Friday, September 16, 2016

Where’s the Repentance?

I hear and read all the time, “Jesus ate with sinners,” but I’m not convinced those who say it know what they are saying. I’m reminded of a line from a movie, “I do not think that means what you think it means.” It appears to me that when I hear or read that Jesus ate with sinners, what they actually mean appears to be, “Leave me alone. So I am a sinner. Jesus ate with sinners, so I can’t be all that bad.” Of course I might be wrong but the evidence is overwhelming since their behavior doesn’t change.

Consider today’s Gospel Reading - Gospel Reading: Luke 7:36-50 (RSV) At that time, one of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house, and took his place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was 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 it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner." And Jesus answering said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he answered, "What is it, Teacher?" "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more." And he 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 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; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." Then those who were 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."

Here we see Jesus eating with supposed religious and pious Pharisees when he was approached by a sinner. We’re all sinners by the way. The woman was so grateful for the blessing of being in Christ’s presence; she experienced deep and profound repentance. Her life was changed by being in His presence. Before we proudly announce that we are sinners and therefore worthy of God eating with us, we need to remember the woman......and allow the deep repentance to fill our soul Without repentance, it will just be another dinner.

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