“Now one of the Pharisees was asking Him to eat with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner. And when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume. And standing behind Him at His feet, crying, she began to wet His feet with her tears. And kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Now when the Pharisee, who had invited Him, saw this, he said to himself, saying, ‘If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.’”Luke 7:36-39, Legacy Standard Bible
Have you ever been broken?
We often associate being broken with certain emotions, such as sadness, grief, and sorrow. When we think of being broken, thoughts of pain, suffering, trials, and tribulations come to mind. We don’t look at being broken as a positive experience. If someone was to ask me if I wanted to endure a type of hardship, often regardless of the outcome, I would run the other way without any hesitation. It’s just not something we seek in life or run towards.
The verse above describes a woman who meets Jesus. She was a prostitute. Hearing that He was having dinner at a religious leader’s (Simon) home, she makes her way there. Once inside the home, imagine if you will her hesitation. Not only was she in Simon’s home, but she was probably surrounded by others just like him, the religious elite. All eyes quickly turn towards her as she steps into the room. She certainly would have stuck out! She looks around and across the room she sees Jesus sitting in a chair. As she makes her way towards Him, she hears murmuring from those who were attending the dinner. She hears judgments and names that in normal circumstances would have cut right to her heart. But she is focused on one thing tonight: Jesus Christ.
When she finally reaches Him, she is speechless. Perhaps it is her lifestyle that robbed her of any words. Was Christ looking at her? The passage gives no indication of any words being spoken between the two. All we do know is that she brought perfume. This perfume was likely worn around her neck. Given her profession, she would probably use this perfume, or oil, to freshen up between men she had sexual encounters with. She feels the lump in her throat that began when she walked in the door begin to intensify. Her eyes begin to burn with tears. Her body begins to tremble. Falling to her knees at Jesus’ feet, she begins weeping. Her tears fall on His feet and having no towel to wipe them, she begins wiping His feet with her hair. Others are watching as this is quite the spectacle at the moment. To this woman, the only people in the room at the moment are her and Jesus. The tears continue to flow as she begins to pour out the precious perfume onto His feet.
She is broken.
Simon should have recognized Jesus. Pharisees weren’t just raised to that title because they attended the temple faithfully. Pharisees were groomed since they were children. They had to undergo intense training. Simon would have memorized much of the Old Testament. He would have known all about the prophecies concerning the Messiah. But even with Jesus in his house having dinner with him, Simon didn’t know who He was. She did though.
How often are you and I just like Simon? Sure, we know who Jesus is. We pray, we read the Bible, we attend church, we worship, and some of us even are involved in a ministry. But we do all these things without recognizing Jesus. We aren’t expecting Him to show up, so when He does, we are completely oblivious.
If you think being broken emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or physically, is painful…you are absolutely correct. Being broken and bent can be excruciating. But there is something beautiful and remarkable about being broken at the feet of Jesus. It is there in the pain, when we reach the end of ourselves, that Jesus shows up. It is impossible to get to this point and not be forever changed.
Jesus takes something broken and battered and turns it into something beautiful. When society today would rather discard and throw away something once it is broken, Christ stands there with open arms and proclaims, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” (Matthew 5:3) Yes, my friend, it is such a remarkable thing when we fall at the feet of Jesus.
There is a blessing that meets us at the point when we are broken.
Are you willing to be broken for Jesus? Are you willing to ignore the whispers, criticism, and accusations from those around you, and fall at the feet of Jesus? If so, I promise you that your life will never be the same!
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