Invited but not welcomed

Luke 7:36-38 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.

Jesus had already begun to incur the wrath of the Pharisees. Simon, who was a Pharisee, invited Jesus to a meal at his house. We aren’t told what his motive was, and perhaps it isn’t fair to assume that he had hostile motives, but in a time when hospitality was important, it seemed overwhelmingly unimportant to Simon on this day.

Jesus didn’t say anything about the omission, but sat down at the meal He had been invited to. He could have called Simon out for his lack of hospitality, but He didn’t. Not until Simon began (in his thoughts) calling out the hospitality of another.

This sinful woman, an uninvited and unwanted guest, humbled herself that He might be honored. Her tears, her hair, her kisses, her perfume…all at His feet. For her to do this for Him she had to go low…something nobody else in the room had been willing to do.

Simon may have invited Jesus, but this woman welcomed Him.

I sat and wept as I thought of Jesus being dishonored by Simon. And then I realized that I am Simon.

So knowledgeable. So religious. Sitting at the table with Jesus as though an equal. Just one realized that the only appropriate posture was face down.

There are far too many Simon’s among us…inviting Jesus in with no concern to make Him feel welcome.