Bread Trail, continuing our journey to Resurrection Sunday we explore Jesus' Anointing and celebrate our 5th year anniversary.
This week, Charlie Reyes-Weiss shares his thoughts and reflections on Sunday's message.
Pastor Rich’s sermon on Luke 7:37-50 focused on a key element of Jesus’s character, His anointing. The story fully displays how He is 100% man, and at the same time 100% God. A few themes from the sermon which really resonated with me are how Jesus gives a voice to our suffering, the posture of the woman who is clearly portrayed as an outcast, and how He is concerned for not only the confessing sinner, but even the arrogant and proud who justify themselves by their religiosity.
There was clearly no reservation in the woman’s determination to meet Jesus. Despite how everyone at the party which she was not even invited to would view her, and despite her shame, she had to meet with the king of kings and lay out her iniquities at His feet. Pastor Rich spoke on how Jesus shows deep concern for those on the margins, and this was such a prime example. Not only did He allow her to come as she was, He allowed a woman who Simon the Pharisee and the other guests viewed as more wicked then them to kiss and anoint His feet. This interaction between Jesus and the woman shows his compassion, and how set apart He is from His creation.
Pastor Rich also made great connections in showing how Jesus’ actions opened up the eyes and exposed the heart of Simon the Pharisee, and probably the other guests at the party as well. Simon believed in his heart that he didn’t need forgiveness the way that the sinful woman did. He believed that all of his discipline towards keeping the law made him righteous before God. Jesus exposes this through a parable of a moneylender and two debtors, one with a large debt and one with a smaller debt. Both were forgiven, but Simons hesitation to respond to Jesus when asked which one would love the debt collector more exposed his true lack of knowledge about who God really was. Jesus was simultaneously exposing Simon’s heart while putting God’s character on full display.
There is so much relief in knowing that all my best efforts to obey and follow God are not what saves me. There is freedom in knowing that Jesus offers forgiveness and reconciliation as a free gift. As Pastor Rich conveyed, the woman knew that she couldn’t do anything apart from Jesus. Her posture of humility, reverence, and unadulterated faith was an example of the only clear response to such a loving God as the one we serve.