No One Is Beyond God's Mercy
In essence, Jesus told his dinner host, a Pharisee named Simon, that this woman’s act of love, gratitude, and devotion far surpassed his meager attempts at hospitality. So let’s look at her example to see what we can learn about the kind of devotion that both pleases the Lord and lifts us up to his presence.
First, we can say that prayer is for sinners. According to Simon, this woman was a hopelessly incurable sinner unworthy of God’s forgiveness. But she shows that those who see their sin and their need are the ones most likely to turn to the Lord for healing and forgiveness. They are also more likely to shower him with praise and worship in response to his mercy. In contrast, people like Simon, those who underestimate their need for mercy, also fail to recognize the value of the Savior.
Second, we can say that prayer is an act of humility. The woman knelt at Jesus’ feet and gave him a gift of precious ointment. She was humble enough to interrupt a formal dinner party so that she could worship Jesus. She knew she had received a tremendous gift, and she didn’t let her pride stand in the way of thanking Jesus for his love.
Third, prayer is primarily about Jesus, not us. The woman didn’t come with a list of her needs and petitions. She didn’t come ready to debate issues of theology or philosophy. She came just to be in Jesus’ presence and to offer him her worship. All she wanted to do was to spend time with Jesus—to pour her life out to him in worship and thanksgiving. She didn’t even care if Simon and his friends tried to throw her out. She was preoccupied with one thing—Jesus—and she would not be denied her chance to worship him.
May we all run to the Lord as this woman did!
“Jesus, you are worthy of my whole life. Here I am, Lord. I come before you to worship you and to pour myself out in praise and surrender to you.”
Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us — September 20, 2012 (www.wau.org)