In the Midst of Sinfulness
The cry that goes out to those who are sinning is an announcement of hope directly from Jesus Christ himself. Perhaps the most intriguing story is when Jesus is invited to the house of Simon, a Pharisee. “Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” Jesus said to him in reply, Simon, I have something to say to you. “Tell me teacher,” he said. “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days wages and the other fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Lk. 7: 36 - 50).
O how wonderful love can erase so much that burdens our soul with sin. Let’s look at some whom God chose to be the purveyors of Good News; David, King to whom God lifted up to be the forerunner of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. How did he repay this confidence in the Lord; Adultery with Bathsheba, striking her husband Uriah down on the battlefield. (2 Sm. 11: 1 ff).
Jesus chose Peter to be the leader among his disciples, entrusted with ensuring their faith would not be compromised. When the one moment he needed to stand firm in his faith how did he react; by denying three times that he did not even know the man. (Jn. 18: 1 ff).
Saul of Tarsus, a dedicated Pharisee on his way to Damascus with writs of arrest for Christian believers, probably sending them to their death. He was confronted by Christ himself and became the greatest author of sacred scripture that we read today. (Acts 9: 1-6).
All these incidents are familiar to you and me, but the question we need to ask ourselves; “Which of these most fits my own circumstance” Have I committed a sin that would belittle my own prominence? Have I shifted the blame on someone else to exonerate my good name?
When did I deny the innocent among us by throwing the rights of others under the bus so as to look like the average person in society?
And has the opportunity to change and become a close follower of Jesus and begin announcing his dictates to change the world around us by standing up for the needs of the most abject among us?
In the midst of sinfulness, which encompasses most of the world’s population, there is hope; and we are the ones who can make all the difference!
Ralph B. Hathaway, Hope in the midst of sin.