What I read: Luke 7
Observations: There seems to be a recurring theme in the two major stories presented in the chapter. The first deals with a (presumably) Roman Centurion who has a sick servant that he would like Jesus to heal. The Jewish leaders who bring the request to Jesus say that he is “worthy” of Jesus fulfilling his request because of all that he had done for them. But when Jesus approaches the house, the Centurion sends word to Jesus and he phrases it in the exact opposite terms: “I’m NOT worthy”. The second story pairs similar responses, the first from the woman who acknowledges that she is not really worthy of being in the presence of Jesus and pours out her tears over his feet, and the second from Simon the Pharisee who seems to consider himself very worthy of Jesus’ presence. All in all the people who think of themselves as “unworthy” certainly come off looking better than those who deem themselves worthy.
Application: I need to learn that kind of humility and trust in relationship to God. Being somewhat self-righteous in my tendencies, I find that to be a major challenge for me. But I see my deep need to embrace my own unrighteousness in relationship to God. As long as I keep comparing myself to others, I can usually find enough people to make me feel better about myself. But if I read the story of the woman in Simon’s house correctly, it seems Jesus is more impressed with the people who own their own brokenness, and almost in an act of worship pour that out over him in deep and humble love. So really what I need is a constant reminder that whenever I start to feel self-righteous I should instead turn that into a moment to worship literally at the feet of Jesus in thanksgiving that he would ever love someone like me.
Prayer: Jesus, I needed this reminder today of just how deeply I need you. I needed the reminder of just how much I have been forgiven, and of how much I will need to be forgiven tomorrow, and every day for the rest of my life. I pray that I would never become the kind of person who loves you little because I think that I’ve been forgiven only a little. I want to love you much from the deep knowledge that I have been forgiven for so much. I don’t want to take your grace for granted as I so often do. Instead I want to worship you with a genuinely thankful heart for all your undeserved kindness to me. I’ve been forgiven much, let me love you, worship you, and relate to you always from the perspective of one who was deeply and undeservingly loved by you before I ever loved you.