TODAY’S READING: LUKE 7-9
OVERVIEW: Jesus’ response to the faith of the centurion (7:1-10); Jesus’ response to the sorrow of the widow (7:11-17); Jesus’ response to the doubt of John the Baptist (7:18-35); Jesus’ response to the love of a woman with a sordid past (7:36-50); Jesus teaches His disciples about receiving God’s Word (8:1-21); Jesus tests His disciples concerning applying God’s Word (8:22-56); Jesus sends out His 12 disciples (9:1-11); Jesus feeds the 5000 (9:12-17); Jesus teaches His disciples about His person, His sacrifice and His kingdom (9:18-36); Jesus endures His disciples lack of power, love, and surrender (9:37-62).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
As has been mentioned several times since beginning the Gospels, because they are the record of actual events, for the most part, they are easily understood. Though each event is power-packed full of practical application, the nature of the 365 Days of Pursuit does not lend itself to commenting everywhere the passage is screaming for it. Make as much practical application as you possibly can as you make your way through today’s reading, but let’s do something a little different today, and “camp out” in the story of “The Pharisee and the Prostitute” in Luke 7:36-50. It provides some incredible lessons in contrast.
Lesson #1 –
The Pharisee was willing to interrupt his SCHEDULE to have JESUS in his PRESENCE.
The Prostitute was willing for the PRESENCE of JESUS to interrupt her LIFE! (7:36)
Do I want Jesus in MY presence? Or, do I want JESUS’ presence in me?
Do I want to have HIM? Or, do I want Him to have ME?
Lesson #2 –
The Pharisee wanted Jesus in HIS presence, but was seeking to SAVE face.
The Prostitute wanted the presence of Jesus in HER, and was seeking HIS face. (7:36-38, 44-46)
What am I seeking to HOLD on to, while I’m telling Jesus I want His PRESENCE in me?
Do I want as much of the presence of Jesus in me as I can HAVE?
Or, do I want as much of the presence of Jesus in me as I can HAVE and not lose my IDENTITY?
Lesson #3 –
Jesus heard what the Pharisee was saying in HIS heart; and Jesus heard what the Prostitute was saying in HER heart. (7:39, 44-47)
What does Jesus HEAR when He listens to MY heart?
Would Jesus HEAR my worship if it weren’t expressed with WORDS?
Lesson #4 –
The Prostitute was 10 times the sinner the Pharisee was, but our sinfulness is not determined by the amount of sin-debt we incurred, but by the amount we had to pay on the debt. (7:40-42)
Note: We all had absolutely NOTHING to pay on the debt!
Do I really understand my SINFULNESS before God?
Do I fully comprehend the significance of the fact that regardless of the amount of my sin, I had “nothing to pay” on the debt?
Lesson #5 –
The Pharisee’s blindness to his own sinfulness DIMINISHED his capacity to love Jesus.
The Prostitute’s overwhelming awareness of her own sinfulness ENLARGED her capacity to love Jesus. (7:40-43, 47)
Note: How you view your own sinfulness affects your ability to love Jesus!
Do I fully comprehend the significance of my own sin when I view the price Jesus paid for sin in His crucifixion?
Lesson #6 –
The Pharisee was so BLIND to his own sin, it OPENED his eyes to the Prostitute’s sinfulness.
The Prostitute’s eyes were so OPEN to her own sinfulness, she was BLINDED to everyone else’s. (7:36-39)
Note: How you view your own sinfulness affects your ability to see!
Has pride BLINDED my eyes to my OWN sin, and OPENED my eyes to the sin of OTHERS?
Lesson #7 –
The Pharisee’s “worship” in the presence of Christ was based on his OWN WORTHINESS.
The Prostitute’s worship in presence of Christ was based on CHRIST’S WORTHINESS. (7:40-50)
Note Jesus’ explanation of the Pharisee’s “worship”:
1) You didn’t THINK enough of Me to even provide water to wash my feet.
2) You weren’t EXCITED enough about receiving Me into your presence to even provide an affectionate greeting.
3) You weren’t CONSIDERATE enough of Me to go out of your way to provide for My head to be anointed with oil.
Note the demonstration of the Prostitute’s worship:
1) She broke open the box of her most prized treasure to release the fragrance of true worship.
2) She expressed a broken and contrite heart through her tears used to wash Jesus’ feet.
3) She dismantled HER glory (I Cor. 11:15) to give HIM glory.
4) She overflowed in her affection and exaltation of Christ by ceaselessly kissing His feet.
What is the “box” of your most prized treasure Jesus is waiting for you to break open to release the fragrance of your true worship?
Has my heart become calloused and cold, unable to be broken into tears to wash Jesus’ feet?
Have I become so consumed with my ego and self-glory that I’m unwilling to dismantle it for His glory?
Is my affection and exaltation of Christ apparent by my humility toward Him? (i.e. kissing His feet)
Will you be a box-breaking, oil-pouring, tear-washing, glory-sacrificing, foot-kissing, face-seeking worshipper of the Lord Jesus Christ today? Go for it!