A Pharisee had requested Jesus to dine with him. However, when Jesus arrived, He was not treated very well by the host! This would be like me stopping by your house when you knew I was coming. But instead of getting up to let me in, you simply unlocked the door and then returned to sit with some people already there. Instead of speaking to me, you just continued your conversation, hardly acknowledging my presence, encouraging other guests to follow suit. Instead of offering me food or something to drink—which you had an abundance of, I helped myself finding my own cup in the cupboard and opening doors until I found a plate. Or even requiring me to ask, “Can I have some of this?” Instead of finding a chair and making room for me at the table, I would be forced to stand as I ate my food—or go find my own chair. Which for me personally, if it’s that bad, I probably by this point would not be interested in sitting at your table anyway. I’d probably have gotten the hint loud and clear and be on my way out as fast as you can say “rejected!”
Luke 7:45-46 NASB
“You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.”
But culturally Jesus was treated this way by this Pharisee, even though the Pharisee had requested Jesus’ presence. Yet Jesus graciously ate a meal with the man and his other guests despite the host’s poor treatment of Him. However, during the meal a woman came in and honored Jesus the way He deserved to be honored, bringing the man’s poor hospitality into the open. Yet it wasn’t until Jesus pointed it out that the man understood. Jesus told the Pharisee a parable explaining, “he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47). The woman who came in and anointed Jesus’ feet with oil had been forgiven much and therefore loved much.
In this story, I think we often relate to Jesus and are grateful that He endured being mistreated as we are mistreated. Yet sometimes we relate to the woman thinking we’re great sinners in need of Jesus so much that we’re willing to interrupt a dinner in order to anoint His feet with oil. Yet I wonder how often we catch ourselves acting like the Pharisee, favoring some and judging others. Truth is, depending on the day, I’m sure we find ourselves in either situation. Let us pray to be ones who have been forgiven much who therefore love much as a result. Amen!
This is an excerpt taken from my upcoming book 365 Living Words: A Devotional Applying God’s Word to our Daily Lives.