Jesus made time for people. All kinds of people. He came to serve, not to be served, and He made no distinction between people of high or low class, between the religious and the sinner, between the socially acceptable and the shunned; He served all alike.
Although Jesus reserved some of his harshest criticism for the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, He did not hate them. He made time for Nicodemus, the fearful Pharisee who came to Him under cover of night to find answers to his troubling questions. He made time to answer the questions of the Pharisees who travelled with Him and His disciples. And when a Pharisee named Simon invited Him to dinner at his house, Jesus accepted his invitation as readily as Matthew’s.
While at Simon’s home, a woman with a local reputation for being sinful came in weeping and proceeded to wash His feet with her tears, dry them with her hair, and annoint them with expensive perfume. This situation Jesus readily accepted also.
Simon however, was appalled. It’s a pretty safe bet that this woman had never been in Simon’s home before, and maybe never would have if Jesus hadn’t been there. To have associations with this notorious sinner would have meant scandal for Simon. He might have been seen as one of those who “…lead captive silly women, laden with sins” (2 Timothy 3:6). Her steps go down to death and Sheol; he wanted nothing to do with her.
It’s my guess that prior to this, she didn’t have much use for the Pharisees, either. I doubt she had any particular longing to be in Simon’s house. But in the presence of Jesus, sinners and Pharisees often find themselves under the same roof.
Jesus lived and moved in two mutually exclusive worlds. Neither one had much tolerance for the other. It was all the same to Him whether He ate with tax collectors and harlots one night, or Pharisees and harlots the next. They were all people whom His Father loved. Beyond that, they were people He loved. Neither the sinner’s disdain nor the Pharisees’s smug self-righteousness was a part of His thinking.
Where Jesus is, anything can happen. Worlds collide, and human beings are reminded that they’re just human beings – nothing more and nothing less. Sinners and Pharisees find themselves under the same roof, faced with the same Saviour, and the realization that we’re ALL worth saving.
©2017 David Fuller