even puts our names on the bottles. I don’t know how God works, but that’s what I love to picture. Have you ever dried the tears of your child? Have you ever swiped your finger beneath the eyes of one of your children? Have you ever taken a tissue and dabbed at their eyes because you love them so much? You want to catch their tears. This is how loved you are and how loved I am. Until tomorrow, remember that. Remember the depth of his love for you. He keeps your tears in his bottle. Yes, you are loved.
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