37 And 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 vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, 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. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “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 7:37-39 (NASB)
Humility. Love. The realization that we are… a sinner.
His love for us… in spite of that fact.
What do we do with our hair – our life – all that we have available? Do we keep it for ourselves and show it off for others to behold, or do we unleash it, with nothing held back, in worship and adoration of the One Who was willing to give His life for us? This woman was a sinner who realized she could no longer continue life focused on herself. She realized her need for a focus outside of herself, and became willing to be unleashed well beyond what was considered “normal” for the One she recognized as greater than herself.
She had kept her life for herself until – she was broken.
How do we wash the feet of the Christ, the One whose sandals are too awesome for John the Baptist to even untie? The woman cried tears to wash the feet of Christ… How can one cry tears enough to wash someone’s feet except they become grieving, bitter and desperate?
The woman cried bitter tears from a hurt and bitter heart, desperate for Christ. She allowed herself to publicly display her love and brokenness. Her kisses on the feet of One Who had walked so many earthly miles to honor a Heavenly Father and share Him with a lost and dying world drew sneers and words of disgust from the “religious” leader, who could not understand the depth of the context of her love.
And she used her hair to wipe the feet of Christ. In that middle eastern culture, it was taboo for a woman to be seen without her veil. Yet the woman let down her hair to be used regardless of the law. The hair of a woman is her glory – her crown. This was her personal gift. With her tears she washed His feet. She didn’t use a J. C. Penney towel to wipe them. This was totally her personal gift – her own touch. She was broken before her Creator; He created her hair, her hands, her heart, and she returned them to Him as a gift: 100%. She took a huge risk in publicly unleashing herself totally and beyond cultural norms. The woman who was a harlot laid down her hair for Jesus. We should all realize that we, too, were harlots – chasing after other loves…
And the flask of perfume? It is thought to cost a year’s wage – potentially her life’s savings. Yet the woman freely broke this onto the Lord’s feet. Washing His feet first, then anointing him.
She did it before the disciples – Jesus’ followers – who should’ve been the ones to reflect His love to her if anyone would or could. Instead – disgust. Rejection. Ridicule. How often are God’s children – other Christians – the ones that attack His own? How often do His children attack one another in times of need, in times of weakness, in times of frailty as this woman was chided for her brokenness before her Lord as she prepared for His death – for her sins? How often do God’s children stifle the Holy Spirit with rebuke and words of: don’t… stop… that’s just not done… why are you doing – that…?
But Jesus rebuked them! And, because of that I am convinced that when His children are wrongly accused, wrongly charged, wrongly judged… that Jesus is ready to rebuke and ready to put His arms of love around the one who is faithful in their love for Him.
The disciples may chide us. Our brothers may be the ones who judge us the harshest. But Jesus knows our heart: the very essence of our being.
Iron bolts fashioned by the hands of man pierced His hands, feet and side. It was also our pride that pierced Him – but the Lord took it all. That realization should break our heart so He can use it for His glory.
The alabaster flask of ointment. The most expensive thing in our possession. All our lives stored in that that flask. And we break it before His feet.
When we give our broken hearts to Jesus – when we give every broken part of our lives to Him – He changes them into perfume. When we give all we have to Him, everything that we deem expensive – be it our possessions or our lives – He’ll restore it.
This is worship – giving our lives to Jesus. Breaking the alabaster flask. Our life – every moment of it and everything we say and do – can be worship. Housecleaning becomes worship. Showing love becomes worship. Doing things for people that need help – worship. Do everything in love – His love – and it becomes worship.
Yes, it is expensive to us. It’s our life.
God accepts that which is expensive and precious to us, and returns it to us greater in value, but most of all with His signature and His love. We can do the most mundane things with an attitude of love and worship, and it will reflect His glory to a dark and dying world around us – to people who need to see… JESUS.
That’s how we wash our beloved Lord’s feet. That’s what our hair, our hands, our heart are created for – to return to the Creator. That’s why we want to serve one another and live a life of worship. That’s why – if we are chided for our acts of worship – we continue to do them in spite of what others think or perceive. Our hearts belong to Him, no matter what others may do or say when we live to worship. That’s how we live, no matter what.
By totally offering ourselves in worship of the One Who died for us, we truly live!