I cannot read through Luke’s seventh chapter without tears streaming down my face. It is an intersection of wisdom, mercy, love, and truth. It contains one of my all-time favorite verses to ponder. Verse 35 says: “Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.” It is a relatively short verse that contains both deep philosophical truth and straight forward common sense; this one sentence is better than Shakespeare could ever hope to espouse. In our own words, we might say: “The proof is in the pudding” or “It’s where the rubber meets the road.” Here the author relays the vastness of God, as well as recount the promised truth: Scripture will always bear fruit; it will never fail. Rest assured that the results “children” are an extension of God’s will. We will always be assured that the results “children” are an extension of God’s will.
Next is the part that gets me every time. Starting in verse 36, we learn a Pharisee has invited Jesus to his home. Verse 37 tells us: “A woman of the city, who was a sinner” is invited (or crashed the dinner) as well. So, imagine the juxtaposition of the two, on one, had a high-ranking member of the Jewish community and synagogue, and a woman who is culturally thought of as lower than a man to start with and on top of that most likely earns her living as a harlot.
Then comes the part that just pierces my soul. She wets his feet with her tears, wipes off the tears with her hair and anoints him with oil. The Pharisee is likely having a coronary at this point, now feeling the need to straighten out Jesus with the truth as he sees it. Jesus then instead of simply rebuking Simon (vs. 39-50) asks him a question about measuring debt vs. forgiveness and Simon answers correctly. Then the teachable moment arrives. Jesus turns to the woman but speaks to Simon recounting what she did to honor him vs. what he did to honor him. We can only imagine his embarrassment when confronted with the truth in love. My guess is it changed forever the lives of everyone in that room.
Here is my problem, I long to have the insight and courage of the woman but far too often my actions resemble the Pharisee. Let’s pray for us all to have the courage and willingness to honor the King in all that we do each day. That is my prayer for you, and I ask that it be your prayer not only for me but also for the entire Trinity community.