“Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner’” (Luke 7:39).
Simon the Pharisee allowed Jesus into his home. Clearly, though, he saw himself as superior to Jesus. There was no customary greeting — no foot washing, no oil, no kiss. To Simon, Jesus was the one on trial. How wrong he was.
When the woman from the city, a sinful woman, came into the home, weeping over Jesus, Simon was indignant. He was trying to assess Jesus, for the miracles and the crowds and the words were all so powerful. Who was this man? Why did He not follow the Pharisaical traditions? Who is Jesus? Is He a prophet?
Upon seeing Jesus allow this unnamed woman to wash his feet with her tears, Simon came to a conclusion. “He is not a prophet,” Simon thought, “Because a prophet would know what kind of woman this is.” Once a prophet knew that, he would withdraw, and Jesus did not withdraw. This was Simon’s thinking.
But one greater than a prophet was with Simon. Jesus did know. Jesus did not withdraw. Jesus is more than the twisted definition of a prophet Simon had clung to.
You see, Jesus saw this woman completely. He would later indicate the reason she loved Him so much is because He had forgiven her so much. He knew she was a woman with a deep need for forgiveness. “Her sins, which are many,” Christ would say. Her life had been overrun by shame and shameful acts. Jesus knew this. Yet He did not retreat from her.
Jesus sees you — and me — completely. Yet He does not retreat. He does not pull back in disgust.
Simon wanted Jesus to know and withdraw. But Jesus knew and engaged, because that is what He does. He looks to restore, to forgive, to delete the sin and shame, if we’ll only allow Him. And she had.
He sees you, all of you. He knows the secrets of the heart (Psalm 44:21). He knows the hearts of all the children of mankind (1 Kings 8:39). “No creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account” (Hebrews 4:13).
With this full knowledge, Jesus Christ does not withdraw. He had all this knowledge and information when He rushed to the cross at the appointed time. He knew He was making a way for salvation for a shameful species; He embraced that.
Christ engages in our restoration. He knows what is there. God made mankind in His image. He gave us eyes and feet and hands and ears, so that we could emulate Him. He sees and moves and works and listens without a body, but He gave us bodies; so that we could live out His image within us.
But we’ve used our eyes and feet and hands and ears in shameful ways. But then Christ came. His body was clean. It was pure. There was no defilement. He died in our place, making a way for us.
Now, He looks upon His people just as He looked upon this woman. Shame and sin are in the past. A new day has come. Forgiveness has flowed. His mission is to engage and restore us. He longs to take all the brokenness and put it back together into something more beautiful than ever before.
If only Simon could see this. He could have allowed Christ to do the same in Him.