July 12, 2010

Simon's Spiritual Apathy

Luke 7:36-50

“You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.”
Luke 7:44


A wife went into a police station and reported her husband missing. She said, “Please hurry and find my husband. I cannot live without him.” The police asked, “When did he go missing?” She said, “About two weeks ago.” The police wondered, “Why did you wait till now to report this?” She said, “Today is my husband’s payday.” Does this wife really need her husband, or does she just need his money?

In Jesus’ day, a guest in someone’s house would receive at least three welcoming rituals. He would be greeted with a kiss, his feet would be washed, and his head would be anointed with oil. Simon invited Jesus to his house but offered none of those services to Jesus.

Simon’s rudeness showed that he didn’t think much of Jesus. Like many other Pharisees, he was interested in Jesus as a curiosity. Simon was blind to the fact that he himself was a sinner. He judged the woman to be sinful, but as a man who followed the rules of the Pharisees, he believed he kept the whole law. The woman’s sins were public, but Simon’s were more private and refined. He didn’t really care about his guests or neighbors. Simon’s mistreatment of Jesus stood in strong contrast to the grateful love the woman showed Christ.

What’s your reason for entertaining Christ in your life? To impress your neighbors with the company you keep? Or to fall at his feet in thankfulness for the Lord’s love and grace?

Lord, forgive us if we have used you for our own advantage. Fill us with humble gratitude for the amazing grace you’ve shown us. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Jang Ho Park

Jang Ho Park is a pastor in Tacoma, Washington. He and his wife, Jong Boon, have two sons.

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