Now the Pharisee said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him – that she is a sinner.’ Luke 7:39
I had a dream the other night. In it a handsome, rich, charming young man was flirting with me. I was quite flattered but I wouldn’t let myself trust his intentions. Something within me felt like I was not worthy of his attention. An accusing inner voice said, “You’re too old, you’re not pretty enough, he can’t really like you, don’t believe him, it’s too good to be true.” I wanted to trust him, but a deep-seated fear wouldn’t let me.
It’s like I carry around a Pharisee in my head, one that knows who and what I am – an unloveable, unattractive, valueless sinner, not worthy touching or being touched; and this accusing voice attempts to keep me from giving and receiving love. I have a core belief that good cannot be for me, I am not worthy of good; it’s based on a primal fear that if you really knew me, you wouldn’t love me.
This sinful woman anointing Jesus’ feet doesn’t let the Pharisee keep her away from love. He’s not telling her anything she doesn’t already know, she knows she’s a sinner, she knows just how unworthy she is to be in his good and holy home; in fact it is her awareness of her great sinfulness that fuels her love of Jesus. She knows how much she owes him.
Maybe you have a Pharisee in your head, accusing you of great sinfulness, declaring you not worthy of God’s love. It’s counter intuitive but what you need to do is agree with the voice, let yourself become aware of just how great a sinner you are; how profoundly you need God’s mercy. But don’t let the Pharisee shame you into hiding yourself from Jesus. Like the woman, let your heart fill with gratitude for all God’s done for you and offer yourself and your gifts.
Jesus said,”Her sins, which were many have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love.” Luke 7:47