Am I Like Simon?

Read: Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20, Luke 7:36-8:3, Psalm 69:1-18, Proverbs 12:1

Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here.
When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet,
but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet.
You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love.
But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”
Luke 7:44-47

Relate: Simon was a good man. The Pharisees often get a bad rep. When you sit down and actually looked at what they believed, in a lot of ways, they were teaching similar things to Jesus. They had incredibly high ethical standards and they worked hard to live out a disciplined, good life. When Paul was listing out the things that supposedly should earn him credit with God, being a Pharisee was one of those “good” things that he counted as rubbish compared to knowing God.

But was he really a good man? Are any of us? Isaiah would have been considered a good man at the time Uzziah died and he saw the Lord. But when brought into the presence of a holy God, the first thing he said was, “Woe is me. I am a man of unclean lips.” Paul, who wrote half the books in the New Testament, called himself the worst of sinners. I could go on with a list of many of the spiritual giants down through the history of the church. One of the most common responses to drawing closer to God is a recognition of the weight of our own sin. We can see this from Augustine in his Confessions right through to Billy Graham who said, “Only when we understand the holiness of God, will we understand the depth of our sin.”

React: The biggest difference between Simon and the weeping woman was not the amount of sin they committed. It wasn’t that his sins were “minor” ones and hers “major” ones. There is no such thing. The difference was that she recognized the depth of her sin and the greatness of the grace of God to forgive them. Simon didn’t yet recognize his true need for great grace. Have you? Have I? The evidence of God’s grace in the woman’s life was the extravagance in her worship, both financially and through her actions. The proof of Simon’s hard heart was the flippant casual way in which he treated Jesus. If someone were to look at my giving and my worship (two sides of the same coin), would they say I am more like Simon or the sinner?



Dear God,
If I have been flippant and casual in my worship to You, forgive me. If I have been stingy in my giving to You, forgive me. Help me to recognize that this is proof that I have not really recognized the depth of my sin and the amazingness of Your grace. It is evidence that I have drifted from You. God, bring me closer. Give me a greater vision of Your holiness even though it will also reveal the depth of my depravity. I want You at all costs. Let the demonstration of how You have redeemed my shattered life be the worship that I have broken and poured out at Your feet.

3 thoughts on “Am I Like Simon?

  1. “Give me a greater vision of Your holiness even though it also reveal the depth of my depravity.”. What a deep and powerful prayer. One that we do need to be willing to say!

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