Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

April 14, 2009

Volume 8 Number 8


The Woman that Loved God

As Yahshua (Jesus) went about healing people of their diseases, casting out demons from them, and even forgiving their sins, He drew the envious attention of the Pharisees. They were a sect of Jews who were known for their outward shows of piety and strict adherence to an ever increasing list of religious rules. Nevertheless, one of them invited Yahshua to his house for dinner:

36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Phariseeís house, and sat down to meat. -Luke 7

Suddenly, an uninvited woman walked into the house. Known to the people of the city as "a sinner," she brought with her a box made of a stone called "alabaster." It was filled with an anointing ointment:

37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Yahshua sat at meat in the Phariseeís house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, -Luke 7

We can only imagine the spectacular scene she created as she stood behind Yahshua tearfully weeping. This kind of weeping is described by the Greek word klaiw (klaio). It is that which accompanies the pain and grief associated with mourning for the dead. She came behind Yahshua, apparently without speaking, shedding enough tears to wash His feet. In an awesome display of humility and love, she washed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with ointment:

38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. -Luke 7

The Pharisee looked on, thinking to himself that Yahshua couldnít be a prophet! Otherwise He would know that the woman who is touching Him is a sinner!

39 Now when the Pharisee which had invited him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touches him: for she is a sinner. -Luke 7

Reading his mind, Yahshua called the Pharisee by his first name, Simon, and told him that He had something to say to him:

40 And Yahshua answering said to him, Simon, I have somewhat to say to you. And he said, Master, say on. -Luke 7

Yahshua proceeded to tell him a parable about forgiving debts. Then He asked Simon to answer a question:

41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said to him, You have rightly judged. -Luke 7

Upon hearing Simonís answer about forgiving the one who owed the most, Yahshua turned to the woman and compared Simon with her!

44 And he turned to the woman, and said to Simon, See you this woman? I entered into your house, you gave me no water for my feet: but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

45 You gave me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet.

46 My head with oil you did not anoint: but this woman has anointed my feet with ointment. -Luke 7

Unlike Simon, who was apparently convinced of his own righteousness, the woman knew she was a sinner. Without speaking, her remorseful spirit revealed the brokenness of her grieving heart. Paul describes the work of the Spirit in such times of weakness. He says that even though we donít know what we should be praying for, the Spirit searches our hearts and prays on our behalf according to the will of God with "groanings which cannot be uttered:"

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. -Romans 8

Even though she was a sinner, the woman showed the great love that she had within her heart. Recognizing the godly sorrow that accompanied her great love for Him, Yahshua forgave the woman for her sins!

47 Therefore I say unto you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.

48 And he said to her, Your sins are forgiven. -Luke 7

With her love, the woman also demonstrated the kind of deep sorrow that leads to true repentance. Paul describes two kinds of sorrow: godly sorrow and worldly sorrow:

10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death. -2 Corinthians 7

The more we love God, the greater is our conviction of the magnitude of our sins against Him. The result is godly sorrow. It is expressed as deep remorse and humble brokenness that leads to repentance of sins from deep within our spirit (heart) unto righteousness. Through it, we have a heightened awareness of our desperate need for Godís love and forgiveness. The result is true repentance unto a transformed life.

Unless we love God enough to submit our will to His, even though we may still be convicted of our sins, we are unlikely to be brokenhearted over their magnitude. We experience the "sorrow of the world," which leads us toward an intellectual and/or emotional decision to repent of our sins. Led by our will, rather than by the Spirit of God, we rely heavily upon our own strength as we attempt to maintain a condition of righteousness. However, without the power of Godís spirit interceding on our behalf, we find ourselves in the same kind of struggle with sin that Paul says he had:

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. -Romans 7

This condition exists because we have not fully submitted our will to Godís will. We forfeit the grace that God offers to us by refusing to humble ourselves before Him:

6 But he gives more grace. Therefore he says, God Yahweh resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. -James 4

It is only by submitting our will to Godís will that we will be able to resist the devil:

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. -James 4

Yahweh asked this question through the prophet Amos:

3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? -Amos 3

In order to walk with God, we must agree to walk together. Therefore, He must either submit to our will or we must submit to His. Trying to retain our will while claiming to do Godís will, is like having two heads, and two minds, on one body. Such a person is "double minded:"

8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. -James 4

We are "double minded" when we try to do Godís will, while refusing to give up our will. This means we are trying to be spiritually minded while we are still being led by a carnal mind. This is the kind of condition Paul described above (see Romans 7:19-20).

Having repented through the mind of the flesh rather than the mind of the spirit, we may have an apparent outward change, but our hearts remain unchanged. Paul explains that life and peace is for the spiritually minded:

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. -Romans 8

As long as we allow our carnal mind, which is the enemy of God, to be in charge of our will, we remain disobedient to the will of God. Consequently, no matter how hard we try, we cannot please Him:

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. -Romans 8

Once, however, we allow the Spirit of God to truly convict us of the sins within our heart, we grieve that we had allowed our carnal minds to deceive us of the lightness of our sins. Once we are convinced of the gravity of our sins against the God whom we love, we are broken hearted. Like the sinner woman, the greater our love for God, the greater our grief. That is when, as James explains, God will lift us up:

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. -James 4

How easy it is to be convinced through the sorrow of the world to accept as repentance that which is offered by the carnal mind! Persuaded in our minds of our own righteousness, we then allow the deceitfulness of sin to harden our hearts and to keep us from submitting through godly sorrow unto true repentance:

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. -Hebrews 3

The woman who was a sinner loved God enough to submit her will to His and she was forgiven for her sins. Have our hearts already been hardened? Or do we love God enough to allow them to be broken before Him in true repentance?

 

 

 

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