Feel Your Need

Reading: Luke 7:24-50


A Pharisee named Simon invites Jesus to a meal in his house. A woman of the city, who is a known sinner to the host and many others, comes in and begins ministering to Jesus: she washes his feet with her tears and hair, and uses her own costly ointment to anoint his feet. What does Simon see in all of this? “If he really was a prophet, he wouldn’t let this kind of woman touch him” (paraphrased, v. 39).


In response to this, Jesus tells his host a parable about two debtors (vv. 41-50). When the moneylender cancelled both their debts, Simon correctly reasons that the one who had the larger debt will love the moneylender more. With this truth on the table, Jesus directly applies the lesson to Simon and this woman. While Simon didn’t offer the customary greetings or hospitality to Jesus as a guest, this woman went above and beyond to honor the Lord (44-46).


Simon withholds good works of love and honor because of self-centeredness and self-assuredness. This woman sacrifices and serves with radical abandon because she knows she was not right with God, and that God’s Son is the only remedy. She loved much because she knew she was in need, and she knew God would meet those needs. Simon needed God’s mercy just as much as this woman, but he rejected the purpose of God for himself (v. 30) and therefore loved little.


Each of us needs Jesus Christ every single day. When we forget that fact, pride creeps in and causes us to stumble into ungodly thinking and behavior. But as we keep our dependence on the Lord at the front of our minds, our gratitude and love for Him will lead us to be the kind of living sacrifice that fulfills us and honors God.