True Sacrifice

Click for Scripture passage (Luke 7:36-50)

Jesus went to dinner at one of the Pharisees’ house. While there, a certain woman found out he was eating there. Word probably had spread throughout the city. This woman–she instantly goes with all she has. Everything, down to her expensive, rare perfume. She was probably feeling convicted, and broken. The Scripture states that she was immoral. Everyone probably knew what her sins were. The crowd inside the house exclaimed, “She’s a sinner!” More than likely, they knew what she did. Probably not much different than the women’s stories from John 4 (Woman at the Well) or John 8 (Adulterous Woman). Before going further, let’s note: this woman came running to Him! Of these other two women, one was met with Jesus and the other was dragged to Jesus when she was caught in her sin…Both of these other women (John 4, 8) had their lives’ gossipped  about. If it was today’s world, their lives would of been smeared all over the tabloids. But, it wasn’t. Just because it was a long time ago, it doesn’t mean people didn’t talk. People were big on talk, particularly the Pharisees. The Pharisees liked to talk…and judge. They thought they had everything together, but they didn’t. Jesus called them out in John 8:4-5; 7:

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”…They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”

Back to this unique woman who we read about who is running to Jesus. Okay, technically– the Scripture says:

37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. (Luke 7:37-38)

Listen to her story.
It doesn’t matter how she walked, skipped, jumped, ran, crawled to this house.All that matters is her brokenness.
And, she came willingly giving Jesus everything!

The woman came to Jesus broken and weeping. Crying at His feet. She anointed his feet with rare perfume. The word “rare”, it catches me. Our personalities are rare. We are uniquely and divinely made by our Creator as God teaches us in Psalm 139. So, what kind of sacrifce would that mean for us? It was something that was pleasing in His sight. She gave her all. Scripture reminds us that God wants us to come to Him broken; that is the kind of sacrifice that honors Him. When we are broken, where do we turn to? Are we coming to God? Giving God all our broken pieces and allowing Him to mold us and put us back together–better than we were before?

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:16-17)

God created us.
He knows us.
While we shouldn’t withhold material possessions from God, the same applies to our personalities, spirits, and lives. We, ourselves, are rare. God wants us to give Him all of us. If we are encouragers, we should seek to glorify God by encouraging one another. If we can cook and enjoy it, bless others by cooking for them. If we are good with kids and able, serve others by offering to help with childcare at church or for friends. If our passion is to write, let us use that gift to glorify God in how we write.

Jesus is much more than the Pharisees saw him as. They didn’t even realize who Jesus was. They didn’t know He was  the Messiah. They spent time busy judging, when they could of come to know Him greater than anything they could ever imagine.

In Leviticus, the sacrifices are viewed by God as a fraginant offering—a PLEASING aroma to the Lord. God’s perspective is so much different than our own. In my own eyes, I may not see writing or encouraging another soul as a fantastic gesture of sacrifice, but God very well may see my heart in it and that glorifies Him–that pleases my God!

The true sacrifice wasn’t the pharisee opening his home. He may have sought a human reward. Note the woman—we might call her one who lost her mask and let her brokenness pour out onto Jesus’ feet. She hid nothing, and sought nothing but Jesus. She put everything into Jesus’ hands. Her sacrifice was the real deal, and this is how we should be. Willingly coming to Jesus, holding nothing back, and bringing everything as we run into His arms seeking His forgiveness, redemption, compassion, and transformation.

“Show me how to use my heart, my emotions, my gifts, my personality, my afflictions, and all I have to glorify You, God. Remind me that I can please You not because of who I am, but who You are! Thank you for sending Your son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and for raising Him again, so I may come to know You. It is only because of You that I can live the extraordinary life that You have given me! Thank you for loving me, even when I see myself as..just unlovable. Thank you for using me, even when I feel like I have nothing to give!”

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