I'm so glad you are here! I hope during your visit you get a glimpse of God's heart for we become what we are gazing at. Currently I am writing my way through Judges sharing glimpses of God's heart and character for a weekday devotional. To check out the entire series so far head on over the the Judges Devotional. And if you blog, come on over on Friday's for a blog link up.
Luke 7:36-50 tells us a beautiful story of a prostitute who saw who Jesus and was moved to action. She made a choice to give Him something incredibly precious and valuable to her, her perfume, her livelihood. The most important thing to a prostitute was their perfume, which this lady held in this alabaster jar. Her devotion was sacrificial, intentional and it was courageous.
Yet from the moment Jesus entered Simon’s house, he did not give him a basin to wash His feet and did not greet Him with a kiss. This would be like bringing a special guest into your home and not opening the door for them, taking their coat and saying hello. What Simon did was very offensive. I wonder if he was slightly jealous of Jesus and that is why he went out of his way to try to show Jesus was nothing special. Perhaps this is why the prostitute is crying. Wondering, “Don’t they know who He is? Why are they treating Him this way?”
I love how Jesus doesn’t just sweep things under the carpet, but addresses attitudes and actions. He brings this offense to Simon’s attention as well as bring truth to the lies he was believing. A humble man at this point would apologize for his lack of respect and thank the woman for compensating for his rudeness. But Simon is not able to recognize his faults, but is only able to point the finger at the woman.
Still talking to Simon, Jesus turns to the woman. How beautiful! He is looking right into her eyes and starts bragging on her in front of the entire room of people. Who in these men’s worlds would be the most undeserving of honor? A prostitute woman, but Jesus seizes the opportunity to brag on her because of her faith.
This story is incredibly shocking to the men in that room because not only does Jesus praise and honor a despised women, but goes on to make her the noble hero. And His honoring of her publicly brings with it the benefit of restoring her to community.
There is a need to come along side the people God has put in our life and help them overcome sin. Gal. 6:1 says "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted." We are called to correct our brothers and sisters in Christ but the word restore is the word to mend a net or set a broken bone. Very carefully, gently. Not with a pointing finger but a loving arm wrapped around them. To bring truth, yet grace by going through the mess with them. But after they turn back to Jesus in submission, they need to be restored to community. And the community needs to receive them without holding back love or respect. They deserve to be treated with respect just like Jesus treated the prostitute.
The Israelites are pretty strange picture of this. They were fighting against the Benjaminites and now they are doing everything they can think of to help them. Their motives aside, it is something to consider. Are you this quick to turn and fight for someone you were just fighting against?
"And the elders of the assembly said, "With the women of Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left? The Benjamite survivors must have heirs," they said, "so that a tribe of Israel will not be wiped out. We can't give them our daughters as wives, since we Israelites have taken this oath: 'Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to a Benjamite.' But look, there is the annual festival of the LORD in Shiloh, to the north of Bethel, and east of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem, and to the south of Lebonah." So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, "Go and hide in the vineyards and watch. When the girls of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, then rush from the vineyards and each of you seize a wife from the girls of Shiloh and go to the land of Benjamin. When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, 'Do us a kindness by helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war, and you are innocent, since you did not give your daughters to them.' " So that is what the Benjamites did. While the girls were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife. Then they returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and settled in them."
Oh Lord, help us be truth speakers in the gentle arms of grace and also community restorers. Help us be people who honor, who brag about other believers behind their back that the world would know You are God. Give us eyes to see people like you do so we will know what to brag about and how to honor them. Make us more like you!
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Tomorrow is the last day of the Glimpse of Glory in Judges series and then it's Creation Revealing the Glory of God! I'm pretty sure I've never been this excited about a series before! Subscribe so you don't miss anything.
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5/2/2012 03:25:32 am
I love how you study the word and bring new insights through your writing. Community is so important. I want to be someone that can be counted on to build another up, and not tear them down. Just think what the world would be like if we daily practied what you wrote about and didn't get side tracked by our desires. What a wonderful place it would be!
5/4/2012 07:55:45 am
I love you take on this story. This reminds of how we should be treating ANYONE who comes into our home as a special guest...
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