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. Luke 7:37-38 ESV
Luke doesn’t try to put a positive spin on the fact that this woman was a sinner. Actually, this story hinges on the sinfulness of the woman and the grace of God. Many of us are like this woman except that we wear 21st century clothes. What has not changed is that we have exactly the same problem. If we follow this woman’s example, we will find that Jesus has exactly the same solution!
Are we willing to go into the Pharisees house and put ourselves in a vulnerable position before Jesus Christ? Are we ready to go into a place where we might be criticized, ostracized or tossed out? This woman came and wasted no time going to Jesus. She must have decided that if she was going to be tossed out at least she would have time to pour out her alabaster flask. Yet as she drew close to Jesus something unexpected happened. She began to weep for her sins and the tears fell on His feet. Then seeing the tears coursing through the dust on His feet she knelt and began to wipe them with her hair and kissed them and anointed them with her oil. She might not have understood what was happening and the Pharisee certainly had no clue. The throne of grace is an awesome place. We never know what will happen when we get there. What we can know is that when we get there Jesus is ready to receive us and forgive our every sin!
And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Mark 14:72 ESV
While my wife and I were staying in a little farm town in Brazil we wondered if their roosters ever sleep! All through the night, the vira lata (stray dogs) and roosters seemed to be holding animal choir practice. Though at the time we thought it was funny, it also made me think of Peter and a Palestinian rooster long ago. Peter had sworn he would be faithful to death for Jesus, but Jesus knew better. He knew that Peter would fail, and loved him anyway. “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me.” Jesus had told him. But Peter couldn’t hear because He had convinced himself that he would follow no matter what. But Jesus knew Peter’s heart and He knows about ours as well.
It’s funny how we think of the roosters crowing when the sun comes up, but he actually stays awake all night watching out over his hens and alerting them, every time he hears a noise. While we were laughing about the animal choir, the rooster was just saying to his little flock, “Time to wake up! There is danger close by!” God is still sending roosters to remind us that we need to pray. The good news is that He will always hear, forgive and restore. Just like Peter, when he began to weep Jesus will turn, but not to condemn. He turns to let us know He is watching and is ready to forgive and restore. Is there a rooster crowing in your life? It’s time to wake up and pray!
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
I have rarely posted a message from any pastor on my blog, not because I think there is anything wrong with it but because I do not consider this venue a productive place to do so. We all have our own churches with varying callings and visions for service in our local communities. However due to the urgency and depth of our nation’s crisis and because I personally was so challenged by Pastor Rick Warren’s message, I have posted it for you today. May God grant each of us mercy and may we with humble sincere hearts call out for God’s forgiveness, healing and restoration of our hearts, our families, our churches and our nation. May God bless you and I as we join together in humbly asking His help, His grace and His healing and direction for our future.