Jesus loves you more than any expert religious person ever will. In Luke chapter 7 we read the story of the “sinful woman” who anointed Jesus’ feet. They were both openly criticized by the religious elites with whom Jesus was dining. They wondered how he could be a “holy man” and allow himself to be anointed by this town whore. Doesn’t he know?
Oh, doesn’t he. And that, it seems, is the point. While others cast her out because of her life, he drew her near in spite of it. And when she experienced the radical, non-religious love of Jesus, it changed her forever. She would be, it seems, more grateful and loving toward him than any “righteous” person who didn’t need as much forgiving.
This is not a knock on religion, per se, but rather an important point that we need to remember, based on the words of Jesus himself. Religion, at its very best, is a weak effort by humans to “figure out” how to live a life worthy of God. Pure discipleship – the following of God – is much more about getting our identity right first. If we understand how much God loves us, and how much we are forgiven, we are destined to love God well and in staying close to him, love others well.
So this week, bring all your worst stuff to the feet of Jesus. Weep and let your tears wash his feet in a humble cry for healing. Based on his character, I know he will not cast you out, but forgive you, honor you and restore you with a love that baffles the religious elites and leaves you more grateful than you can imagine.
Grace and Peace,