Seest thou this woman?

Luke 7:44 (ESV)
"Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.”

This verse was in my morning reading today, and it stood out, although I am certain I have read this story many times. But today, it gave me pause.

Jesus had entered the house of Simon, a Pharisee, to eat with him. Where Simon neither offered water for His feet or greeted Him with a kiss, a poor and despised woman with a sinful past noticed the Master and went in and washed His feet, kissing them, and drying them with her hair. Jesus used this to rebuke Simon.

This morning I could not get my mind off of this woman and how clear such a scenario plays out with us today. Perhaps it was the KJV version with the words, “Seest thou this woman?” that made me reflect on an application for us today.

The Pharisee looked upon this woman as sub-human and likely would have passed her by on the street, seeing her as insignificant, at best. Certainly, he would have looked down on her for her wretched clothing, and the state of her condition. Yet, the Lord implored Simon to LOOK AT HER. Don’t ignore her, look her in the eyes. “Do you not see she is a human being, just like you?” Simon, like the other Pharisees, saw this woman as nothing worth taking notice of, no one worth saving. Only Jesus saw her humanity. Where sin abounds, grace abounds more.

How can we use this story in our own daily walk?

How many times have we seen those unfortunate souls who have fallen on hard times, only to find a way to walk around them or avoid them all together? Are we so caught up in our own self-righteousness that we cannot ever fathom that we, but for the grace of God, could be just like this person? Do we see these individuals and think we are superior? God help us if we do.

There is a famous saying that states, “The church is more of a museum for saints, than a hospital for sinners.” What an indictment this is. Is this your church? Here’s how to find out which side of the equation you are on:

Suppose you are sitting in your typical Sunday morning church, with your typical congregation, dressed as typical as everyone else. In walks a stranger, dressed much differently than you, looks much differently than anyone else in the congregation, and appears disheveled. Do you stare in shock? Are you upset that someone like this shows such utter disrespect for YOUR church? Do you automatically notify security? Your reaction says a lot about you.

First off, it’s not your church. It’s God’s.

We naturally congregate with like kinds of people, and in doing so overlook those who show obvious signs of brokenness, mostly out of fear or disgust. Yet, such behavior goes against every single lesson in God’s Word. Let Matthew 25:35-40 convict your soul, if necessary. It certainly reminds me of my own Pharisaical tendencies.

This poor, sinful woman, likely without a friend in the world, kissed the feet of Jesus in front of company that despised her even drawing a breath of their air. She stepped out boldly for Christ in complete and utter humility. How much we can learn from her!

How great was her sin, but how much more great was her forgiveness! Jesus saw her as we all should—created in His image, a child of God. I pray the Holy Spirit guides you and me today that our response mirrors Jesus the next time we come upon someone in such distress.

Let none of us look beyond the downtrodden anymore, but rather through the lens of our Savior, let us all look them in the eye with compassion and see them only as what we all are: God’s children.

“Seest thou this woman?”