Scripture Reading: Luke 7:36-50
When you receive a gift, how do you express your gratitude? Does your appreciation change depending on the value of the gift?
What about when the gift is forgiveness, grace, freedom, and the salvation of your soul? How do you thank the Creator of the universe for the most incredible gift ever given?
When we think about the blood of Jesus washing away every sin we have ever committed, it should bring us to our knees in humility, just like it did to the woman in this story. As Christians, we would never look Jesus in the eye and tell Him we want to suffer the punishment for our sins.
Although we may never say those words, do our actions communicate the same message? Do we struggle to spend time with Jesus? Is worshipping at His feet something we have to force ourselves to do throughout the week? Do we place Him on the back-burner as something that we’ll “get around to” when we have more free time?
The woman in this passage offers us an example of how to position our hearts and respond to God’s endless grace and mercy. She is the ultimate image of humility and worship. This woman understands she isn’t worthy to stand in the presence of God, and yet she breaks social norms to be with Him. She knows she doesn’t have much to offer, but she brings what she does have: her love for Jesus and an expensive flask of ointment. Her actions suggest that there is nothing more important than sitting at the feet of Jesus and worshipping Him.
We see this idea illustrated in Luke 10:38-42 as well. Jesus visits two sisters, Mary and Martha, and both women want to show Jesus how much they love Him. Mary chooses to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to Him as He teaches; however, Martha focuses her energy on preparing food for Jesus. At the end of the passage, Jesus declares: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). With this statement, Jesus reminds us that spending time with Him should be our first priority.
As followers of Christ, we can model our lives after Mary and the woman in Luke 7. We can take steps each day to go against the grain of our culture and give up everything to worship our King. We can thank God daily, not just with our words, but through our actions as well. We can make prayer, worship, and reading the Word a priority in our daily lives in order to show our appreciation for the sacrifice that was made for us on the cross. God doesn’t ask for anything in return for the gifts that He has given us, but shouldn’t we want to express our gratitude and give something back?
- How do you show your appreciation for God’s forgiveness, grace, and mercy?
- What is one new thing that you can do in your day-to-day life to thank God for the gifts that He has given you?
- How can you be more like the woman in this passage, humbling yourself before Jesus and expressing your gratitude for His sacrifice?
*Devotional contributed by Stephanie Stachnik