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The Woman Who Let Down Her Hair [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
July 3, 2020 6:00 am

The Woman Who Let Down Her Hair [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. Something extraordinary happens in this woman, where she suddenly becomes unthinking and unconcerned about the appearances with others. She's already been scorned and ostracized by the society, but now it is as though she is frozen in time and all that matters to her is the love that she has for Christ.

She becomes a picture of what the Jewish people had been taught from the beginning. Love God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength. 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 titled, God Used Who?

And You May Just Be Surprised, as presented at Reynolda 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 or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Alan Wright. Are you ready for some good news? Jesus sees you. He sees you for who you were created to be. He sees you as the one who has been forgiven in Him.

He sees you for your future, not your past. And we can see Jesus. And as we see Jesus for who He really is, we love Him.

And we love Him more and more. We're starting today a new series. I am really enthralled by this study, something I've never done before. It's a study of the unheralded women in the Word. We're calling it Hidden Jewels. And these are going to be stories of women that are seldom remembered. They are not necessarily even highlighted in the Scriptures. Some of them are unnamed. Some would have been overlooked in their own society. And some are just obscure figures in the Word.

And yet I'll see and we'll be demonstrating this. The Gospel is on display in the lives of these women. So we're at that season of the year where usually we'll do a character study all the way through someone's life. But today we start a series on Hidden Jewels, the unheralded women in the Word. And today we start with what is one of the most beautiful stories in the whole Bible. It's in Luke chapter 7 and it's verse 36. Luke chapter 7.

And you can join me there at verse 36. One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. And behold a woman of the city who was a sinner when she learned that he was reclining at 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 and who was touching him for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said to him Simon I have something to say to you.

And he answered say it teacher. A certain money lender had two debtors one owed owed 500 denarii and the other 50. When they could not pay he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?

Simon answered the one I suppose for whom he cancelled the larger debt. And he said to him you've 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's 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's not ceased to kiss my feet.

You did not anoint 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 was forgiven little loved 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. I just think it's one of the most beautiful stories I've ever heard. And this text by the way is going to be the foundation of what we call our new year's blessing to come in a couple weeks. From here I think there are some beautiful words that the Lord has for us quite relevant for us today. And there's so much in this story it's so rich it's so laden with layers of beauty and wonder and worship and the picture of the gospel. It's almost hard to choose where to where to focus our attention as I've just been living in this story immersed in it. But I think here's what I want to point out to you in this story is how much it is laden with irony. The literary device called irony is simply a device wherein in the theater or the cinema or in literature the reader or the audience knows more than the characters do.

And because you know more than the characters do it can create an angst in you the audience or the reader because you're yearning you're longing for the character to know what you know. And that's the kind of story we have here. Here is a great example we're just coming fresh off of our annual watching of Bing Crosby's famous The White Christmas movie. And it's a story if by chance you're from Mars and are not familiar with White Christmas of two entertainers in the army Bob Wallace and his buddy Phil Davis that are entertaining for the troops in 1944 in Europe. And part of the tribute they have is to their General Waverly.

General Waverly who is retiring. Well after they get home from the war Wallace and Davis become an amazing entertainment duo become famous all over the nation. And one evening they meet two sisters Judy and Betty who are also entertainers.

And Phil has eyes for Judy but Bob is really smitten with Betty. They end up making their way to Vermont to the Columbia Inn where the sisters are supposed to be performing. And when they get there imagine their absolute shock when Wallace and Davis discover that the Inn is owned by none other than their old major General Thomas Waverly.

The problem is that there's a warm spell in Vermont and so there's no snow and there's no skiers and there's nobody at the Inn. And Bob realizes that there is a great financial strain on his old honorable general and so he concocts this plan that he is going to contact his buddy Ed Harrison who's got a national TV show and he's going to go on the show and he's going to invite everybody from the 151st Division that used to serve under General Waverly to come up to Vermont and they're going to put on a big spectacular show. Well as he's having this conversation on the phone with Ed Harrison dreaming up this plan the nosy eavesdropping housekeeper listens in to part of the phone call and she hears Ed Harrison the talk show host saying well we make it all schmaltzy and we'll play it up real big about the general. And of course Bob says no I don't want any personal gain out of this. I don't want it to be a business thing. It's not to give us publicity.

I just want to honor him. But unfortunately the housekeeper only heard part of the conversation and she went and told Betty what she heard. Well Betty is suddenly disillusioned with Bob and so Bob and Betty had become drawn together. They'd shared some evening snacks, midnight snacks and they'd shared a kiss but now suddenly she has grown totally cold towards him and he doesn't know why and she thinks that she sees something bad about Bob but it's based on misinformation and so she leaves Vermont. Bob tries to get her back and she doesn't come back until she's watching the Ed Harrison show when Bob makes his appearance and when he does she realizes that Bob wasn't trying to use the general for some kind of gain. He really was in a most noble way at personal financial cost and personal sacrifice.

He was really wanting to honor this general in a beautiful way. Well when she sees Bob for who he really is she falls in love with him more than she was in the first place. She comes back. They're reunited.

They put on the big show. Everybody from the 151st Division comes and they honor the general and as they finish out the evening on Christmas Eve it begins to snow and there'll be a white Christmas and skiing after all in Vermont. It's such a beautiful story and it's a story that's an example of irony where you're watching this movie and you're just sitting there going oh she doesn't really see Bob for who he really is. If she could see him for who he really is she would realize that he is far more noble than she ever even dreamed to believe that he could possibly be and when she does see Bob finally and the irony is resolved then she falls in love with him in a deeper way. The reason that story comes to mind is because that's the way it is with the gospel and I think that's the way it is with so many people in our culture today that there is a whole lot of people grew up in the church had a sense of a love for God but then have fallen away and as they have heard many things about Christianity or about God or about about what they would call religion have fallen away from a sense of belief or honor or love for God based on misinformation but if those people who have fallen away are touched by God and come to understand the lavish forgiveness of God and the love of God and what God has done for us in Jesus Christ when you discover that and you really see God for who he is then you can't help yourself but you have an affection for God that grows to a point that was greater than it ever was when you had only a more narrow understanding of him. bridegroom the Bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you to win you and to walk with you hand in hand for any man who has fallen in love with a woman you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like for any woman who has searched for true love which you long for can only be found fully in God Gary Chapman renowned author of the five love languages says the incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life and lover of my soul ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart accept Christ's proposal enjoy his embrace revel in his love after all it's a match made in heaven it's lover of my soul by Alan Wright 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 today's teaching now continues here once again is Alan Wright this story that we have today is one that is just laden with this same kind of irony in which we see that this Pharisee thinks he knows about the woman and thinks he knows about Jesus but what we realize is he doesn't know anything at all and you're left longing for him to see Jesus for who he really is as this woman who actually does just envision the scene with me because the story is so beautiful but you'd have to understand a few things about the middle eastern setting in which it was taking place so you can get an accurate picture of what is going on in this story Jesus has become a well-known new rabbi in the area that's the way he's viewed a teacher a spiritual leader and there are many people that are following him and so he's becoming famous and so would have not been surprising that a local religious leader a Pharisee his name that he's given here is Simon not to be confused with of course the fisherman disciple Simon Peter but a Pharisee here named Simon and he's invited Jesus to come over to have a meal at his at his home and so it begins with this this Pharisee wants to see Jesus wants to see him has him over to his house now they wouldn't seat at a table the way we do in western culture where you put your feet up under the table nobody's feet is under a table here instead it's a low table and they would lie either on like blankets on the ground or low-lying couches and one elbow is propped up like this and you eat with the other so you're reclined you're you're lying down on your side with your elbow and your feet extended back away from the table that's the custom and so you just can envision a table we don't know how many guests were at the table but there could have been a number of guests probably a pretty affluent man and maybe a number of guests and they're all interested visiting with Jesus and Simon the Pharisees there and Jesus is there and he's reclining and so all these guests maybe just envision however many are their faces towards the table lying down feet behind them and what was so interesting in this culture it would not have been uncommon for the meal to be held in a courtyard and there would be people it was understood to be acceptable people who were not invited to the dinner feast who would nonetheless come and look in through the windows or even mill around behind the feet of those guests so in some sense this meal had also a public nature to it that would be something that would make sense to us but that was the way the custom was so there would have been servants that could have been going around the perimeter behind the feet of the people and they would be serving the meal and there could have been some others uninvited guests that were there just listening in on the conversation it could have been many people because they were curious as to what this new rabbi might have to say at the dinner table well in the course of the evening a woman comes in who is evidently recognized by at least Simon if not a number of people as someone who had a reputation as having been a sinful woman we're not told what the nature of her sin is most have speculated that she was a prostitute we're not told that it could be it could be some other sin but this was the case her sin was renowned and she was viewed and labeled as a sinner she was looked upon in this way she was someone whose past had defined her in the eyes of other people but she came into the room and she stood behind Jesus and she had a mission she had a plan in mind she had come there for a purpose the text says that she came with an alabaster jar of perfume it was probably the type of alabaster perfume bottle that women sometimes would wear around their neck as not just so much an adornment as they would a perfume and the alabaster was soft you could carve out these out of alabaster simply and it would usually have according to ancient artifacts we found it have a long thin neck so perfume and ointment wouldn't just flow out of it it was probably more of a thicker ointment but very aromatic and so it was if she had been a prostitute then this would have been a symbol of what made her alluring but we again we don't know that what we know is that it was costly this would not have been an inexpensive item she brought it and she had brought it for the purpose of anointing Jesus's feet and so she brought what was probably the most expensive thing that she owned and she came in to this dinner setting and she came around again behind where Jesus was reclining and she stood there and she I think had made a plan to anoint his feet as an expression of her love and gratitude towards him whatever had happened in her previous encounters with Jesus the text make this clear she had already been forgiven and she'd already had an encounter with Jesus and so something extraordinary had happened in her heart and we don't know exactly what sometimes when you meet Jesus sometimes when you have an encounter with God there is something that takes place in the in most secret place of your heart and you know it and other people wouldn't ever be able to completely relate to it but something had happened inside of her this woman who maybe had been shamed all of her life maybe had been rejected or ostracized had only been labeled as a sinner all of her life she had had an encounter with Jesus in which she's experienced his mercy and she had tasted and seen that the Lord is good and when you have had so much hurt and so much pain in your life and someone has loved you in the way that Jesus had loved her she came to show her gratitude and to show her affection and she stood behind him and as she stood behind him she began something happened and her plan went awry I think and she began to weep and then she just wept and and she must have wept so profusely that even as she looked down I imagine that she was just beginning to bend over like this in her sobs and her tears because she began to get over gravity began just pulling her tears down and they were she realized that she looked down that her tears had come down and fallen upon Jesus's feet and made his feet wet and now his feet who which were dusty had now become muddy with her tears and so spontaneously without thought she just bends down all the way and she gets down into the dust herself and having no servant's towel with which to dry off his feet or to clean his feet off instead she is continually to weep out of affection and love for the son of God and so she does something that no Jewish woman would have done and that day she takes her hair and she she uncovers it and she lets it down because she needs to use something as a towel and she she wipes his his feet and dries them off with her hair and and then she takes this this perfume and I think that that she she wants to pour it out quickly upon and there's no way to get it quickly out this this balm this aromatic perfume and so I think she breaks open the thin neck of the alabaster jar she spills it all out upon Jesus feet and there's an absolutely beautiful picture of unbridled worship and adoration of the son of God and I just want to pause here to say that this is the picture of the heart of the Christian who understands what Jesus has done in giving his life for us it is the fuel of the passion of our lives that we are filled with the meditation of of Christ and what he's done think much of Jesus and what he's done for you do you want everything ordered in your life you want everything directed towards Christ do you want to have more love in your heart for the son of God than think much of the greatness of his mercy something extraordinary happens in this woman where she suddenly becomes unthinking and unconcerned about the appearances with others she's already been scorned and ostracized by the society but now it is as though as she is frozen in time and all that matters to her is the love that she has for Christ she becomes a picture of what the Jewish people had been taught from the beginning love God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength it's a picture of love for God and meanwhile Simon the Simon the Pharisee who has invited Jesus and has had this feast he begins thinking to himself he's inside his thoughts he doesn't say it out loud he's just thinking to himself Jesus if he knew what sort of woman this is he would rebuke her but obviously he doesn't know who she is because he's letting her do this and therefore he concludes Jesus is no prophet at all and in the midst of Simon having these thoughts Jesus gets a word of knowledge with the Holy Spirit he understands and sees into the thoughts of Simon I don't think that Jesus just walked around as as the son of God and necessarily knew what everybody was thinking all the time but sometimes he clearly did because he was full of the Holy Spirit without measure he was God himself and he knew in this instance what Simon was thinking and so he told him this parable Alan Wright and that's today's teaching the woman who let down her hair it's from the series God used who how God used unheralded women in astonishing ways we've got more coming in just a moment with Alan back here in the studio additional insight on this teaching for your life and today's final word God's love you've heard about it with your ears you've believed it in your mind now experience it in your heart with Alan Wright's beloved book lover of my soul the bible is a love story from beginning to end you are the spiritual bride of Christ the perfect bridegroom the bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you to win you and to walk with you hand in hand for any man who has fallen in love with a woman you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like for any woman who has searched for true love what you long for can only be found fully in God Gary Chapman renowned author of the five love languages says the incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life and lover of my soul ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart accept Christ's proposal enjoy his embrace revel in his love after all it's a match made in heaven it's lover of my soul by Alan Wright we are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries call us at eight seven seven five four four forty eight sixty that's eight seven seven five four four forty eight sixty or come to our website pastor alan dot org alan i'm excited to bring the series up here in the today first broadcast first teaching of this in the first half of the woman who let down her hair and where we start to really pay attention sometimes you have these moments in scripture that you don't want to overlook you don't want to miss these moments yeah and so the astonishing you know as you start looking at some of the women that you got used in remarkable ways that are really unheralded you wouldn't be able to call their names i mean you know who the great you know memorable characters david and moses yeah yeah and and some of the some of the women that i mean that are so notable to us but have you ever heard of the daughters of zalophahad or what about pua and shifra what about them and uh an unnamed woman that let down her hair and this is the focus uh this month daniel look at the gospel on display and uh well some of the characters you might just skip right over but boy we're gonna see the beauty and richness of god's grace on display today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-26 11:08:51 / 2023-11-26 11:18:11 / 9

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