Why? Why would Jesus go to dine in a Pharisee’s house? He had to know that the Pharisees were looking for excuses to criticize him. They had already complained that he was eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners. They had already accused him of letting his disciples break the Sabbath law by picking ears of corn on the Sabbath, a form of work that was strictly forbidden. Why would Jesus go into the lion’s den by eating at the home of a man who considered himself righteous by obeying scrupulously every commandment and tradition of the Law?
And then it happened.
A known sinner, a woman besides, crashes the dinner party, touches Jesus feet with her tears and with her hair, kisses them and anoints them with ointment.
Perfect! Simon was horrified and ecstatic at the same time. He had this so-called prophet right in his crosshairs!
But Jesus turns this breach of etiquette into a lesson of forgiveness and a criticism of Simon’s own lack of hospitality, showing his host is in need of forgiveness and not as righteous as he thought himself.
The Pharisee opened the doors to his home to Jesus. The woman opened the doors of her heart.
What can we learn?
• First, don’t mess with Jesus.
• Don’t consider yourself righteous.
• Don’t judge others harshly.
• We all are in need of the Lord’s mercy.
• And when you invite into your life, show him hospitality.