Thursday, August 11, 2011

Alabaster Jar

"A woman in that town who had lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 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."
Luke 7:37&38

The woman in this story is doomed from the very begining. She is called a sinful woman. Society has deemed her an outcast. But there was something that drew her to the feet of Jesus. There was something in who Christ was that attracted this woman who had been beaten down, and thrown aside. Her self worth was probably nonexistant, her confidence at a 0. But yet she knew she needed something, and found that something in Jesus.

This woman's desperation for answers and completion brought her to the feet of a carpenter. Her tears wet his feet and she used her hair to clean them. This in itself was a huge sacrifice. Jesus feet were probably disgusting! He simply wore sandals all day and walked around in dust, mud, and other gross stuff. But yet She didn't care. She found all that she needed in Jesus. Her response was to simply weep at his feet and then give of herself completely to him. Despite her past, she recognized her need for a savior and was willing to lay down her own comforts to serve Christ.

How often do we take our salvation for granted? Do we overlook what Christ has, and can do for us? I know in my own life, I all too often overlook the gift of grace God has given me through His son's sacrifice. I instead focus on my own sins and shortcomings. I am so distracted by the fact that I have messed up, that I completely miss the fact that Jesus died to forgive my mistakes. I don't believe that I'm alone either.

I met a man named Peter in Kya Sands. He had approached the group I was with, and he had clearly been drinking. Peter began to ask us questions about God. He explained that he used to go to church, but can't go anymore because he needs to drink with his friends. He told us that he can't change, and because of that, he can't go to church. We began to explain to Peter that you don't have to change in order to come to Jesus, but that all he's asking is for us to come to Him and then He'll change us. Peter had a really hard time wrapping his head around this concept. When we left him, he was still questioning. But I see a lot of people in Peter.

People who are being kept from a relationship with Christ because they have a hard time accepting grace. We don't have to have it figured out in order for us to come to Jesus. The sinful woman understood this. She didn't have it figured out, her life was still messy and yet she knew she needed Jesus. She came to Him mess and all, wept at His feet, and poured out her life.

We don't necessarily know what happened to the woman after her display of love for Jesus. But she played a pivotal role in the story of Christ. She shows us that even though we're messy and broken, God still wants us. He wants us so badly that He sent his son to die for us so that we could live in the grace given to us so freely! So come to Jesus, he doesn't care about your past, your failures, your shortcomings. He looks at you and sees his beloved child. He doesn't see what you are, He sees who you will become!

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