Jesus does not perceive women in terms of their sex, age, or marital status; He considers them in terms of their relation (or lack of one) to God. Surprised? Indeed, when reading the Gospels we do not see Jesus showing any favoritism towards the masculine or feminine genders in terms of His teachings and interactions with His disciples and followers, who consist of both genders. He wants His believers to focus on God and on their relationship with God. This blog is the first of a new series I shall be posting here about how Jesus sees women (individually) as revealed to us in the four Gospels.
“Do you see this woman?” He asks Simon (a Pharisee) in Luke 7:44, Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.” What does Jesus see in a woman or a man? It is very clear that Jesus sees these:
- Because He (God) sees everyone, He expects us to see too.
- The way God sees (as demonstrated by Jesus) is different from the way that a man sees.
- God sees both the external behavior and the internal motive.
- Jesus takes note of the external behavior (which is important revelation of what is inside): Simon invites Jesus for a meal in his house. A woman (considered a sinner by the religious Simon) gate-crashes and anoints Jesus’ feet with fragrant oil.
- Jesus sees the details of the two individuals’ hospitality behaviors: what each person does or does not do reveal what are inside them.
- Simon does not really respect and honor Jesus. In fact, he is insulting and rude to Jesus. He does not give Jesus water to wash His feet as is the custom of those days. Neither does he greet Jesus as his guest a normal greeting (kiss) as required by the custom. He does not anoint Jesus’ head with oil. Anointing the body or head with oil was a common practice with the Jews, as with other Oriental nations. (Deuteronomy 28:40; Ruth 3:3; Micah 6:15) Anointing the head with oil or ointment seems also to have been a mark of respect sometimes paid by a host to his guests, as Jesus points out on this occasion.
- The woman does just the opposite of what Simon does/does not do. She shows great honor and respect for Jesus. She washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and wipes them with the hair of her head. She kisses Jesus’ feet. She anoints Jesus’ feet with fragrant oil. (Luke 7:44-46)
- Jesus wants to see the love of God inside us when we come to Him. And He also declares that love has positive consequences. He describes the woman as follows: (Luke 7:47-48,50)
- She loves much.
- Her sins (regardless of numbers) are forgiven.
- God gives her lots of grace.
- She is both forgiven and saved. Her faith in God (Jesus) has saved her.
- What has the woman done right?
- She is not afraid of what man thinks of her.
- She is more concerned with what God thinks of her.
- She comes just as herself, totally undisguised.
- She knows and believes what Jesus has taught and the love of God that Jesus has shown openly to many.
- She is prepared to pay all costs for Jesus.
- Jesus gives to each individual exactly what the person wants. Simon the Pharisee wants only a superficial recognition from men that even Jesus comes to his house and have a meal. The woman just wants to show her love and honor for God (Jesus) regardless of costs (the cost of a priceless jar of fragrant oil, and the open insult and rejection by the men there). Jesus lets her do that. Jesus also gives her a bonus: forgiving her many sins. And she is now a daughter of God.
Kai, May 21, 2020