A Spirit of Unwelcome

One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.”

Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Oh? Tell me.”

“Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?”

Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”

“That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it?

As Brenna pointed out yesterday, Simon the Pharisee was intentionally unwelcoming of Jesus. The text points out three things: 1) Simon provided no water for Jesus's feet (a standard custom) 2) Simon didn't even greet Jesus when he showed up (which would be as rude then as it is now, if you had a guest in your home) 3) Simon gave Jesus nothing to freshen up. 

Who are you most rude to? Who do you keep at arms' length, even though (like Simon) you might extend a superficial invitation to them? And, just as important, what are the areas of your life where you superficially invite Jesus into them, but in reality you do not welcome him there?

Spend some time pondering these things today (the old word for this is meditation) and talk with God about your thoughts.