Saturday, September 26, 2009

LITN VII, Verses 36 - 50

36. One day something totally unprecedented happened...one of the Pharisees actually invited Jesus to his home to dine with him. And Jesus, in spite of His strained and often volatile relationship with the religious leaders, graciously accepted the man's invitation and went to his house for dinner. The meal went smoothly...nothing controversial was brought up at the table...the atmosphere during the entire dinner party was harmonious and conciliatory...and afterward Jesus reclined at the table with his host and the others who were there, simply enjoying the evening, and relishing its promise of the possibility of a new relationship between them all.

37. But then something happened that interrupted the flow of the night's events, and completely changed the dynamics of everything that was happening in the Pharisee's house. Somehow, a woman, who was generally known as the town's leading and most infamous prostitute, had heard that Jesus was in the house, and had found her way into the dining area where He was. Suddenly she was standing right in front of Him, holding an alabaster flask of perfumed ointment.

38. None of the surprised people at the table said anything as she moved around behind Him, and suddenly burst into a flood of tears. Then, moving back to where she was, she collapsed on the floor in front of Him, took His bare feet into her hands, and pressed her face onto them so that the flow of her tears could physically wet them. Then she began to wipe them with her own long hair, while she affectionately kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.

39. Now the Pharisee who had invited Him saw what was happening, but because he didn't want to embarrass his dinner guest (mainly because he knew who she was), he just let it happen. Initially, he didn't say anything, assuming that she would finish up this unusual and provocative demonstration quickly, and then just leave his house. But after a few awkward moments of watching this display (which Jesus seemed perfectly fine with), he began to feel uncomfortable, and then offended. He said to himself, "If this man were really a prophet, He would surely know who and what sort of woman this seductress is who is touching Him in this way. If He had any sense of propriety or discernment at all, He would put a stop to it...not only is she doing this in my home without my consent...she is a woman who pleasures men for money...she shouldn't even be here, and she certainly shouldn't be touching a holy man!"

40. And Jesus, knowing what the man was thinking, said to him, "Simon, I want to say something to you." And he answered, "All right, Teacher...say it."

41. "A certain man who lent money at interest had two debtors...one owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.

42. When it became clear that neither of them had any means of paying him back, he freely forgave them both. Now which of them do you think will love him more?

43. Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he forgave and cancelled more. And Jesus said to him, "You're exactly right."

44. Then, turning back toward the woman who was still caressing His feet in her hands, He said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? When I entered your house this evening, you didn't even offer Me any water for My feet...but she has wet My feet with her own tears, and has wiped them with her own hair.

45. You didn't greet me with a kiss, but she, from the moment she came in, has not ceased to tenderly kiss My feet.

46. You didn't anoint My head with oil...not even with cheap, ordinary oil...but she has anointed My feet with costly and rare perfume.

47. So this is my conclusion...I know who she is, and I know what she does for a living...but her sins, many as they obviously are, are forgiven her, simply because she loves so much, and has proved it here. But he who is forgiven little loves little.

48. Then He said to her, "Sweetheart, your sins are all forgiven!"

49. And this statement undid any and all relationship building that may have occurred that night between Him and the Pharisees. Those who were at the table were scandalized by the whole scenario...for them, it was wrong on so many levels...and they began to say among themselves, "Who does this man think that He is that He can even forgive sins?"

50. But Jesus, undeterred as usual by the religious leaders and their lack of understanding, ignored them and said to the woman, "You washed my feet with your own tears and dried them with your own hair, so I say to you that your own faith has saved you! Go from here and enter into peace in your life!"

18 comments:

karl cobos said...

Bishop, was praying for ya' this morning, and I look forward to worship.

Anonymous said...

Ebony Thornton said...

Beautiful, Simply beautiful.

P Nancy said...

This is the most beautiful paraphrase yet....
Thank you Bishop!

Erik said...

Bishop, love the rest, but I think this one really engages the best. Love John in the Now, and most definitely Mark and Matthew, and there is something so much more in Luke, I see something I had not seen before, maybe the most earthy, maybe as physician, Luke really connected with people more than the others; however, it had not been so highlighted before. Thank You.

What I have always enjoyed about this event was that the Pharisees were the ones that were forgiven 500 denarii and the woman was the one forgiven 50, but the Pharisees had no idea, what the cost was of their presence, and how much more the cost was for their presence as opposed to the woman who loved much, regardless of what she did for a living (many of the Pharisees were her clients, which was why they were silent, and how she was able to get passed any ‘security’, because she had done so before).

I will be streaming Sun Am, and look forward to yet another exceeding experience. I have been so blessed by the services, and exponentially since Church in the Now and The Cathedral of The Holy Spirit have shared services together, and Bishop and Pastor D.E. sharing together. 1 can put 1000 to flight, 2 can put 10,000.. these two are speaking into this reality what the rocks and trees have been crying out.

I Praise God for it!

There is so much to be thankful for. I have had the special grace of God this weekend helping my son, Ryan, move from Eglin Air Force Base in FL, to Moody AFB in Valdosta, GA this weekend. In it, HS has shown me so much. Ryan is 26 . When I was his age, he was 9 years old. HS took me threw a wonderful panoramic view of my own life during this weekend. I am so proud and impressed with my son, and when I was 26, I had no idea of what was to unfold, and here we are. He diffuses and disables explosives for the military, clearly he is not adverse to risk, and at the same time is grounded and appreciates order. I am immensely proud and impressed with him. I have had a blessed review of my life, and see even more clearly how it is and has been all good.

I have been so extremely blessed in my life to see my son come into his own, to share with him the experience of the breadth, depth, and width of life, and to be a part of this experience, witnessing the expression of God , this manifestation of the Holy Spirit Now in the sharing of Pastor D.E. and Bishop, and all it expresses in the bigger picture. The micro and macro weaved together so exquisitely.

Thank You God for these gifts.

Anonymous said...

From the CITN blog...

Pamalia said...

What a JOY catchin Dr. Harold today speaking of the pitch (which was the calking in the ark) being atonement/reconciliation! Good words NEVER go out of style and like good ol family stories, you can hear them over n over again. : ) If Father was able to cover all the crevices in that montrous ark with pitch, I think He can cover our meager human bodies AND THE WHOLE WORLD with the blood of Christ!

THE TITAN TAG-TEAM...Bishop J.E.S and Pastor DE..keep us on the edge of our seats...Jes n DE...'Love is Father's essence'...His love INFUSES us and can't help but spill out onto others in our path. And David, David,David...what passion! To really hate and really love...we've all been there...looking fer the 'hate passages'..in Psalms...SO FUNNY it made my face hurt. No pretense at CITN, just practical...

I relish confirmation gize and today's sermon went right along with what Father is showing me...'Love folks where they are. Love them on purpose FOR purpose.'...so loving others actually gives ME purpose! What greater purpose could I have? 'Love on purpose FOR purpose.'

Will be seeing you on Wednesday nites really soon...

Belly n fist bumps all round!
Pamalia

PS Could Rutherford possibly make a dvd of his testimony? I sure would love to have it when working with addicts and their triggers?!?!

Anonymous said...

This fits very well with the message today. It is a beautiful arrangement of words to this story and takes my mind to an eternal place where the return of love is cherished by the Author of it. There are many souls that have washed the feet of Love with their tears and that may be all there is between life carrying on for humanity and its ending.

Really enjoyed the message delivered in unison the way it was this AM. That is the first time that I was able to view it and now see what others have been talking about. The delivery was powerful and it gives real meaning to where two or three are gathered together in Jesus name that He is also there. The blend of views are complimentary and helps the hearer understand the message of unconditional Love to greater clarity.

My mind is stirring with much inspiration from LITN. This gospel may be the most important one for today's society to get a view of Christ from the perspective of an educated writer. You have done a great job of keeping up with the mind of people in the now. We are all amazed at the information at our fingertips and at the same time find it very freeing to the soul that so many other people in the world have the same desire to know and worship God as Love.

Forward with no retreat,
John Brumlow

Anonymous said...

'Eternal place where the return of love is cherished by the Author of it.'
This quote from above is what I may use to sum up what I really feel about the text. I read it this morning , very early, and could in no way put anything in words about it-but I have let it simmer in my mind and heart all day-also mixed this with the sermon.
I went driving to enjoy the beaitiful blue sky and then took a walk. From a walking bridge, I looked down at four small turtles today, floating at a 45 degree angle, with their heads up. And I laughed and said- now who would make such a thing? And what is the turtle’s purpose- and all along I was laughing to myself, because I know. Love made the turtles and the purpose of the turtles and of all creation is love. Then I realized more that the turtles were really darling.
-- So what if in the beginning, Love said, let there be light, love said let us create man/woman in our image. What if I said, love is in control of all things?
Love -- God is Love. The purpose of all is love.
But back to the woman who Jesus so unconventionally accepted. Also
today I tought, who and how did Jesus become so able to accept this,with no problem, and who is he and how loving and how comfortable he is with affection ----this interpretation gave me an emotion of being loved. An ‘eternal place where the return of love is cherished by the Author of it.'
It reminds be of how I feel when one of my grandchildren looks me straight in my eyes with love, trust and joy. You see, I gave birth to this child's mother, she gave birth to this child, we loved her befor she was born. So you better believe I CHERISH her returning love to me!!

Anonymous in North GA

Avatar said...

Wordver and I are having issues...you know when we used to open the Bible and point to find an answer? Then try again because we didn't like that one! Well, wordver greeted me with "efool"...excuse me? Don't you know what the Bible says about calling people a fool? Anyway, a refresh was followed by something I won't repeat. And the current refreshed word is unintelligible...fine. So, for now I guess wordver is included in the day of atonement too...but I don't HAVE to walk with you and your rude self right now!!

Wasn't the sunset, marking the actual beginning of this beautiful atonement day, gorgeous?!

Good to see you back, Johnny.
I agree, Erik, physician Luke is more earthy...and beautiful, Ebony and PNancy.

Cool phrase Pamalia...Titan Tag-Team...Yes! Imagining that world where everyone is in love with God, filled with His Spirit, forgiving sins and Loving anyway is much easier to embrace after watching that Kingdom manifest on the platform today.

AnoninNGa, "Love is in control"...I won't be able to sing Twila Paris' song ever again without making that change...very cool, thanks.

Back in a few Bishop. I'd like to take some time with these verses and Yom Kippur.

Avatar said...

No kidding...wordver is now "morse". Close enough to re-morse...I'll take it. You were loved even without it, wordver.

Avatar said...

v.36 “graciously accepted...relishing its promise...of a new relationship”
There it is. The Christ, forgiving what lay behind and living in the now moment. Cool.

I’ve been considering the connection you made, Bishop, to the timing of this posting on Yom Kippur.

Dear Lord, there is so much I want to say about these passages but I’ve erased it all and I’m going with this. What I like best is “who was still caressing His feet...” in verse 44. I’m guessing that the Pharisees did not notice that this perfect manifestation of the Christ, Who had control over His tongue, therefore had control over His whole body. Whatever, they needed their scapegoat...the prostitute.

It is generally agreed that prostitution, even in its "milder" (if there is such a thing) forms, is about power, control and marginalization—scapegoats if you will, for pimps, johns AND the villages that refuse to help set the marginalized free.

Which brings me to v. 48’s...”Sweetheart”...
There is a sound in words that are spoken in real Love that is recognized clearly by those who have never or rarely heard it before. It seems to me that the woman didn’t need to hear the actual words “your sins are forgiven”. She already knew since she came prepared to anoint Jesus...which is why I like the addition of “sweetheart”. What a gift to one who probably heard it said so frequently without Love.

The forgiveness words were needed to remove the false scapegoat, expose the Pharisees great sin and put the God-chosen scapegoat into His proper place...v.49 “this statement undid any and all relationship building”. Indeed.

A sidenote: v.38 “she moved around behind Him and suddenly burst into a flood of tears”...Maybe its just me but I wonder if the woman originally came to just anoint Jesus’ head with oil. I’m not sure what the purpose of that practice was but I have recently noticed, personally, how refreshing it is to “just” wash off dusty feet. Arriving to honor “her King”, LITN leads me to wonder if the tears came from the thought, “Oh, my God, how could they have shown Him so much disrespect?” So she moved “back” to His feet and corrected that slight, using what she had at hand and in her heart...her hair and tears.

In a culture that clearly knew the protocol for this service, I’m convinced it was a deliberate slight by the Pharisee homeowner, making Jesus' desire for a renewed relationship after a new slight even more noteworthy.

Erik said...

Avatar, thank you for highlighting the endearment 'sweetheart' .

We All are the prostitute that God sees as 'Sweetheart'. I love that. I know how many times I have an eye for some created thing as The Creator, how many times I have felt seduced by creation as compared to the lust for The Creator.

Yet, The Creator, sees me as 'Sweetheart', reminding me that I love much, and am always back at God's feet, loving and washing Her/His feet with my tears, realizing how my vision was skewed for the temporary gain (selling myself)as opposed to investing in myself by His/Her presence, the Joy, Peace, and in right flow with the Universe, reminds me of my peaceful relationship with The Creator and ALL of creation.

Amen !

Northern Light said...

Well, I was thinking it's been too long since I said something that might be seen as intelligible or interesting. Hhhmm..... after reading Avatar & Erik's last few posts, I "got nothin". Love it all, agree with it, and just enjoy the coming together of mind and heart to share ideas, reflections and beliefs.

This place rocks !

Peace ~
Northern Light

Northern Light said...

P.S. Avatar,
on the issue of word vers and the "fight".....man, I've had some doosies and I also think "Whaaaat?"

Funny, thanks for that !

Peace~
Northern Light

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Amazing comments here, people...seriously...your insights and feedback take the experience of writing this to another level of joy for me...thanks for hearing and seeing...

Anonymous said...

agreement with Northern Light's statement about the sweet conversations on this topic.

the bride is the whore that made her robe white.

there is nothing greater than the exchange of love between the created and also that of the created with the Creator.

Love was from before the beginning as we know it and will remain when all else has passed away.

Karl said...

Blessed by the wonderful words here today, such as...;

Love them on purpose FOR purpose.'...so loving others actually gives ME purpose! What greater purpose could I have? 'Love on purpose FOR purpose.'

also...takes my mind to an eternal place where the return of love is cherished by the Author of it.

I'd like to say a dynamic and dynamite TNT Kingdom explosion on the platform, yes!

and...using what she had at hand and in her heart...her hair and tears.
(that one starting to get me choked up imagining myself as the prostitute at His feet)

I hope you all understand if I say "praise God for the prostitute!"...just as much as you would understand if I were to say "praise God for Judas"...how far can we actually take that in a Spirit understanding of all things working together for His purpose and His plan?

Could I also say "praise God for the adversary, since even that propels me into my destiny?"

I wonder if this woman prostitute was also symblolic of all the times the Bible mentioned Israel as "prostituting herself" with others (gods, nations) but eventually comes back to God with tears of love and affection, and gratefulness for saving her from what seemed certain death?

Love the presence of Love here.

God=Love, and Love is revealed.
Love=God, and God is revealed.

Love to all.

Karl said...

Interesting word ver for me personally, at least.

ovencess

Oven says. Several have told me that I need to keep baking/making bread consistently, and then yesterday at church a lady said that she thinks the Lord wants to show me things through the making of bread...which I thought was really neat...NOW MY OVEN IS SAYING something...

I guess it is saying... feed me! I was made for baking, so where's my food, where's that bread!, and that is encouraging me now to go and put some to rise!

Interesting how one little word ver is propelling me to move forward in my vision. God surely takes the "foolish things of the world!" I'm glad He's opening my eyes to see that and respond.

Yesterday's song "Moving Forward" also was a confirmation. I had just put a video of it by Ricardo Sanchez on my blog!..and then it was song at church...how cool He is!

Avatar said...

Cool, Erik.

Yeah, NL, some things wordver says just can't be ignored---[smile]

Understand completely, Karl!

I agree with the others, Bishop, this is an amazing place and what you do pulls it out and together at the same time.