Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0031
JESUS – THE LIFTER OF OUR HEAD
How often, when we think we can see no light at the end of the tunnel, do we have to “eat” our own thoughts and words because Jesus, the Conqueror in our lives, comes again and again to LIFT US UP and give us HOPE when all that our natural eye sees is seeming difficulties or unsolvable problems? God’s plans for us are ONLY GOOD, and, even though we all go through trials and hardships, yet, if we KEEP OUR EYES on HIM, He never fails to bring us through. This jigsaw of life seems to have many parts to it; at times some of them appear to be missing, impossible to distinguish, or just too complex to put together again. But, here’s Good News. Jesus specialises in putting us together again; He’s an expert at “completing the jigsaw!”
One day Jesus was having a meal at the home of Simon, a Pharisee (Luke 7:36-50) when a local prostitute came into the house.
She approached Jesus and began to cry.
She fell at His feet and washed them with her deluge of tears.
Then she wiped His feet dry with her beautiful long hair. But she had more to give.
She stooped right down to the floor and began to kiss His feet and anoint them
with precious (alabaster) oil.
Simon (the host) was astounded: “How dare ‘this woman’ come into my house!” And, even though he said nothing, on the inside his thoughts were screaming out,
“If this Man (Jesus) was a prophet, He would know who this woman is. He would know she is a prostitute. He would know she’s a disgusting sinner!”
The ‘vulture’ didn’t see her aching and searching heart, her compassion. He only saw her “in the flesh” as an embarrassment to his religious beliefs. He only saw her life as a broken jigsaw and wanted no part to play in helping bring the pieces together again. Simon would have felt vindicated if Jesus had acted in a different way . . “Get away from Me, woman! Don’t even come near Me! In fact . . . leave the house, you’re not welcome here!”
But Jesus said none of those things - He only saw her heart. It’s not that Jesus approved of her prostitution but He accepts us unconditionally without approving of everything we do. He saw and heard with His heart because “righteousness is of the heart.” How thankful we should be that He applies His heart and not His head!
How thankful we should be that when He applies His heart it LIFTS UP OUR HEAD.
Jesus knew the prostitute wasn’t perfect - He already knew her occupation.
But He knew also she had a passion.
He simply steered that passion down the right path.
He took her brokenness and brought openness in the heavens over her life.
That’s what Jesus does for us. He brings transformation when we fall at His feet and worship Him. He doesn’t aim a microscope at our head. He lifts up our heads and we are revived, refreshed and renewed (again) in His Spirit to SEE HIM, the strength and very purpose of our life.“But You O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory, and the LIFTER UP of my head” (Psalm 3:3).
Men ‘loved’ the prostitute’s body for selfish, lustful reasons; some may have ‘loved’ her misguided mind (her soul), but only Jesus loved her with a totally pure, unadulterated love in spirit, body and soul. The ex-prostitute went away that day LIFTED UP to the very depth of her being because she had met and surrendered to the One, the only One who could minister to her needs in a total capacity.
Is our head LIFTED UP today? - Joan Emery.
Bible Readings: Psalm 23:5; Psalm 24:7-10; Psalm 30;
Please Pray This Prayer:
“Lord Jesus, Again today I place my life in Your hands so that You will be magnified in and through the events of my life. I acknowledge that You alone are the One who lifts up my head; You alone direct the paths of my feet, because You chose me from the foundation of the world; You had Your calling upon my life before I came into existence. I thank You, Lord, that ALL things work together for GOOD to those who You call and I am no exception (Romans 8:28). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”