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The Greater Way [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
December 4, 2020 5:00 am

The Greater Way [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.

When the Beatles first auditioned for a recording contract in 1962, Decca Records rejected the Beatles, saying we don't like their sound and, quote, guitar music is on the way out. Do you see this woman? Jesus said. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, You'll See, as presented at Rinaldo Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. As you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org, or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But right now, let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Alan Wright. Are you ready for some good news? As Jesus promised Nathaniel, I believe you'll see greater things this year. To see greater things means to see as Jesus sees. And you and I are not limited by our own natural sight. But we can increasingly have Christ's own vision.

We're in a new series, it's called You'll See. It is about a simple new spiritual discipline for our growth and for our new way of living in the world. Of simply asking Jesus to be able to see as he sees, to see yourself, to see others, to see the world in a new way. Because the way you see reality determines how you think, how you feel, and how you act.

We spend far too much time trying to manage our thoughts or behaviors when we're not seeing things accurately. But when you see as Jesus sees, then everything changes. And today, we're going to look at one of the most beautiful stories in the New Testament that's all about seeing. It's in Luke chapter 7 at verse 36. One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined a table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining a table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment. 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. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, if this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who was touching him, for she is a sinner. And Jesus, who's clearly supernaturally reading the Pharisee's thoughts, Jesus answering said to him, Simon, I have something to say to you.

And he answered, say it, teacher. A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed 500 denarii and the other 50.

A denarius is about a day's wage. And when they could not pay, he canceled the debt of both. And which of them will love him more? Simon answered, the one, I suppose, for whom he canceled the larger debt. And Jesus said to him, you have judged rightly. Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, do you see this woman? I entered your house. You gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in, she has not ceased to kiss my feet.

You did not annoy my head with oil, but she's anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But he who's forgiven little loves little. And he said to her, your sins are forgiven. Then those who are at table with him began to say among themselves, who is this who even forgives sins? And he said to the woman, your faith has saved you.

Go in peace. It's strange how often we have trouble predicting a person's potential. I was reading some articles this week about Steph Curry, who.

Twice the NBA most valuable player, most people would say, is the greatest shooter of a basketball in the history of the world. His Golden State Warriors were led by him to three world championships. And what's so interesting is he was hardly recruited out of high school. No major basketball school offered him a scholarship. His father's alma mater, Virginia Tech, did offer him a walk on position.

But the best program that invited him was our own small Davidson Liberal Arts College here in our own back door. Bob McKillop, the coach, saw something and stuff that others didn't see. It was interesting. He said that when he was visiting with Steph Curry, he was already taken by athleticism, but his visit in their home and he slipped over to Steph Curry's bedroom. And he said, I was surprised how tidy it was for a teenager. And somehow that impressed him a little bit. I don't know if that's any indication of what kind of basketball players somebody is going to be. But as he was speaking to some alumni, Coach McKillop said, wait till you see Steph Curry.

He's going to be very, very special. And he was about the only college coach that was saying that. His first game, Steph Curry scored 15 points, but he had 13 turnovers and everybody was kind of like, well, I don't know. But the next game, he scored 32 points and he went on to break every record at Davidson and in the Southern Conference.

He became one of the greatest basketball players of all time, an absolute phenomenon, and nobody saw it really coming. Now, granted, he was only six foot and he grew to six three. So in order to really see his potential, you would have to envision his growth. We struggle to envision others growth.

We tend to see them as they are now. And we miss it so often. Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because his editor said, quote, he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. After Elvis performed at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, Elvis was told by the concert hall manager that he was better off returning to his old job in Memphis of driving trucks. Thomas Edison was fired from Western Union because he secretly conducted experiments there. And one night spilled some acid and burned a hole that ate through the floor. So they fired him.

They should have said, keep working your experiments on our time. Steven Spielberg was rejected three times from the school of theater at the University of Southern California. Later, after he became probably the most successful director producer of all time, they gave him an honorary degree. Fred Astaire's first screen test evaluator wrote of Fred Astaire. It's wrote, can't act, can't sing. Balding can dance a little. Oprah's first TV boss at a news station told her that she was too emotional and just not right for television.

When the Beatles first auditioned for a recording contract in nineteen sixty two, Decca Records rejected the Beatles, saying we don't like their sound and quote, guitar music is on the way out. Do you see this woman? Jesus said. That's what that's the center of this story. Do you see her, Simon? Or do you just see a center? And the answer, of course, is he does not see a woman. He does not see a woman who has been made a little lower than the angels in the image of God that she has been made. He only sees that she has been declared a center of what type we don't know, but was notorious. What do you see? The chances are there's somebody in your life right now that you're seeing inaccurately. There's some Steph Curry that you haven't yet to envision can grow. Some Walt Disney.

That is being rejected right now somewhere. And I've just come into a new practice of trying to say, Jesus, how do you see this person? And I think that you'll find it will change everything. Here is the scene. Jesus is an emerging. Increasingly famous rabbi. That people are amazed at his teaching, and some are beginning to suspect he may be the long awaited Messiah. A Pharisee named Simon.

Do not confuse him with Simon, who becomes Peter, the disciple. But this Pharisee named Simon, a religious leader, has a dinner gathering in Jesus's honor, as would be not uncommon to have a visiting rabbi in your home. Two things are very different about this type of dinner gathering than the way that we would host someone. In the first place, the table is not up high with chairs that come underneath it with your feet under the table. But the table is low and you recline, meaning you're essentially on the ground, up on your left elbow and your legs behind you, your feet behind you. So everybody's facing the table.

They eat with the right hand and their feet behind them. And as they're relaxing in that way. And so servants and attendants can circulate around the table behind the guests feet. And there's potentially a lot of activity that's going on. The other thing that's very different about this kind of gathering, the way we do it, is it often would be in a courtyard, and so it was sort of semi-private. I mean, it was a private gathering, but the customs of the Middle East, even today, the idea of someone's personal space and those sorts of boundaries are not the same way we view that. And so people from the community were sort of welcome to be standing around the outskirts of the courtyard and listening in on the conversation.

So there's a lot of activity going on. People are listening in and at first no one noticed that this notorious sinner, we don't know, tradition says she was a prostitute, we don't know that, but it was something that was notorious, everyone knew it. And she was able to just slip in even as servants are moving around behind the feet. And she comes up behind the feet of Jesus. Now she has come there for a purpose.

And I think it's very important for the interpretation of this story to set this clear. When Jesus says, your faith has saved you, he's not saying because you have cried, because you have become emotional, because you have given an extravagant gift of anointing my feet, because you have shown your faithfulness, therefore you're saved. No, something had already happened in our life where she had met Jesus, either through one of his mass teachings or some personal encounter. Something had happened where in her life had been transformed by the love of Jesus Christ. She was coming not to ask for something, but to say thank you.

She was coming to worship him. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Want to give someone a present this Christmas that they'll never forget? Let us help you give a gift that money can't buy. This Christmas, give someone your blessing, a positive, biblically-based, faith-filled vision for their life.

In the beginning, God blessed Adam and Eve and then told them to be fruitful and multiply, because in God's design, blessing isn't the reward for productivity, it's the fuel for it. Now, more than ever, someone you love needs your blessing, and we're here to help you craft it. This month's special offer from Alan Wright is a beautiful booklet that will teach you how to craft a meaningful blessing. The easy step-by-step instructions are biblically-based and even include a worksheet that helps you write your blessing. So this Christmas, give someone you love a present not found in stores, a gift from your own heart that will encourage and empower. Write down the blessing and put it in a package under the tree or put it in your Christmas card.

They'll never forget it. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries this month, we'll send you this booklet as our thank you so you can discover the power to bless. Call us at 877-544-4860 or visit PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues.

Here once again is Alan Wright. She was coming to pour out her heart's expression of gratitude and pour out the most precious ointment, this perfume that she had. So the order of events is that Jesus loves you, Jesus saves you, Jesus forgives you, and your life is changed by the gratitude of someone who has been forgiven so, so much.

That's what the story's about. She comes behind along with the servants that are moving around and nobody at first even realizes that there she is and she just stands behind him and she looks down at his feet. She's come to anoint him, but as she does, emotion overtakes her and she just begins to weep. The word that is used in one instance here for the way she wet his feet with her tears is used elsewhere in the New Testament for rain. She didn't have a basin and a towel to wash his feet as servants would do, but as she wept, she realized that her tears were doing the job and not having a towel, she did something that was unthinkable for a woman in that time and place, she let down her hair.

She cared not about protocol or the symbol of disheveled hair or what an expression it was. She let down her hair because it was the only towel that she had and she began to wash and dry his feet with her hair. And as her gratitude filled the courtyard, she took this alabaster little bottle of perfume that women wore around their neck like a perfume.

It would often be very, very costly. She had very little to her name and this was precious to her. The alabaster jar was designed such that the top was narrow and you could only have a drop or two come out at a time. And so in order for her to let it all gush out upon his feet, she had to break open the jar and then spill out its contents like her own soul. She just spilled it all out on the feet of Jesus in this emotional display that suddenly arrested the attention of everyone.

And Simon, this religious leader, has this thought going in his mind, you see, that this, he was already skeptical of Jesus, this proves that Jesus is no prophet because he doesn't even recognize that a sinner is associating with him and defiling him by this sort of inappropriate expression. It's a story of irony. Irony is a contrasting statement or situation that on the one hand seems like it can't be true, but it's true. And you sometimes use verbal irony.

You might, you know, like when I splashed some spaghetti sauce on my new white shirt recently and I said, oh, great. Well, I didn't mean it was great. I mean, it was terrible, but so it's ironic to say great. Or there's a situation that has irony like Samuel Coleridge's famous Rime of the Ancient Mariner, where these seafarers are about to die of thirst in the middle of the ocean and the refrain that says, water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. That's ironic. We're surrounded by water, but we can't drink any of it. Or Disney, and they made a movie about monsters, cute as could be, in which it's revealed that the monsters are actually really scared of little children.

And the little children are really scared of monsters. So it's a dramatic irony that we know as the audience, if only they knew this about each other. Well, this is a story that's just full of situational and dramatic irony.

It's just layer upon layer of irony, isn't this story? The first is that there's a irony that the religious leader, Simon, who has been trained in the scriptures and who should be able to recognize the Messiah best of all, doesn't recognize him at all. The ones who should be able to interpret the prophecies about the Messiah actually don't see Jesus at all.

And this woman who is, quote, just a sinner is one who sees Jesus. A second irony that's layered in here, Simon thinks he knows what's going on in the mind of Jesus. He thinks that he knows that Jesus is just sitting there being ignorant of the fact that this woman is a sinner. And because he's new to town, he doesn't know, oh, this is one of our most notorious sinners in the city. And obviously he's no prophet because he doesn't even know that.

He's allowing this to go on. Simon thinks he knows what Jesus is thinking, but he has no idea what Jesus is thinking because Jesus knows full well that this, quote, sinner is worshiping him. And he is allowing it because he knows he has already forgiven her and that this is the reason for which he has come. And irony is that Simon thinks he knows what Jesus is thinking, but he doesn't know it at all. And that Simon thinks that Jesus has no idea what Simon is thinking because Simon is keeping his judgmental thought to himself, but he's thinking it and has no idea that Jesus knows exactly what Simon is thinking.

It's great. And there's another layer of irony that Simon is thinking. The fact this man's not rebuking the woman proves that there's nothing special or divine about this man. He's no prophet.

He can't be divine because he is allowing this. And the irony is that the fact that Jesus is forgiving her and receiving her worship is the proof that he's the Messiah because he alone can forgive sins. And, of course, the great irony that underlies it all is that Simon is convinced that the woman is the great sinner. But in reality, who's the real sinner in this story? Simon, who condemns her in his heart, his offense of judgmentalism and condemnation is by far the greater offense because the woman, though she has sinned greatly, is experiencing the love of Jesus in a very close and intimate way. But the judgment that's in the Pharisee's heart keeps him far away from God. The irony is that the religious person who thinks he's doing everything right and is therefore better than other people and therefore should have a place of privilege in the heart of God is the one who's farthest from the kingdom of God. And the one who has been a great sinner and knows it and has experienced the mercy of God is at the very throne room of grace.

What a story. Do you see this woman? Simon, do you see this woman? Simon's thinking, I see a sinner. They say, no, do you see a woman here?

Do you see a woman here? Alan Wright. It's today's Good News message titled, You'll See the Forgiveness of Christ in a Greater Way. In our greater series, you'll see. Pastor Alan is back in the studio with our parting good news thought for the day in just a moment.

Stick with us. Want to give someone a present this Christmas that they'll never forget? Let us help you give a gift that money can't buy. This Christmas, give someone your blessing, a positive, biblically-based, faith-filled vision for their life. In the beginning, God blessed Adam and Eve and then told them to be fruitful and multiply because in God's design, blessing isn't the reward for productivity.

It's the fuel for it. Now, more than ever, someone you love needs your blessing, and we're here to help you craft it. This month's special offer from Alan Wright is a beautiful booklet that will teach you how to craft a meaningful blessing. The easy step-by-step instructions are biblically-based and even include a worksheet that helps you write your blessing. So this Christmas, give someone you love a present not found in stores, a gift from your own heart that will encourage and empower. Write down the blessing and put it in a package under the tree or put it in your Christmas card.

They'll never forget it. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries this month, we'll send you this booklet as our thank you so you can discover the power to bless. The Gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.

When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Back here in the studio to share Pastor Alan's parting good news thought for the day in our series, You'll See and the forgiveness of Christ. This is something that is life-changing, if we can grasp it. Well, this whole scene that we're studying is all about seeing. It's all about whether we're seeing it accurately. And so here it's hosted by a Pharisee. And the Pharisee thinks he sees it accurately.

And that's the irony of the story is he doesn't see it at all. He thinks that he, the Pharisee, is close to God. And that the woman who is quote a sinner must be very far from God. And women were looked down upon and she was looked down upon for her sinful lifestyle and so forth. And yet she was very, very close to Jesus.

So it's just loaded with these ironies. And I think that life is like that, Daniel. That when you get Jesus' eyes, you start seeing what you didn't see before and you'll see people differently. And I would just say to our listeners, think of somebody in your life right now that maybe you feel like you've given up. Well, Jesus sees potential in them that maybe you can't see right now.

Ask Him and He'll show you. Ask Jesus, how do you see this person? Thanks for listening today. Visit us online at pastorallen.org or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. If you only caught part of today's teaching, not only can you listen again online, but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching, delivered right to your email inbox, free. Find out more about these and other resources at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-19 10:31:52 / 2024-01-19 10:41:10 / 9

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