Rise Up in Peace
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” –Luke 7:50
The history of the pharisee and the sinful woman, which is found in Luke 7:36–50, is one that presents forgiveness, salvation, and faith. The Bible tells us that Jesus was invited to eat at the house of a pharisee named Simon. In that city, there lived a woman of dubious reputation who was noted for her bad life. That woman knew who Jesus was and what He could do. She went to the pharisee’s house and entered the activity. She went to where Jesus was, and given the magnitude of His presence, she prostrated herself before Him and quickly began to cry. Tears flowed profusely down her cheeks. And so, she knelt before Jesus, wet His feet with her tears, and kissed them. With her long hair, the woman dried the Lord’s feet. The woman had an alabaster jar full of perfume, which she also poured on Jesus’ feet. Faced with such a scene, Simon judged the woman’s life externally while Jesus valued the sincere and deep repentance that existed in her heart, through her act. Jesus told Simon another small parable—He taught that he who is forgiven for a greater debt will love that act of forgiving more. Jesus, in regard to the humility of the woman’s heart, told the woman: “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
The experience of forgiveness and salvation lived out by this woman is what each of us has gone through. Her faith saved her. She believed in God’s grace and accepted it. I still remember when I accepted the Lord at age 13 and when I was reconciled with Him at 33, both of which were some of the most beautiful experiences of my life. At each of those experiences at different stages of life, I felt in my heart the assurance that I was being forgiven and accepted. That faith provoked joy to recognize that I was genuinely liberated by our Savior. Experiencing God’s forgiveness causes our lives to be transformed, and we are healed, freed, renewed, and restored for the glory of His name. Forgiveness has a restorative effect that renews all areas of our lives. And it is there, at the feet of Jesus Christ, that we find salvation, forgiveness, hope, and peace.
My beloved sisters, do you have any situations that take away your peace? Our Father gives us the opportunity every day to come before His presence and talk about our matters with Him. His love is so great that He invites us, through prayer, to go before the throne of grace to present everything that takes away our peace. Let us prostrate ourselves with faith in His presence and leave everything there that takes away our quietness and joy. At His feet is where we will receive consolation, acceptance, forgiveness, hope, and peace. And again, our beloved Jesus will say, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
She Could Not Go Unnoticed
Women Impacted by Jesus – part 9
Have you ever tried to accomplish something without drawing attention to yourself? Perhaps you’ve arrived late at a meeting and tried to slip in quietly using the back door only to discover that you’ve entered through the front door and everyone is looking at you! In Luke 8:43-48, we read of a woman who had a similar experience. Seeking healing, this woman comes up behind Jesus and touches the edge of His robe. She doesn’t seek an audience with Jesus. She simply wants to receive healing without interrupting His journey.“Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.”(Luke 8:47)
Sit for a moment and imagine this woman’s trembling testimony. Why is she trembling? She has been discovered. She has taken something from Jesus without asking. Now in the spotlight, she tells why she touched Jesus and reports that she has been instantly healed. Having confessed, she awaits His response.
“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:48)
Listen to the tone of Jesus’ statement. Accepting. Affirming. Lifegiving. Gentle. There is no condemnation. May you hear the voice of Jesus speaking into your life in like manner.
Consider the content of His statement:
Daughter. This is an invitation to relationship. This is a declaration of belonging. Jesus gives this woman the assurance that she is accepted, she is adopted, and she has Someone who will lovingly see to her needs. Jesus does not want us to receive from Him without relationship. We don’t need to sneak around and “steal” from His supply of resources. We are daughters loved perfectly by our heavenly Father. Approach Him. Ask and receive.
Your faith has healed you. This is both a commendation and a confirmation. Jesus recognizes the faith that motivated this woman’s actions and confirms that she is indeed healed. Healed physically. Healed relationally. Healed emotionally. Jesus’ healing is a complete healing.
Go in peace. This woman is commissioned to move forward in the knowledge that she is loved, accepted, adopted, healed. What caused her fear, being discovered, became the source of her new-found peace. Her life was transformed by an encounter with Christ.
Take some time during this season of Lent to contemplate Jesus’ willingness to give you healing, His desire for relationship with you, and His commission to “go in peace.” Approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, coming through the front door, not sneaking in through the back. There you will receive mercy and find grace to help in your time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
About a month ago, I decided to make some homemade bread pudding with peaches and raisins for my 97-year old father who now lives in a nursing home. He used to request that I make it for him when I was a teenage girl. He is blind now, so I usually visit him on Saturday mornings to feed him breakfast. When I arrived, he had already been fed scrambled eggs and juice. So, I mentioned that I brought his favorite – bread pudding. So, he tried a bite. Then, every time I would be ready to put the spoon down, he would emphatically say “… more” and open his mouth for the next bite. It seemed Dad just couldn’t get enough of his favorite – bread pudding!!
Have you ever felt like you can’t get enough of Jesus? The songwriter, Eliza Hewitt, put it this way, “More about Jesus would I know, More of His grace to others show, More of His saving fullness see, More of His love Who died for me.” (full lyrics) Another songwriter, Annie Flint, so aptly penned it, “He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength when the labors increase. To added afflictions He addeth His mercy, to multiplied trials, His multiplied peace. His love has no limit, His grace has no measure. His power has no boundary known unto men. For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”
Can we ever have enough of a GOOD THING? Can we ever have enough of JESUS?
Editorial Note: Both Eliza Hewitt and Annie Flint wrote hymns lying in beds, overwhelmed with pain.
Hear more about these incredible women at:
“Ravi Zacharias about Annie Flint, He Giveth More Grace” youtube video
“Eliza Edmunds Hewitt, Songs from a Bed of Pain” Christianity.com article
She Loved Much
Women Impacted by Jesus – part 7
We are traveling together through the gospel of Luke, reflecting on women who received “more” through the life-transforming work of Jesus.
Today we find ourselves in the home of Simon the Pharisee. Jesus has been invited to have dinner with Simon and some other guests. One uninvited guest appears – a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town. She came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 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 7:37b-38]
Simon saw her sin; Jesus saw her faith.
Jesus defends and affirms her
Jesus turns toward the woman and speaks to Simon. That simple gesture of turning toward her should not be overlooked. Jesus then affirms the woman’s acts of devotion by declaring three times, “You did not…but she did,”and makes this summary statement: “She loved much.”
Jesus forgives her
Speaking to Simon, Jesus says, “I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven.” Then, speaking to the woman, Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven.”These are the first words Jesus speaks directly to her. They are life-giving, burden-releasing words.
Jesus reassures and commissions her
The account concludes with these words spoken by Jesus to the woman: “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Jesus gives her a fresh start.
As we walk through 2018, may Jesus be able to say of each of us, “She loved much.” Have faith. Show love. Scripture teaches us the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. [Galatians 5:6b]
May we love Him much and go in His peace.