Monday, July 8, 2013

Simon And The Unnamed Woman -Part 1

This is the account of the age-old battle between the law and grace. A battle that Jesus came to end once and for all. We begin with a member of a group of people called the Pharisees. We see how one of them desired Jesus; which is a fascinating turn of events, because the Pharisees and Jesus were not exactly best friends at the time. This Pharisee however, was different from the rest. I had always been of the misconception that the person who invited Jesus into his house was just some random rich guy, similar perhaps to Zaccheus. I was wrong. There was nothing random about this story. Each cast member, unbeknownst to them, had been specifically selected for the role of a lifetime.

In order to get close enough to Jesus to even extend an invitation, the Pharisee would most probably have tracked His movements. He was not a hard Man to find, His miracles drew people to Him in untold numbers. No. The trick was finding Him alone . He probably secretly attended Jesus’ teachings, pondering all the while how best to reach Him. Something about this controversial Rabbi drew the Pharisee. Some unseen force propelled him. A persistent quiet voice in his ear constantly urging him to pursue this Man. He wanted…. No…needed to speak with Jesus one on one. 

There were difficult questions that needed answering. An insatiable desire that needed quenching. However, to get close to this Man, he would have to break with the general and undeniable consensus amongst his peers to snub Him. It would come to be a defining moment for the Pharisee. Never again would he be able to hide behind the cloak of neutrality. In bringing Jesus into his home, he would be telling the world that he had made a choice. History would decide whether that choice was right or wrong. Having finally been able to reach Jesus, he quite likely approached with the belief that Jesus would be unspeakably humbled by his invitation. He was not one to be ignored, and a gracious gesture such as the one he was making would without a doubt, be received with just the right amount of reverence it deserved. He would come to see in time, that the honor was in fact his. Here in front of him was God among men. The embodiment and the fulfillment of the very law that he had spent his entire life studying. Here stood the unlikeliest of men, in the unlikeliest of places. God’s Surprise Package. The answer to all of his prayers.

The bible introduces a third character. She remains Unnamed, characterized and identified solely by her past. She is called a sinner. She is known throughout the city as this. She knows it, everybody around her knows it and even worse, Jesus knows it. There is to be no playacting. No pretense. No mockery of anyone’s intelligence. She entered this story knowing EXACTLY who she was. But that wasn’t what made her truly remarkable. This Unnamed woman will never be forgotten because she KNEW who she wanted to be. There was no doubt at all in her mind Who held the answer to how to get from point A (who she was), to point B (who she wanted to be). And for that, she was willing to defy and break every spoken and unspoken rule of society. In this regard, she and the Pharisee were more alike than either would care to admit. Both were in desperate need of Jesus, both were wiling to defy convention to get close to Him, but only one of them understood the once in a lifetime opportunity this was to be. Never again would God incarnate sit to eat with mortal men. Never again on this side of eternity.

This was a day like none before it and none after. And this sinner knew it. How humbling that the Pharisee who should have recognized Jesus on sight, did not have a clue who He really was! But this woman knew it and she came prepared. Much has been made of the alabaster box and rightfully so. However, as great a sacrifice as it undoubtedly was, it was NOTHING compared to the other things she risked and sacrificed to get near Jesus. The box was simply what men saw. Jesus saw the FAR greater price she had paid in her pursuit of Him. He felt the erratic beat of her heart in her chest, as she responded to the pin drop outraged silence of the righteous few who watched as she dared set sinful foot in that house. He sensed her keening desperate cry for His help. He saw her scars, the evidence of many battles fought and lost throughout her life. He looked at her the way no one else had before. He saw her. He understood that she had no more moves. This was her ace. If this failed, if Jesus rejected her like so many others had, if He threw her out, she would never ever recover. He knew that she had stepped out unto thin air, on an unuttered prayer, a whisper in the wind. A prayer so fragile, so unlikely to be answered, that she could not bring herself to speak it. She came by faith and faith alone. Click here for Part 2

Igwiyisi Jacobs

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