Category Archives: immoral woman

Is God A Judge? What Is God’s Judgment? Who Gets Judged?

What is God’s judgment and who gets judged?

Many Christians believe God’s judgment happens when He comes back. He will separate the goats from the sheep. God will get those nasty evil people who refused to repent and ask Jesus into their lives.

My goodness what a vindictive and punitive mindset to have about God who loved the world!

Scary judgment versus True judgment

Judgment is a confusing and scary topic. Religion makes it so.

If we do not understand His judgment through His everlasting lovingkindness, then it will continue to be intimidating, unsettling, and fearful.

Understanding of true judgment comes when we recognize that everyone is made in the image of God, God does not make bad reflections, and He sent His Son to restore this truth.

Is God A Judge?

Does God judge?

Sadly religious Christianity preaches that God is a judge – meaning, someday He will deal with all this sin in the world and all those sinners. He will pound the gavel and declare “guilty” or “innocent”.

Really?

What do we do with the following scriptures that negate this religious vindictive punitive mindset?

  • God didn’t send His Son to judge the world, but that the world be saved through Jesus. (Jn 3:17)
  • The Father judges no one (nothing) but gave all judgment to the Son. (Jn 5:22)
  • I can do nothing of Myself. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. (Jn 5:30)
  • You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. (Jn 8:15)
  • …I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. (Jn 12:47)
  • God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them. (2Cor 5:19)
  • While we were sinners, Christ died for us and justified us by His blood and saved us. (Rom 5:8,9)
  • When we were enemies we were reconciled to God through His Son’s death, and since reconciled we are saved. (Rom 5:10)
  • Through one man’s offense judgment resulted, so through one Man’s righteous act resulted justification (GR. acquittal, absolution, approval) to all. (Rom5:18)

Sure looks like God is a non-judge Judge! Or His definition of judging is certainly different than ours.

Example of non-Judge judging

When Jesus said, “you judge according to the flesh, I judge no one”, He was speaking to those judging the woman caught in adultery. The self-righteous wanted to stone her to death, because the law commanded it.

But, Jesus had no words of condemnation. He came to fulfill (perfect) the law. Its perfection meant He spoke to her true identity. When He said ‘go and sin no more’, He didn’t mean do not commit adultery ever again. Jesus was exposing her emptiness and speaking of her true identity.

Sin (hamartia) means to have no share, to have no part, to be without, to be empty, to have no substance, to miss the mark.

Our mark, our identity, our part, our origin is God and He made us to enjoy and reflect His fullness of goodness. When we do things that don’t reflect Him we are without substance, without share. We are left empty as are others affected by our lack.

Jesus did not judge her actions, He spoke to her true being and for her “to be” so!

Meaning of Judge and Judgment

judge (krínō) – I judge, decide, to separate, distinguish, think good

judgment (krísis) – a decision, a judgment, divine judgment

Now, isn’t it interesting that ‘judge’ also means ‘think good’?

If “God is good and all the time God is good.”, then why wouldn’t His judgment be to ‘think good’ of all of us? Certainly something to think about.

Dig In

  • We tend to see judgment as a negative thing. We hope to escape God’s judgment because we believe it will be fierce. How quick we are to gloss over – God did not come to judge, but to save the whole wide world!
  • God’s judgment is reconciliation, restoration, salvation. The Greek word for salvation means deliverance, preservation, healing, wholeness. God is not against man, He is for man – His wondrous reflection. We have believed lies about ourselves. God’s judgment dealt a death blow to those lies and falsehoods. One day He is coming to make it very clear who we all really are, in the meantime He is bringing this truth here and now. Yay!
  • If we understood what His judgement really means, then exceeding joy would be our confidence and perspective. One big result – we would judge with a “righteous judgment” – just like His.
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What Did Jesus Mean Go and Sin No More?

Jesus’ last words to the woman caught in adultery were, “Go and sin no more.”

What in the world did He mean?

Before we get to that let’s review a few key points of Jesus’ actions from the post/video “Huge Meanings Why Jesus Stooped Wrote On The Ground and Raised Up Jn 8:2-11

Jesus Stoops for the Woman Caught in Adultery

Jesus stooped down – Jn 8:6,8

  • ‘stooped’ – Greek bend, bow the head
  • He put Himself in a weak position
  • Jesus became vulnerable
  • made Himself lower than the woman caught in adultery, thereby making her above Him (remember He came to lift us up to our original exalted position in Him – Eph ??? 2:4-6
  • He was identifying with the woman who was being shamed, put down, and accused
  • by bowing His head in essence He was cowering, like one would do if fearful and ready to be harmed. He was identifying with this woman.
  • He even put Himself lower than the accusers and essentially implying stone Me! I will take the blows for all your accusations towards her.

Jesus wrote on the ground  – Jn 8:6,8

  • Greek ‘on’ – properly, into – literally ‘motion into which implying penetration’, union, to a particular purpose or result
  • by writing in the dirt He was prophetically showing His oneness with humanity. The Creator of mankind became flesh and penetrated the dirt from whence we came. A prophetic union had taken place!
  • Getting His hand ‘dirty’ showed He had no aversion to mankind.
  • Greek for ‘ground’ means earth, soil, land, inhabitants of a region. It is also the same word used to describe Adam/mankind, i.e. “of the earth” (1Cor 15:47)

Jesus raised Himself up – Jn 8:7,10

  • ‘raised’ – Greek raised Myself, look up, am elated
  • a picture of His resurrection after He had stooped to identify with mankind
  • in raising Himself up Jesus got face to face, eye to eye – not only with the accusers the first time, but then with the woman caught in adultery. In those connections He was demonstrating to them their worth, their true identity, and the relational essence of their being with God.
  • a picture of the Godhead’s elation over the restoration and reconciliation that They knew was coming. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross. (Heb 12:2)

Note: when Jesus called her ‘Woman’, He was using a word that also means wife or my lady.  He was referring to her with respect. There is even an implication of the Bride of Christ with this word.

 Religion’sGo and sin no more’ meaning

  • Sober up.
  • Don’t you dare blow it again.
  • I have high expectations of you, in fact I demand perfection.
  • You need to try harder.
  • Don’t disappoint Me.
  • For all I’ve done for you, now you owe Me.
  • I don’t condemn you this time, but if there is a next time don’t expect such leniency.
  • It’s moral behavior I want, so be good.

Remember – Jesus prefaced “Go and sin no more” with “Neither do I condemn you.”

 Neither in the Greek is a big word. It means – neither indeed, not even, moreover not. It introduces a statement whose negation totally invalidates and rules out the statement that precedes it.

In other words, Jesus is saying ‘no condemnation allowed from anyone’ – even though the law says there should be condemning consequences, even death!

Jesus’ ‘Go and sin no more’ meaning

Therefore My lady –

go (Greek – move from one destination to another, depart from here and reach a particular destination)

and (indeed, even, moreover, also)

from (away from)

now (just at hand, immediately, now in light of what has gone before)

no more (no longer)

sin (without a part, a share; properly having no share in, without substance or form)

My loose translation based on insight into the Greek words:

‘My lady, your destination is not to be stoned, you have a better destination. Go away from what is at hand. Go away from what just transpired with all its accusations and legal requirements. You have a particular destination to reach so move to it. Leave the past behind. No longer be without your part and share of what I have for you. Stop believing lies about yourself. Repent, change your way of thinking. No longer stoop to a lesser identity. I did not make you to be formless but to have substance – to have significance, value, respect. Be who you really are! You belong and we are one! I rose up to show you how elated I am over you. So go your way, free to be all I made you to be. I made you for fullness of being – being My fullness in your own unique way!’

Can you just imagine the transformation that happened to that woman? She encountered the God of the universe, the God whose name the religious people would not even pronounce, the God who looked just like her – looking her in the face, eyes to eyes – saying in essence I love you, I value you, never will I condemn you, go and be who you really are.

Hmm, did she walk away with her head held high, a smile on her face, a skip in her step, and her eyes bright with who she really was? I’m thinkin’ so. She just faced truth and heard truth that set her free – free indeed! Gosh, imagine what all those accusers and onlookers thought of that?!

 Dig In

  • No matter what wrongs you do or mistakes you make, God will never ever condemn you. He specifically came to show you how valuable you are to Him, that you have always been precious, and never deserving of condemnation and judgment.  By the way – sin was judged, not mankind. (Jn 3:17  Jer 31:3  Heb 9:26  Heb 10:10)
  • You are never stuck in sin. Begin to realize He lifted you out of that formless place. Go and grow in revelation of the beauty of your being that began before time began – and BE IT! (1Tim 1:9,10)
  • Jesus ‘stooped’ below us in order to ‘raise’ us up to His level. Oh the glory of His inheritance in us! (Rom 4:25  Eph 2:6  Eph 1:18)

Huge Meanings Why Jesus Stooped Wrote On The Ground and Raised Up Jn 8:2-11

In scripture, when something is repeated two or three times, that means we need to pay attention. It is important. Take heed. Ponder.

Jesus repeated three actions TWO times concerning the woman caught in adultery as she had to stand before her accusers.

  • stooped down
  • wrote on the ground
  • raised Himself up

Looks like we need to pay attention!

There is HUGE meaning and significance to His, what I call, prophetic actions. Out of all my pondering, these past few weeks over His actions in this story with the adulterous woman, I was amazed to discover truths about our true identity and the Good News.

You know, if we begin to realize how much He is for us, how He came to show us who we really are, that He has never changed His mind about us, and get free from the ‘traditions of the elders’ (AKA religious tradition) – then we will begin to see this wondrous pattern of unconditional eternal love.

Click here for the video to see and hear for yourself what Jesus was saying by His actions. You will be wowed!


Dig In

  • Jesus knows the times when we were brought low. Please realize, He will get even lower than us, because He came to lift us up. We were always made to be lifted up and highly valued.
  • Jesus has nothing but terms of endearment about us, even in the midst of our blowing it. Open your heart to the truth of who you really are.
  • Don’t let accusers define you. Only God’s evaluation of you counts. Come into the revelation of His elation over you! Certainty of this is part of fullness.

P.S. The next post will explain what Jesus truly meant when He told the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.”

Jesus’ Gospel The Woman Caught In Adultery Includes Us!

Have you ever considered that the woman caught in adultery is a wonderful picture of us?

Now some might be offended that I would place them in company with an adulterer.

Isn’t it interesting how we Christians can get so hung up on particular sins, itemize them, prioritize them, and hence easily accuse. We decide which sins are really bad, which ones are allowable, and even which ones are not worth considering as sin.

Back to the woman caught in adultery being like us. This story in John 8:3-10 shows how Jesus brought out His scoop shovel to remove the mess she got caught in, as well as remove the mess she was drug into.

What Jesus did in this situation totally deconstructs the false teaching explained in my previous post. Our traditional religious Christian Gospel preaches that our salvation is up to us, Jesus begs to differ with that.

Click on the video to discover the true Gospel,, preached by Jesus Himself. Get the full scoop and nothing but the scoop.

Dig In

  • Grasp that His scoop shovel can handle and remove any mess.  And even in the midst of a mess, He does not condemn you.
  •  Seriously, why would God condemn someone made in His image? He knows our life, our experiences, our traumas, our poor choices, our misperceptions – and in the midst of that He values us.
  • When we realize we are not accused by God, then it sure makes it harder to want to accuse others. That is part of fullness!

Was Jesus Kind to Simon Is God Kind

God is demanding. God is mean. God has a big stick. God is distant. God will get you. God is too busy for you. Ever heard that? Ever thought that?

We can be told Jesus loves us and as children we openly receive that truth. But somewhere along our road we get this impression that God or God the Father is aloof and exacting. Fortunately over recent years the Lord has been bringing me more into who He really is and the fullness of His goodness.

Because of this ongoing new understanding He is enlarging my heart for Simon the Pharisee as I’ve pondered and posted on the Luke 7:36-50 passage. In the past I would have been critical of Simon, his in hospitality, his judging the immoral woman, his lack of love and care. But you know what? I was just as guilty as Simon! Truthfully, many years ago, I would have even had judgmental thoughts about the immoral woman too.  Truly ‘he who is forgiven little, loves little’ (Lk 7:47). That would have been me. I once had a very small heart too, just like Simon. Would you believe God still shows me places where my heart is small?  Usually not fun to see but I’m thankful He wants me more whole and free.

Did Simon begin ‘growing up’ thinking I am going to be a religious righteous man – work hard all my life to please God, follow all the rules, make sure I go to Synagogue every Sabbath, have perfect attendance at all the meetings, have a great appearance on the outside (with my long robes), receive lots of respectful greetings from people, etc. etc? So, let’s consider – Simon the baby/toddler – was he thinking those kinds of things when he was little? Fat chance. What happened to this ‘innocent’ impressionable little guy to make him one uptight Pharisee and religious know-it-all? Traditions got dumped on him and instilled in him. Have you even thought about the power of traditions? It’s incredible – enough to suck the life of God out of us even though we think we are doing what He wants! Religious traditions keep us from fullness. Sobering stuff.

Okay, back to Simon the adult and how God really felt about him. How do you read Jesus’ words to Simon – what was his tone of voice – impatient, firm, curt? What if Jesus’ words were with a kind and caring tone? What if we could grasp that Jesus saw ALL this man’s life and could see what handed down religious traditions had done to him? What if Jesus was truly trying to help Simon see the smallness of his heart due to his traditions?

Thinking about the ‘tone’ recalls the time God spoke to me about being a Pharisee. It was October 20, 1986 – reading the Bible before getting out of bed that morning, I happened to open to 1Corintians and began reading chapter 3. I got to verse 7 – “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” Then I heard this inner voice say to me in the most peaceful, gentle, and kind tone – “You think more of yourself than you should.” To hear Him ‘out of the blue’ like that, and His voice so soft, surprised me. I responded, almost audibly, with quiet incredulity, “I do?” Then, wouldn’t you know, days later at a prayer gathering someone was praying about Pharisees. I found myself asking myself rather sheepishly, “Am I a Pharisee?”  I began to look up all the scriptures on Pharisees. Wow, did He ever show me!

If God, back in October 1986, out of His love for me, was saying so kindly something that could have been easily resisted or justified (Pharisees are good at that!) then why wouldn’t He have a similar care for Simon? God isn’t mean, He really does care about us and for us. So why wouldn’t Jesus’ tone of voice in His dialogue with Simon be kind? I know, I know, there are the “Woe to you Pharisees…” passages. But the ‘woes’ were about what they did not who they were in His image. God abhorred what religiosity had done to them and how it made them treat others.

Supper In the House of Simon the Pharisee daBresciaThis painting, Supper In the House of Simon, by Italian artist Moretto da Brescia (1150-1554) expresses kindness, not harshness, coming from Jesus as He interacts with Simon. Notice Simon’s body language – he is not defensive but seems open to possibly receive the fullness Jesus wanted him to have, even though he was ‘in the dark’ (clothes and all). Maybe the artist really did daBrescia closeup Supper In House of Simon the Phariseecapture the heart of the Lord for this Pharisee.

Dig In

  • Perhaps when dealing with someone who is ‘difficult’ we could add to our thoughts the ‘baby/toddler’ aspect of them. It just might enable us to gain more understanding of who they really are.
  • It will take revelation by the Spirit of God and our really wanting to ‘see’ how much handed down religious traditions have skewed our understanding of who God really is and what we think He expects or wants from us.
  • When reading scripture let’s try to hear a tone that is kind and ‘for us’. As the Psalmist said, “This I know, that God is for me.” (Psalm 56:9b) Indeed He is! More than we know.

Why Wasn’t Simon the Pharisee Hospitable?

Luke 7:36-50
Simon asked Jesus over for dinner. They began to eat. Jesus makes no mention of Simon’s lack of normal hospitable etiquette towards Him. Not until the immoral woman shows up to express her profound appreciation of Jesus, did Jesus say something to Simon. I don’t think Jesus was offended at the lack of customary guest care. He was more concerned about Simon’s small heart and trying to help him see the size of his heart. Simon was missing out on fullness.

What did Jesus point out to Simon that he did not offer in the way of hospitality?

  • No water to wash the guest’s feet – either a servant would do that for the guest or the guest would wash their own.  To elaborate: washing feet is a humbling act – perhaps Simon didn’t want to give any indicators of humbling himself before Jesus.
  • No oil for the guest’s dry skin on one’s head.  To elaborate: oil can be symbolic of an anointing from God on someone’s life to empower them in God’s kingdom work. Maybe Simon didn’t want to acknowledge Jesus’ anointing by adding any more oil! In addition there might be the thought – Hey, where’s my anointing? Someone needs to give me oil!
  • No kiss for the guest – a kiss represented an affectionate or respectful form of greeting.  To elaborate: Simon might have thought Jesus was already getting enough honor from the crowds. The problem – he was not even sure Jesus deserved it. Mind you, He keeps breaking the law on the Sabbath! In addition Simon might have mulled – where is the honor I should be getting, doesn’t anyone notice all my hard work for God?

What motivated this lack of common courtesies?

  • Had Simon judged Jesus? He certainly did when he thought to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner?” (Lk 7:39)
  • Was he jealous of Him? Surely Simon was aware of, perhaps even witnessed, the many healings and deliverances from unclean spirits that Jesus was doing. If so, he would have seen the masses running after Jesus. What a threat to someone who wants to be important.
  • How about competition? Of course in this situation it would be one-sided – obviously Jesus is not in competition with anyone. But Simon was used to competition among his peers – who could keep the rules the best.

Some might consider Simon’s behavior Passive-aggressive. I’d like to call it Simon-withholding behavior. Ever had Simon-withholding in your personal life? Ever seen it in today’s church? In the church we might recognize it as competition and jealousy – among denominations, within a denomination, within local churches, or among ministry leaders.

This jealousy and competition can manifest itself in the church by:

  • Boasting about and comparing attendance or offerings
  • Comparing who has the best preaching/teaching anointing – then striving to be better than…
  • Determining who moves best in certain gifts of the Spirit – thus exalting some, limiting most
  •  Vying for more ‘air time’ or ‘platform time’

Isn’t it something that because of jealousy, comparisons, and competition we can knowingly or unknowingly withhold affection or support, use flattery with a hidden agenda to move ‘upward’, fall into fault finding and criticizing, and succumb to complaining and murmuring? The result – no fullness.

Dig In

  • It’s good to remember that Jesus is always extending grace to all – He wants sinners and Pharisees (who are also sinners, they just don’t know it) to receive His fullness.
  • When we want to be important or really spiritual (like Simon) then we open ourselves up to jealousy, comparison, and competition. Sure things that will deny us fullness. By the way, we were made for importance but not by the world’s standards. The kind of importance He has for us is ‘out of this world’ and truly fulfilling!
  • Lord, free us from Hospitality That Gives FullnessSimon withholding. Free us from our selves that we may reach out and be givers. Freely we have received, freely we are free to give. That is fullness!

Simon the Pharisee Who Invited Who

We looked at the awkwardness of the Woman Washing Jesus’ Feet Part 1  and why she was compelled to do that in Part 2 . Now what about Simon the Pharisee whose house an immoral woman invaded? The story (Luke 7:36-50) about him, this woman, and Jesus is brimming with fullness and potential fullness. That ‘potential’ was there for Simon!

Simon had invited Fullness (Jesus) over for dinner. Then add to that, another ”full’ person had come into his house. Talk about opportunity to dig in and indulge! But Simon the Pharisee didn’t and couldn’t. Why?

Pharisees of that day were committed to following all the laws and traditions in order to show God (and others – get that?!) how much they ‘loved’ Him. Sadly the Pharisees had no idea how far removed they were from knowing God and His love. Come to think of it, maybe they weren’t so much about the ‘love’ thing but more about dutiful ‘obedience’. At least that can be measured – like checking off a list – so success seems more likely.

God is not anti Pharisee the person, He is anti religion – with all its structures, hierarchy, rules, requirements, obligations, agendas, good works, performance, and guilt-laden expectations. These kind of things, and our effort that they demand, cannot find or please God. (Been there, done that!)  None of these can ever reveal God’s love, earn His love, or enable a relationship with Him. How quickly we forget or don’t even know He chooses us, we don’t choose Him (John 15:16). And He doesn’t choose us because we are good or try to be good. In fact, Jesus was known as the friend of sinners. God is the great initiator, the great pursuer. Gosh, God so loved the world! That sounds like everybody to me, even those who try really hard to do it right and think they are right. That is why a Pharisee type person has a harder time grasping His unconditional love.

Since Simon was all about duty, performance, and appearance, that made him very good at judging and judging rashly. This painting by Rueben aptly portrays Simon’s intense self-righteous and judgmental posture. Can you pick him out of the crowd?Feast In The House of Simon the Pharisee

Feast In The House of Simon by Pieter Paul Reubens 1618-1620

Simon who thought he was in the light was actually the one ‘in the dark’ at this meal. The artist Reuben portrays him as such and the immoral woman who used to be in the dark is now the one in the light and near the Light. Simon was so sure she was the prostitute  of the city (Lk 7:37,39), but when she came into his house that is not who she was! (See previous post.) His small religious heart, blinded by his dutiful works, kept him from seeing clearly and sensitively.

It is sure easy to be like a Pharisee and only look at the present outward actions or looks and not consider seeing deeper. How easy it is to forget this truth – “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” (1Sam 16:7).

Dig In

  • Let’s not be dutiful in our relationship with God – it’s bondage. Take inventory – are there some things we do or we think we should do that actually keep us from really knowing God and His magnanimous love? Get free from them!
  • We might invite Jesus to a nice ‘meal’ – a situation or happening. But then it unfolds into something really messy. Perhaps God has turned the table and invited us to potential fullness. We then have the choice to indulge and grow or be critical and stay small.
  • We can rest assured God looks on our heart. He’s not into appearances. So relax, rest, and enjoy this unconditional love and acceptance found only in the light of God’s Son, Jesus. And may we too become those who look on the heart, not outward appearances.

Woman Washing His Feet Part 2

If you encountered and received absolute unconditional acceptance that was not dependent on anything you did or didn’t do how would that affect you?

In Woman Washing His Feet Part 1 we looked at the messiness of the prostitute’s behavior towards Jesus. Why would she make such a seeming fool of herself? What might have happened to this woman of ill repute before she entered  Simon’s house and did that?

Speculative Questions

  • Had this woman encountered Jesus somewhere else?
  • Did she hear Him teach and His words washed over her heart bringing understanding of true love?
  • Was she in a crowd and He made eye contact with her? On purpose?
  • In that moment of eyes to eyes did she feel absolute utter acceptance and no condemnation?
  • Did that momentary connection with Him cause her to see and know her true identity and value that transcended her actions and livelihood?
  • Was this truth about who she really was increasing within her?
  • Is this what drove her to do the unthinkable?

Anyone answer “YES!” to some of these speculative questions? “Yes” helps us understand why she would be compelled to do ‘awkward’ when opportunity arose. However, I don’t think she considered it ‘awkward’.

Encountering Fullness

Prostitute Weeping At Jesus Feet

Woman Washing Feet With Utter Gratitude – Artist Unknown

I believe this empty woman encountered fullness, encountered unconditional love, encountered acceptance in the midst of her lifestyle of sin (besides weakness, pain, hurt). This revelation of acceptance overwhelmed her to dare break protocol, to have no fear of man or man’s opinion. She had to express lavish gratitude, in person, to the One who accepted her unconditionally.

Her unconditional acceptance nullified the negative stares, thoughts, words that were sure to happen by entering Simon’s house. She could care less! WHO she really cared about was her focus, passion, and life.

But what about her sins!?

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus told her at the end of this story:
“Woman, your sins have been forgiven.”
Note, it wasn’t “Woman, your sins ARE forgiven.”

In the acceptance was the forgiveness!

It wasn’t first repent and weep all over the place, languish and grovel in your sins, give God something (in this case perfume) –  then be forgiven, and then you’ll be accepted.

Acceptance comes first – that is the beginning of fullness. Something had happened previously for this immoral woman to know she had already been forgiven – that is why she could brazenly break into a Pharisaical atmosphere to get to Jesus to graphically tell Him – “I get it! I know! You accept me just as I am! This acceptance filled her whole being – it had to come out with such effusive emotion, tender love, and pure gratitude. No hidden motive or agenda here.

This fullness could not be contained. Religion couldn’t stop it. Fear of man had no power against it. Judgment and condemnation had no effect. That’s what happens when you are full.

Lastly Jesus said to her, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” In light of other scriptures He is in essence saying to her, “Jesus has saved you; go in Jesus.” Really!

What do you think “saved” meant in this passage? Go to heaven? (As an aside – if that’s what we think the ‘Gospel’ or ‘Good News’ basically means then we are missing the fullness of the gospel of His kingdom.)  ‘Saved’ in Greek means safe, well, made well, preserved, recovered, restored, cured.

Was it her faith?! No. Scriptures show that even ‘faith’ comes from Him, it’s His faith. My how He provides all things for us! ‘Faith’ in Greek comes from a word that means to persuade, to have confidence, trust.  This confidence and trust came out of her encounter with unconditional acceptance. Jesus had given her everything she needed. I’m guessing she didn’t even know what she needed! But He did. She encountered the One who brought truth that released this confidence and trust (faith) – she was never the same again.

Dig In

  • How easy it is to deny or doubt His unconditional acceptance of us right in the middle or our messes. Surely we have to do something? No. Fullness is full of grace – free, undeserved, and profuse.
  • This prostitute wasn’t a virgin but she was a virgin. Huh? Only in Him is that possible. Fullness is meant to transform all of us into who He really made us to be.
  • When we truly encounter His fullness of acceptance we shouldn’t be surprised at lavish and effusive displays of gratitude. In fact to observe these displays by others will be humbling, to do them ourselves will be holy.

To be continued: Part 3 What about Simon

Woman Washing His Feet Part 1

The previous post, ‘Fullness In The Bible’, helped show that Jesus is the fullness and the giver of fullness. One of the verses stated we have all received of this fullness, so who would that include? How about a prostitute?

Luke 7:37-50 is a true story of such an immoral woman who found fullness. I hope you can take time to read this passage as He just might show you some other insights on fullness.

The Scene

Woman Washing Jesus' Feet

Woman Washing Jesus’ Feet – Artist Unknown

Simon, the Pharisee, is having Jesus over for dinner. An immoral woman learns Jesus is in this Pharisee’s house. Not invited, let alone welcomed, she has the audacity to invade his house and crash the dinner party. The woman is weeping over Jesus’ feet, wetting them with her tears, wiping them with her hair, kissing His feet, and anointing them with perfume.

Did you know

  • in that culture a woman was to loose her hair only before her husband in private, to let it down in public was scandalous – like going topless in our day
  • kissing His feet – the Greek word kissing implies ‘smothering’ His feet with kisses
  • the vial of perfume would have been bought with money from her type of ‘work’ 

Questions To Ponder

  • Would some consider her perfume ‘unclean’ knowing how she paid for it? Would that thought have even crossed her mind?
  • What compelled this woman of ill repute to dare enter a Pharisee’s house to get to Jesus?
  • Couldn’t she have waited until she saw Him on the street or among the crowds?
  • Did she not care that she looked like an uncontrollable mess?
  • Didn’t she think she might be thrown out by Simon knowing she was of ill repute?
  • Had she lost common sense – going into a ‘den’ of judgment and condemnation?
  • Wouldn’t she even think, “Awkward.”, for Jesus?
  • Did she forget about the cultural propriety of women keeping their hair bound up in public?
  • Was she hoping to gain something by barging in like this?

Dig In

  • Everything about this woman and her actions are uncomfortable and against the norm.
  • Many of us like decorum and tidy but God shows up most when it’s messy. Or is it that He seems to invite messy?!
  • When we see something that is so uncomfortable or messy do we take time to consider why it might be that way? If we do, it might enlarge us to get past outward appearances and go to the heart of things thus discovering fullness.

Next post: Part 2 – what happened to this prostitute to do what she did?