Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A fresh look at Mary washing Jesus' feet

I love it when there is a fresh way to look at a familiar Bible story. This morning I was reading an article that brought the incident of Mary washing Jesus' feet into a new light. Just suppose that Mary was not crying with remorse for her past life but had come to learn more of his teachings, sitting humbly by his feet, only to see that he was not being treated with respect. His feet had not been washed. Might this not have prompted those tears on his behalf? She had not brought any water or towels with her so it does not appear that it was her original intention to do this for him. But seeing it, she uses her own tears and her own hair to perform this humble service.

What a contrast to Simon the Pharisee's attitude. He was sitting at the head table, looking at Jesus with condemnation for allowing this woman to touch him this way. The Jews believed that contact with a person considered unclean defiled you. Simon was not at Jesus feet, listening with respect or asking questions or even asking to be forgiven for his sins. This woman had that attitude. So who was the more unclean?

How do we respond when we see the Christ or Christian Science not being treated with respect? Do we show our love by our actions? Or if someone comes to our services or a lecture who has problems do we look down our noses at them, not choosing to speak a friendly word or give a smile?

I will be thinking about my own actions and reactions today. Mary or Simon?

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