Day 1: The Goblet of Grace
"Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them." (Luke 6:36-38)
They couldn't have been more different, these two people. They were from completely different worlds, the opposite sides of the tracks. He was a religious leader of Israel. She was a prostitute. He was looked up to. She was looked down on. He made the rules. She broke them. He had a name - Simon. She was nameless. And tonight, he's throwing a dinner party for Jesus. And she's crashing it.
As it turns out, Simon proves to be a rude host. He did not offer Jesus a kiss of greeting. No washing His feet. No oil for His head. Nothing unusual really, just the customary greetings. In today's language, the passage would read, "You did not take my coat. You did not shake my hand, nor offer me a drink."
But the nameless woman done everything Simon could have - no - should have done. She has so much she wants to say, but the words go unspoken. All she can do is stand there and weep. She caresses His feet gently with her hands. She has no basin of water, but she does have tears. She has no towel, but she does have her hair. And she takes an alabaster jar of fragrant oil, perhaps her only possession of worth, and massages it into His skin as its sweet fragrance fills the room.
Why didn't Simon do this? What is the difference between him and the nameless woman? When the Savior hands him the goblet of grace, Simon takes a sip. He swishes it around in his mouth. He analyzes it. He has come to Jesus only for a taste test. You see, people like Simon don't request mercy; they debate it. It wasn't that Simon couldn't be forgiven, he just doesn't know he needs it.
But when Jesus hands the goblet of grace to the woman, she doesn't take a sip. No, she drinks deeply. She turns the goblet up and gulps and swallows like the parched sinner that she is, and grace flows over the sides of the goblet and down her neck and chest until every inch of her hardened soul is covered.
While Simon has little love to offer, she has ample love to give. Jesus explains the difference: "Her sins-and they are many," He states, "have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love."
Come to Jesus today. Not to debate. Not to analyze. But to just simply accept Him and His forgiveness. Come thirsty, and drink deeply.