Today’s Reading Luke 7:36-8:3
Who can say what has happened to another person? Who has been in the shoes of the other person? How well do you know the person that you are the most intimate with? Do you know their inner most dreams, fears, and aspirations? Do you know what makes them truly happy or creates the most intense hurt? How can you comfort the ones you love the most? These are some of the questions that are the most difficult to answer. Once a wise man told me that even after 50 and more years of marriage you are always learning something new about your partner, and that is the treasure of the commitment.
In the account of Luke, the apostle describes a scene that would have been typical for Jesus. He has been invited to dine at someone’s house and take part in dialogue and discussions. In this particular instance, there is a woman that comes in anoints Jesus feet with ointment and tears. The house is the house of an official of the synagogue: a Pharisee. The woman uses an alabaster bottle, which is a specific type of material and high expensive. The woman uses her hair to wipe the tears and ointment from his feet. Jesus knows the woman’s past and all that that she has done. By her act of faith, she is renewed and made whole again.
Earlier in the chapter Luke explains about the centurion, who request that Jesus speaks health and healing over his servant that is far away. Jesus then responds to the solider and beings the journey to his house some distance away. Before Christ can get to the house of the centurion, Jesus is stopped by several friends of the soldier and Jesus is informed that the faith of the Centurion is so strong that he believes that Christ has the authority to speak the words and the servant will be made whole. Jesus speaks and the servant is healed that moment.
With Mary Magdalene, Christ uses this opportunity to exhibit his authority over sin in the presence of others who believe that have the knowledge of all situations. This was a town that Jesus was not familiar with from the perspective of the Pharisee. The Pharisee believed that he had the authority and control over the situation. He was allowing Jesus to be made a patsy for his enjoyment. But Christ was able to show his authority in a gentle yet effective manner. He knew the woman’s past. He knew the thoughts of his host. He know how to ask the questions to bring the judgment. He knew that he had the authority and power to rebuke the sins of the woman and create a new person in her. He knew the inner most thoughts of the woman. He knew everything about her and had compassion on her and allowed her to worship and give faithfully to his goodness and mercy.
Some of the hardest questions that we can ask ourselves are the questions that Christ can heal and mend. Some of the experiences and choices that we have made can allow us to receive a glimpse of the beautiful redemption that Christ has for us. If we were perfect, Christ would not be able to use us for his glory. Will we allow ourselves to open up to Christ and allow him to heal us through our faith in him who knows us the best?