In any social setting, there are preconceived thoughts based upon appearance, attire, background, education, intellect and wealth. If character is excluded from this set of standards, people can be misled, confusing right from wrong and vice versa. Like Samuel waiting to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel, the heart is often overlooked. While David’s brothers fit the physical features of a leader, David’s heart set him apart from his siblings. Thus, Samuel told Jesse to call his youngest son from the fields, led by the Holy Spirit to anoint David.
Now there was a woman in the city who was [known as] a sinner; and when she found out that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume; 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began wetting His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and [respectfully] kissed His feet [as an act signifying both affection and submission] and anointed them with the perfume, Luke 7:37-38.
Several hundred years later, another famous anointing took place. Unfortunately, the disciples were fooled by the tarnished reputation of an unwelcomed guest. To make matters worse, this woman broke and wasted a valuable vial of perfume. The actual worth of this bottle was equivalent to nearly a years pay for a first century laborer. This display blinded religious leaders from the true intentions of this woman. Staring at the spilled perfume as if it was a load of cash blowing in the wind, the man who invited Jesus over to his house is offended by Jesus’ interaction with this prostitute. Subsequently, in Simon’s eyes right is wrong and wrong is right.
Now when [Simon] the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this Man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching Him, that she is a [notorious] sinner [an outcast, devoted to sin],” Luke 7:39
Over reactions like Simon are carried out within homes every night in the 21st century. Instead of seeing things for what they are, preconceived notions blind decent human beings from the truth. Thus, knee jerk reactions lead to conflict, division and tension within Christian homes. Perhaps, everyone needs to become more like Jesus, expecting the best in others regardless of past or present reputations. May this passage of the Bible speak to your soul, opening your heart to forgive, forget and extend God’s grace and mercy to others. If you don’t, you too may confuse right from wrong and wrong with right.
by Jay Mankus