Harmony Christian Church
Harmony Christian Church
Week 2 - How Could You? (Section 72)
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What would it be like to go from death to life?  From failure to freedom?  Jesus gave that gift so freely.  Don’t miss this message today to be impacted by the life of Jesus.  Jump in with us in Sections 72 of the Gospel Harmonies @ https://www.harmonychurch.cc/tracking-jesus-timeline/. IT’S EASY TO GIVE at Harmony, text any amount to (859) 459-0316  to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give ).

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ACT I

[Woman dressed in ancient clothes, sits frozen looking at herself in a mirror]

She was what you’d call “a lady of the night.”  Her profession had made her tough and unfeeling.  It was her job to pretend intimacy while maintaining distance.  

He was the first man she’d intentionally tried to get close to in years.  Not in a physical way.  She was just intrigued by His words, by His way with people.  His way with people like her.  She had heard the stories of Him raising a young boy from the dead.  She’d listened to Him speak of a kingdom where people like her were blessed.  

Then He crushed her, not in a bad way, but in a good way…  She was standing in the crowd that day when He said these words…

Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

She hadn’t been able to get them out of her mind all day long.  All she has known was weariness and burden.  It was like He was speaking straight to her…  Easy and light sounded amazing to her.  She was SO tired, she had never been able to see a way out before, but now, maybe…  just maybe there was a way…

All day long the feeling had been growing in her and now it had swelled to the point that she couldn’t ignore it anymore.  She put her shawl on, she went over the dresser she typically prepared herself for the men she entertained, this time she looked in the silver mirror and saw the potential for new life.  Tonight she would go to a man and give herself, not her body, her true self, the part she had hidden for so long.  

As she looked, she saw it, the tool of her trade, the alabaster jar of perfume she’d use to cover the stench of the men and to make herself seem alluring.  She knew what she had to do.  It had cost her a great deal of money, but it didn’t matter, she would lay it at the master’s feet as her gift and as a sign of her leaving this life behind for whatever was on the other side.

ACT II

[Table set on stage – no one but Kent up there]

That night, Jesus had been invited to a Pharisee’s house named Simon.  In those days you didn’t sit on chairs, you sat on the floor, you lounged on one arm and ate with the other.  I don’t know why Simon has invited Jesus, does he want to be close to this miracle worker for the prestige of it?  Out of curiosity?  or to keep him close as a potential threat…  We don’t know, all we know is that Jesus is there and he’s eating…  

She has somehow found out where Jesus is at.  She’s come with her alabaster jar of perfume.  She doesn’t know what she’s going to say or what she’s going to do, but she’s coming to bring Jesus her offering of repentance and hoping for a new life.  

What transpires next is one of the most beautifully raw moments of history…  Here’s how I see it…

This woman comes into the Pharisee’s house and goes to Jesus – you have to ask yourself how she knew how to get in and where to find Jesus in this man’s house…

Jesus is eating and telling a joke about a fisherman when all of a sudden everyone at the table gets silent.  There is the woman standing behind him.  In the silence, all Jesus hears is the faint sobbing of this woman.  She falls to her knees at his feet.  Tears streamed from her face, falling on his feet, wetting them.  As she looks she can see the streaks as the tears run through the dust on his feet.  Embarrassed, she begins to wipe away the tears with her hair.  She has completely forgotten to keep her composure.  At this moment, she’s lost it all.  Then it hits her, she can’t do much for this teacher, but she can wash his feet.  She wipes his feet, this holy man with her tears and hair.  She all of the sudden realizes why the perfume, she takes some and pours it over his feet.  

You… are witnessing… a holy moment.

and then the moment is broken…

Lk 7:39-50 

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

Jesus knows the thoughts of this man and his attention is stolen from this beautiful act of worship to deal with Simon’s complaint…

Listen to what Jesus says to Simon…

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon’s answer is that it’s the one with the bigger debt forgiven…

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Whoever has been forgiven little loves little…

b

The problem for Simon the Pharisee was his answer was wrong…

Neither person who owed the debt could pay the debt.  They had both been forgiven the same, it was just the perception of how they’d been forgiven that was different.

ACT III – MESSAGE:

ILLUSTRATION:

In the past when I’ve shared my testimony with people about all the terrible stuff I did before knowing Jesus, I’ve had people say, “I wish I had a story like that, I just grew up in church and always known Jesus…”

These people have a perception problem

b

They think their sin was less than my sin.  

Sin is sin, it will all separate you from God and all sin sends you to hell just the same.

Most of the time, their sin was more corrosive and destructive than mine, it just wasn’t as brash.  Their judgmental, gossip destroyed people without care.  Their selfish rage stole from those who weren’t as strong-willed.  Their casual approach to faith robbed sincere seekers of finding Jesus.  

The bottom line is, the woman perceived her need for Jesus and Simon didn’t…

b

At what point will you weep over the depth of your sin?

b

Do you know how to know if someone has been forgiven much? 

b

Because they will love much…

ILLUSTRATION:

I do things for my wife that I won’t do for other humans, do you know why?  because I love her.  I’ve learned more about grace from her than I will ever learn from another human being.  I give my life to her in love not because I’m a good guy, but because it’s what love does when you’ve experienced grace.

What about you?  Have you loved much?  How do I even do that, it’s not like Jesus is here for me to go wash his feet.

CLOSING CHALLENGE:

Matthew 25:31-40

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Did you notice, Jesus tells us exactly what it looks like for us to love much…

b

When we do anything for the “least of these” we do it for Jesus…

CLOSING:

I was thinking about how could we in a practical way all take steps this week to love much because of what we’ve been given from Jesus.  We have decided to partner with World Vision in a pretty special way, it’s called the Matthew 25 challenge.  It’s designed to point our hearts toward what it’s like to live without a lot of the things we take for granted so we can be the kind of people who realize the blessings we’ve been given.  It’s a spiritual practice.  Here’s what I want you to do, everyone take out your phone, in a second, we are going to text this number together…  Explain the challenge…

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