THE JESUS I DIDN’T KNOW: THE PROPHET

How well do you know Jesus? We all like to think we know Jesus pretty well. I’ve had close to fifty years of wonderful, sweet communion with Jesus. I’ve devoted over forty years of my life to studying and teaching His Word. I’m talking about going back to the original languages and learning as much as I can about Jewish culture, institutions, and beliefs. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Know-It-All. And you can ask my kids: I’m not inerrant or infallible. But still, knowing what I know, I’d like to think I know Jesus pretty good. To my pleasant surprise, however, I don’t know Jesus as good as I think I do. To this day, He still shows me more about Himself that I didn’t know before. Here, let me give you a snippet of the Jesus I never knew.

THE PROPHET WHO WASN’T

Hello. My name is Simon the Pharisee. As you can tell by my surname, I’m not one of Jesus’ followers. Many of my brothers in the fraternity had already made their minds up about Jesus. As far as they were concerned, Jesus was no prophet or messiah. If anything, he was possessed by the devil himself.

Their assessments of Jesus stood in stark contrast to the guy’s popularity and following. Wherever he went the people clamored after him. He was, after all, a miracle worker. And everybody needs a miracle.

As for myself, I wasn’t at all sure about what to make of Jesus. In all fairness to him, I decided that the only way I was going to know for sure was for me to invite him over to my house for a meal. Jesus graciously accepted, so I started making my supper plans.

Things were going well that evening. Then, to my horror of horrors, an adulteress entered my house! The entire scene was brought to a standstill. No one said a word. No one moved. We were all dumbfounded and frozen in time by the sinner known to all as such. Normally, she wouldn’t have been allowed in my house. She was an adulteress and her very presence would render my house unclean. She ought to have known that an adulteress would never be welcome in the house of a Pharisee. She was audacious and my blood started to boil. I was incensed!

But there was nothing I could do! A famous rabbi was in my house and, under such circumstances, it was customary for people to drop by and hear whatever the rabbi had to say. Grudgingly, the sinner was within her right to drop by. But I still didn’t appreciate it and I found myself starting to get volcanic at the sight of an adulteress in my house.

Things soon turned from bad to worse when the adulteress started sobbing profusely for no known reason. She didn’t utter a word. She came in the dining room and, when she saw Jesus, she just broke down and sobbed as if a levee had been breached. She fell at Jesus’ feet and, with her tears, started to wash his feet.

Then she did the unthinkable. She removed her head covering, loosed her hair pin, and with her long hair she began to dry Jesus’ feet. Now I don’t know if you know anything about our Jewish ways. But when a woman let her hair down or showed her hair in public this was an act of lewdness and immodesty. No woman with any sense or propriety would dare do such a thing! Especially in the presence of a rabbi! And most definitely not in the home of a Pharisee! I was beyond volcanic! But I found myself strangely speechless and unable to move.

When she was done drying Jesus’ feet, she took a small vial of perfume that hung around her neck. She opened it and poured it on Jesus’ feet. She rubbed it on and just knelt there, transfixed, as if everything was honky dory.

By now it became painfully obvious to me that if Jesus was truly a prophet he would not have allowed this sinner of a woman to do what she did to him. It was a common understanding we had amongst ourselves that no man of God who would allow a woman to touch him in public. And definitely not a sinner! More than anything else I’d heard about Jesus, his reclining there and letting the adulteress carry on the way she did proved to me that there was no way this guy could be a prophet.

As I was formulating my settled conclusion about Jesus in my mind, he looked at me and asked, Simon, do you mind if I tell you a story?

Not at all, I said. I’m all ears.

Jesus started in. Two men owed a moneylender some money. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other owed him fifty.  (42)  When they couldn’t pay it back, the moneylender kindly forgave both debtors and told them they didn’t have to pay him back. Now who do you think will love him the most (Luke 7:41-42)?

Well, that was a no-brainer for me. The guy who owed him the most would love him the most, I replied. What, I was wondering to myself, was Jesus getting at? I didn’t have long to wait on the answer.

You’re right, Simon, Jesus said. Then He turned to the woman and asked me, Have you noticed this woman? When I came into your home, you didn’t give me any water so I could wash my feet. But she has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.  (45)  You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet.  (46)  You didn’t even pour olive oil on my head, but she has poured expensive perfume on my feet.  (47)  So I tell you that all her sins are forgiven, and that is why she has shown great love. But anyone who has been forgiven for only a little will show only a little love. (48)  Then Jesus said to the woman, Your sins are forgiven (Luke 7:44-48).

I was volcanic with the adulteress. But Jesus’ words so totally crushed and humiliated me. He was right! When he came to my door I should have greeted him with the customary Jewish greeting or kiss. I should have washed his feet. And I should have sprinkled cologne on him. These were customary things that were done for every visitor and guest. But I failed to show Jesus common human decency and respect.

Worse yet, the adulteress showed me up. She did what I had failed to do!

I was so ashamed of myself, so humiliated in the presence of my friends, and so volcanic with the sinner, that I wanted this meal to end. Thankfully, it ended rather quickly, in cold silence, and I was relieved when everyone left me to myself.

I thought Jesus wasn’t a prophet. No way was he a prophet! But he knew what I was thinking about him. I thought he didn’t know about the woman’s sinful life. But he knew her many sins. Turned out, he really was a prophet! I hate to admit that. But in knowing people he really didn’t know from Adam, people such as this adulteress and me, Jesus showed himself to be a prophet.

So take it from me. And remember that I’m not a Christian who’s telling you this. Just when you think you have Jesus all figured out and think he can’t possibly be the guy that Christians are making him out to be, you’d better think twice. Jesus is so much more than you think he is. If you think I’m wrong, have Him over for supper.

3 Comments

  1. March 15, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Loved it I love when a teaching reminds me of how precious and sweet Jesus is it renews my first love! How can I help but love Him He has been the same yesterday today and forever, There was a time that I went through a lot and thought He left me . I left Him . I am back and want to stay here.

    • gaylorddiaz said,

      March 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      Thank you. I’m soooo happy you came back to the Lord. He is sooo good. May He fill your life with His peace, love, and blessings. Most of all, His felt presence.

  2. March 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Hey! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the excellent work!


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