Her heartbeat raced with a sense of urgency and desperateness when she learned that the one she loved and longed to see was very near. On a quest throughout her house, she thought, "What shall I bring to show the depths of my love?' Her mind searched through every fathomable idea of a special “something,” something precious that she held dear that she could use to express the passion of her heart. She grabbed her chest to try and control the anxiousness within her spirit. Her soul ached and yearned with an unspeakable flood of emotions. She thought, “If I could just pour out my love…” She searched through all of her little treasures and turned her house inside out to locate the perfect gift. Scrolling through her mind: flowers would never work, they will surely fade, money is not appropriate, and preparing food is only momentary and won’t last. The mental list continued. At last, she placed her worn hands on one small, special alabaster jar. It was esteemed as the highest quality, sealed and containing a precious ointment or perfume…
With determination and a rapid pounding of her heart, she slowly approaches the reclining men as they are eating at the Pharisee’s house. Her shoulders are sunken and her head is bent low and a tear begins to trickle down her cheek. It is him! As she stands behind him, and at his feet, her tear-filled eyes gaze upon him tenderly. This woman begins to remember who she is and how she has been regarded, a sinner. Her overwhelmed core shook within her small frame as her trembling hands tightly grasped the alabaster jar. Her humbled heart burst forth a flood of tears as she cries upon his feet, kisses them and breaks open this jar of oil and anoints them. She completely abandons self and offers all she has adoring and passionately worshipping him while caressing his feet. Oh what love and humility is demonstrated!
The above story is how I imagine the sinful woman approaching Jesus as told in Luke 7:37,38.
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
In my private time with the Lord, I ask him to show me all sorts of new and interesting things. Having grown up going to church all the time, VBS, Sunday school, and countless Bible studies, sometimes I feel like I’ve heard it all. I need fresh eyes when I read and a deeper, richer understanding. There is much to glean and learn from the Living Word.
For the last couple of weeks, the Lord has impressed me to look closer at “approaching” Him. My hearts desire is to spend much time researching and investigating this topic. I have just begun to skim the surface! There are many ways in which Jesus was approached, and for many reasons. This week, I am asking you to join me in pondering not only how Biblical characters approached Jesus, but how we, as modern day believers approach Him.
Scripture tells us in Hebrews 4: 16 “…to come boldly to the throne of grace…” Join me in discovering hidden truths about approaching God.
I have devised a little thinking map (graphic organizer, as teachers call it) to help us journey through this process. I have listed the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why) for you to consider as you do your own search and pondering. Take it an extra step and place yourself into the history of the event. Look for key words and phrases that will help facilitate transporting you to that era. Use your imagination to enable you to “see, smell, hear, touch or taste” the event that has taken place. Use Bible dictionaries, handbooks, commentaries, and a concordance to help you in your study. Ask yourself, “What did it (this account) mean to the biblical audience during the reading and writings of that day?” Then, apply it to today. How does it relate to you specifically?
When reading the passage from Luke, one word and phrase in particular kept jumping out at me. It was that she stood behind him. After doing a little historical and cultural study, I learned that as they ate, they reclined indicating that is was a banquet or Sabbath meal. It was common to invite a visiting rabbi or teacher to the Sabbath meal after he had taught in the synagogue. If this was a banquet meal, Jesus may have been invited because of his reputation as a prophet. With his feet put out behind; and between the couches and the walls of the room, there was a space for servants to wait and serve, and such are therefore said to "stand at the feet"; and the phrase is used, as descriptive of servants in waiting (n); and in such a situation this woman put herself, as being also ashamed and afraid to come before Christ, and look him in the face. *
There are many real heartfelt reasons for not wanting to approach a person face to face but rather come from behind.
As I first began to ponder approaching, I equated it with an emotion of fear. Then, I linked it with approaching authority or someone that I highly respect. I have recalled many times when I have had to approach people of these positions and some are even my friends! My hands sweat and shake, my heart races, I begin to worry about how to convey my message, will the right words come out, what will my body language exhibit, will I be able to look directly into their eyes, I catch myself looking away, what will they perceive if they look past my eyes and into my heart? All of which are self-focused! The woman in the book of Luke abandoned everything when she approached Jesus. She was overtaken with humility and love for her Savior.
I have been blessed to experience this same unspeakable passion for my Lord. The moaning’s and groaning’s of my burning heart can only be expressed through the Holy Spirit. I must admit, those precious times are few; but when I do approach Jesus as this woman did, a sense of cleansing, love, and spiritual satisfaction abound as though the Father is hugging my heart tightly and ablaze with indescribable joy!
I long to sit at the feet of Jesus and share intimate moments of honesty, truth, healing, laughter, joy, tears, and love. We can do this....we must simply approach!
The lingering question is, “How do we approach Jesus?” Is it as this sinful woman or is it like the others we find in scripture? Have a great week thinking about this topic and studying His word. Here are some names for you to research: Jarius, David, Nicodemus Peter, Paul, Mary…just to name a few. I'd love to spend time with each of you, bonding our hearts together and speaking of this great love we share for the Father.
Barnes Notes on the Bible
New American Commentary –Luke Logos 5
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