Scripture: Luke 7:36-50
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
The woman in this passage is labeled in two ways– “sin” was what she was known for and “sinner” is what she was called. Therefore, when she enters the home of the Pharisee, boldly and humbly, all the house guests see is “sin.” However, Jesus sees something else. He sees who she could be in spite of what she’d done. He sees the daughter he created.
The woman knew she was a sinner. She knew how others saw her. She knew she needed forgiveness and Jesus was the only One who could grant this forgiveness to her. With this hope and desperation, she comes to the feet of Jesus.
In this same moment, the Pharisee could only see the woman’s sin. His eyes were clouded with judgment– so much so, that he couldn’t see how wrong he was and how right she was. Jesus asks the Pharisee, ”Do you see this woman?” Do you see her repentant heart? Do you see the deep love she has for me? Do you see the courage it took for her to come in a place where she would be judged? Do you really see her?”
Friends, God is asking the same of us each day. When we judge our neighbor– other parents, our co-workers, those sitting next to us in church, the man or woman struggling with homelessness, the pregnant teen, the couple going through a divorce, etc… God is asking us, “Do you see them? Do you really see them? Can you look past the labels and really see them? Can you see that they need the love and grace of the Father as much as you do?”
Maybe you identify with the woman and find yourself in your story as one who has been labeled. Maybe you are carrying labels that have been spoken over you that need to be pierced by Jesus’ eyes of love and grace. Jesus removes these labels and gives you a name: You are the beloved child of the King, not in need of shame and condemnation, but worthy of the love, grace and forgiveness of your Father.
Whether you are part of those standing in judgement or those being judged, God wants us to see each other the way He sees us– loved, forgiven and worthy.
- What labels might you be carrying that need to be surrendered to God so that He can bring His healing power and rest over you?
- How can you practice seeing others with the eyes of Jesus? Take some time to confess, repent, and renew your commitment to seeing those around you with Jesus’ eyes.
Soul Care Practice
Become aware of God’s loving presence and imagine Jesus saying these words to you: “Do you see?” Talk with Jesus about any thoughts, reflections, challenges, and emotions that come up within you. How can you embody these words and follow Christ in your home, neighborhood, and workplace?
Read Jesus’ words again slowly: “Do you see?” How did these words shape and guide you today? Pray your thoughts, desires, needs, struggles, and joys from today. As you go to bed, rest in God’s presence.
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5)
Written by LaRosa Tate, Co-Founder of Fellowship Church and Co-Lead of Fellowship Moms, Women Are, and Girls Are.