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Just As I Am

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
April 12, 2022 12:00 am

Just As I Am

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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April 12, 2022 12:00 am

Jesus has just been invited to the home of a prominent religious leader in first-century Israel, but someone else is on His mind. Sitting among the VIPs and honored guests of Simon the Pharisee, an uninvited and thoroughly unwanted woman shows up, a local town prostitute, and all eyes turn to Jesus, to see how He will respond. His response is an awesome example of God’s grace, and a powerful reminder that all sin, great and small, comes with the same judgement and requires the same cure.

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Your safety notice. Jesus doesn't say your tear saved you perfume saved you leaving the streets saved you your humility and washing my feet saved you know your faith in me that message.

I bring your trust in me you believe you heard me preach if you are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Among the VIPs and honored guests of Simon the Pharisee was an uninvited and thoroughly unwanted woman. She was a local town prostitute. All the eyes in the room turned to Jesus to see how he would respond his response is an awesome example of God's grace and a powerful reminder that all sin, great and small, comes with the same judgment and requires the same cure. This is wisdom. Stephen David called this message just as I Charlotte Elliott was a resentful bitter agnostic who lived more than 200 years ago. Although were not given the details something it happened. She had become disabled and because of her broken health and and her broken heart. She had hardened her mind and her heart against any thought that God loved her. She developed a violent disposition temper made it nearly impossible for anybody to be around her for any length of time on May 9, 1822 as a young adult. Her parents invited a pastor friend that they knew to their home. She was living with her parents into their home. He was invited a one evening dinner. They hoped that he would have some word, some insights to help her over dinner that night.

Charlotte instead lost her temper railed against God for family. Even this visiting minister and her parents slipped out of the room embarrassed leaving her at this pastor alone.

He looked at her and said you're tired of yourself, aren't you was taken back by that.

He went on to say your holding onto your hate and bitterness and resentment because you have nothing else to cling to. She sarcastically asked table. What is your cure for me and he said the cure is faith in this person you're trying hard to despise. He talked to her than about the gospel she softened some and then said will suppose I wanted to become a Christian, like you what I have to do.

I am certainly she said I would need that clean up my life first before God with love and he said no he cleans your life up all you do is come, but he will love you and forgive you and she laughed and she said come to God like I am right now and he said yes whoever comes to me. Jesus said I will in no wise cast out.

And Charlotte did just that. That night is a red that I couldn't help but think of all the people I have encountered over the years who are tired of their lives, weary of their sin burdened way down clinging to whatever it is they hope will somehow bring them peace of mind, refusing Christ, the cure, who alone can bring them peace. I have read recently of the ministry of one particular counselor who is encountered hundreds of young adults filled with guilt and remorse and growing resentment over life. He wrote of one encounter with the young woman had been raised in a typical suburban home.

She had rejected the gospel and tried everything else everything else only deepened her guilt, sorrow, resentment in one session together. The counselor wrote that this young woman admitted that she was tired of her life. She was weary. The counselor wrote. She pulled back her sleeve to show me where she had taken a blade and cut into her forearm. The word empty empty. I thought of that as I moved into this scene were about to look at together where it's going to be a dramatic encounter between Jesus and to empty lives to take place over dinner the Lord has accepted the invitation to eat at the home of the self-righteous Pharisee and and who will show up, but a local prostitute and I want to tell you before we dive into this scene. Both the Pharisee and the prostitute have this same word written across their hearts and across their lives empty.

Both of them will leave as it were. This dining room one, the same one with peace of mind now turn to Luke's gospel were in chapter 7. Now in verse 36 where the dinner is described for us in verse 36, one of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table.

Now if you notice down in verse 40 were given the name of this Pharisee and his name is Simon and you need to keep in mind, of course, that Jesus and the Pharisees are aren't exactly bosom buddies. I don't know have dinner together often that no group of men are more consistently hostile and angry with Jesus than this. Luke is going to mention, by the way, this gospel account Pharisees. 28 different times and on every occasion that they are antagonistic, resentful, spiteful, hateful toward him. So just sort of remember that because Jesus is not being invited to eat this Pharisee because he's on the on the verge of becoming a disciple heartthrob it is inviting Jesus over to find something to use against them and he thinks he's going to get a hold of you could paraphrase at the rate at which a look at this a one of the city was a center when she learned that he was reclining at the table, brought an alabaster flask of appointment would cause a woman of the city who was a sinner. This is not a general statement is no mistaking.

This is the first century synonymous terminology for prostitution. Everybody in town knows her reputation and here she just kinda walks into the dining room. Dinners already underway.

I everybody stops eating forks are you hanging in midair.

They use their fingers with unit you get the point conversation stops people turn and stare. This is amazing courage on the part of this one and will find out why. But at this point. Suddenly all heard in the room is the sound of her muffled stopping. She stands behind Jesus weeping now before we get going further, you might wonder as I did you know that she didn't hear why she did this is kinda neighborhood and this is not the kinda house where she would want to go far from it.

So would she do have energy to get in while one New Testament scholar described in his commentary large home like Simon the Pharisee live in a courtyard with rooms built around it. One of those years being a dining room. Evening meals were often noisy public affairs, especially get a large home.

The doors would be left wide open. Even people who are invited to eat friends of the family, neighbors wandering even know they wouldn't eat. They could take part in in in these lively dinner conversation sitting around the edges. Now let me also point out that in this culture when it invited dinner guests arrived three different acts of hospitality always to place first, the host would place his hand on the shoulder of the Gaston leaned forward and kissed him on both cheeks accustomed still held around the world today. Secondly, a pinch of sweet smelling ointment would be placed on his head. That would just bring a sense of freshness to him and to the room. Thirdly, most significantly, since once the guest reclined, which usually involve literally lying on cushions. Their heads toward the food there feet behind them servants of the household would unlace their sandals pour cold water over them and wash the dust off their feet and I say all of that because Simon does not have this for Jesus, there's no hiding this Simon is openly obviously ungracious and on time to Jesus and everybody in the room knows it. It's like they're all on their waiting for something to happen.

This is not a pleasant environment. If you take one more quick look at Luke's description in verse 37, he described her as a woman of the city who was a sinner.

The word Luke uses here for sinner is a word that refers to someone devoted to sin. Someone who made sin a part of their life and that's her.

She knew it they knew it she had as it were carved into her life and and it'd been this way for years longer for her developed for her to develop this reputation.

So here she is, why now well if you if you put the gospel chronology together. It's very insightful because just prior to this encounter. Within a matter of hours, Jesus has just finished a sermon, a brief one word preached in town any gave this invitation, all you who are weary and heavy late.

Come to me and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke on you and me. My yoke is easy, my burden is light.

She evidently heard this message. We can say with some certainty that that's true because the tempests of the verbs that Jesus uses for her. Later on in this text indicates that she has already believed before showing up. She's now arriving to essentially declare her allegiance to Jesus.

Verse 37 tells us that she's got an alabaster vial of perfume that this wasn't unusual in these days a small bottle of perfume was often worn as a necklace when a woman who would need it while traveling or before some event, but for this woman. This file has been a vital part of her trade so she would stay perfume for the next encounter. Now look at verse 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment that it was today in our culture is this show of affection might appear to be too intimate, or perhaps indiscreet, but not in this day that one Greek manuscript written 30 years before this event takes place a novel that has survived to this day described a woman who was so grateful that her husband had returned home safely that she went to the temple of her goddess Aphrodite let down her hair and veneration to the goddess knelt at the feet of this statue and wept while repeatedly kissing the feet of Aphrodite is the idea here, Martin Luther, the reformer commented on this text saying that her tears are water coming directly from her heart. Tears of gratitude, bathing the Lord's feet as she sobs lost in godly sorrow lost in wonder lost in genuine love and praise that just kinda sets the scene you know now it now.

You can imagine at this point dinner. I read it just comes to a screeching halt. You nobody's did not know you more coffee or baklava.

Are you illiterate whatever they got all you hear this dining room are the sobs and sniffles of a woman whose kissing the feet of Jesus. You can imagine Simon the Pharisee is and all that thrilled with this interruption, but in a twisted way. He's glad that's because were told her verse 39 when the first see who it invited them saw this he said to himself. Note that is not things out if this man were a prophet he would have known who and what sort of woman. This is who is touching him that she is sinner C saying Jesus were true prophet of God and be able to know that as well as the filing by or touch. But Jesus sees reasoning can't spot up big sinner like her. If you can't even spot her. He's no prophet I can expose the weight of the other Pharisees hear about this guy. What he doesn't know is that Jesus is about to expose him to resist assignment here in verse 40 because he can read his mind, Simon, I have something to say to you any answer say it teacher will start test site teacher and Jesus gives them a parable.

Verse 41, a certain money letterhead to debtors to Minnesota one mannerism 500 and areata. The other one is 51's 10 times worse than the other guy, but they're both in debt than Arius was one day's wage. So if you do the math. The ordinary workforce of the day. One man was two years worth of income and the other man owes two months, but the real point here is that they're both in trouble so these two men here are being crushed under the debt they cannot repay whether it's two months or two years, but then something absolutely unexpected happens.

Verse 42 tells us when they could not pay pay back.

He canceled the debt of both you just burn the ledger is no more record without Jesus now asks not know which of them will love him more was grateful for having our veterans. The guy was too much of the guy with two years I think about you to be absolutely thrilled but silent at this point because it will say next. Let's is always a bright man is Artie connected the dots. He knows the Lord is comparing him to the prostitute. They are the two people in debt and he also knows that the debt relates to sin, and in this case.

He knows the prostitute would be the big sinner and Jesus is sort of rather sarcastically viewing him as the little center and that would lead him try to explain why he isn't even a little grateful to God like she who will love him more so Simon now done want to answer the question. So we sorta hands in the halls and raises your verse 43 Simon answered the one I suppose, for whom he canceled the larger down what you mean.

I suppose I suppose I can't say for sure. I suppose one of the larger debt. Simon but he also knows that in this parable, the big sinner and the little Center are equally unable to pay their debt in deep trouble. They are both bankrupt. They both have the words empty tire written across their lives. Jesus is definitively connecting those not turning toward the woman he said to Simon, do you see this woman. You see this woman, this is the only person he seen since you know she came in.

Everybody sees this woman. What do you see this woman because I see this woman, this question is filled with sarcastic humor seems to be noticed. This woman was almost like he saying do you really see you really see how she recognizes her sinfulness and you don't Simon. Here's the application you you can't even see your sins of selfishness and pride you committed against me this evening so let me set the record straight. Verse 44 I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, which is what my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me but from the time I came in. She is not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. This is the proof of that.

Her great love, but he was forgiven little loves little to the point that Jesus is making here isn't so much about the amount of sin as it is the awareness of sin see in the eyes of God Simon in the prostitute our equals prostitution is no more sinful than pride in the eyes of God. All sin is sin. I like the way one woman wrote this in a Christian Journal. I subscribe to a pastor's wife, who wrote a devotional on this event here. Luke seven. She pointed out and I quote her for most of my life.

I have read this passage in Luke and come away sad my sad thoughts.

It sounded like this will I've never been a prostitute like this woman. So I guess I can never love God as much as she did but if I realize the total wretchedness of my soon, not the sins I could commit the sins I used to commit but the sins I commit every day every hour. Then I begin to understand the depth of my Savior's forgiveness and when I think a little of my sin. It's really no big deal that Jesus died for me and I love him little when I am gripped by the heartedness of my sin and the forgiveness through Christ sacrifice I become like this prostitute and I bow in worship at his feet. That's the point of verse 48 says that he said to her, your sins are forgiven literally. They have already been forgiven, then those who were at the table with them began to say among themselves who is this it will even forgive sin of their learning growth in the theological argument. Jesus just ignores all of my love and I want to tell you about this time I get the sense that Jesus has set up this dinner and is generally not have anything to do so much with Simon as it does with her because what she needs to hear is the affirmation of Jesus that what is happened is in fact liberated her so he says to her, verse 50. Your faith has saved you by though I noticed Jesus doesn't say your tears saved you the final perfume saved you leaving the streets saved you your humility and washing my feet saved you know your faith in me that message I preach the gospel.

Your trust in me you believe when you heard me preach if you are weary and heavy laden, man. I will give you rest in UK saved now with the system work. She never experienced perhaps in her entire life, certainly not on the streets. I don't think she imagined she would ever feel this she's just beginning to Jesus under your faith save you go in peace, literally go into peace go into life now in peace. Peace with God. Peace with yourself.

Peace with your past peace with your future peace that will last forever so that were carved on her heart and life empty is now replaced with forgiven, saved, peace on May 9, 1822 when Charlotte Elliott realized that she did and that the clean up her life before coming to Christ, but that was the work of Christ. She was so moved by this filled with gratitude. She would live an invalid life unmarried would pass away the age of 82. On the way she wrote a dozen poems were turning the hymns for the church. Many of them were included what was originally called the hymnal for invalids, the most famous of all of her hands in that hymnal for invalids became her own testimony would been empty given piece some of her poem reads just as I am, without one. But that thy blood shed for me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest, O Lamb of God, I hope this look at the grace forgiveness of Jesus Christ was encouraging to your soul today your listening to wisdom for the hearts the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey. You can learn more about us. If you visit our website which is wisdom Stevens been pastoring for over 35 years and all of those messages are available for you to listen online.

We also post each day's broadcast. If you ever miss one of these lessons, you can go to our website to keep caught up with our daily Bible teaching ministry, the library of Stephen's teaching is available on that site free of charge and you can access it thanks for joining us today. Come back next time. For more wisdom for the hearts

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