Then there was this woman.
- This is a sinner. The Bible speaks of this woman and refers to her only as a sinner.
- This woman had a reputation. People had bad things to say about this woman. In other words: she made mistakes.
- She made wrong decisions and these mistakes the disciples knew. As the story goes, they’re almost irritated about this sinful woman coming to this holy man. They thought it wasn’t appropriate. The disciples was very much opinionated.
- I see this woman as a determined woman. Determined and focused to get to Jesus. About the scene – where did all of this take place? At the house of Simon, one of the disciples and they were going to have the last supper. Now this woman enters the room, knowing that these people have opinions about her. Are the disciples not perhaps you and I today? Having very much an opinion of the people around us, especially the ones we know intimately. We know their mistakes. We know what they did wrong and the faults they have. Maybe that’s you and I…
- She’s very brave, because now she’s walking into a room of holy people who’s been with Jesus, but she is determined to get to Jesus. So I think she’s brave.
- She was not intimidated by these holy, educated men of the Word.
Oh, then she falls at Jesus feet, greatful for the kindness that He had shown towards her. She was sincere in giving thanks to Him for what He had done. Yes, she’s ashamed of the way that she had lived, but she wanted to be at Jesus’ feet.
In my vivid memory I see a table, I see Jesus there and this woman entering. Now – she comes and she goes directly and kneels at Jesus feet. You know what? Kneeling at Jesus feet says to me that we need to come and humble ourselves continually at Jesus feet.
It should not be ‘I accepted the Lord when I was in grade 7 in 1985’… We must not cling to 1985 and 1972 and 1980. We need to continually get to the feet of Jesus.
So when she was at Jesus’ feet in humility, she cried. Her tears to me speak of sincerity and that tells me that is what needs to happen when we get to Jesus feet. Just be sincere.
She also kissed Jesus feet. It is such an expression of her love, her thankfulness, because you know, (we as mothers especially), when we see our kids when they’re so small – you cannot kiss them enough! That is another way of just expressing your love to your children, so she kisses Jesus’ feet. She's down at Jesus feet.
Oh brothers and sisters, let us love to be at Jesus feet.
Then the Bible says that she untied her hair (improper for a woman during that time to walk around with loose hair). But you know what? She didn’t care about what was the rules of society, because she was busy with Jesus. Let us not be bothered by the rules of religion or the order of the service when we are busy with Jesus.
When you want to stand and clap hands… clap them! Because you know why you are clapping. If you’re in a moment where you want to kneel, then kneel! Because only you and Jesus know why you are kneeling. Why you are at Jesus feet. Isn’t that just amazing that this woman with such a reputation and of whom people had so many things to say about, teaches us in this millennium such a beautiful truth.
Then there was this gift that she had – her alabaster box. It was precious, very valuable, but to her it was not about what she could gain from selling it. They say that if it was sold, she would’ve gotten a year’s salary. And I thought about it – wow! What can I do with a year’s salary? Resign immediately? You know, in today’s world – I’m reading the Bible and I always bring it to myself and I’m thinking: she could’ve provided for herself until whenever. But that was not important to her. Her gift was an act of
Maybe when she was at Jesus feet, the rest of the household continued as usual. The person sitting at the far end of the table doesn’t normally see what’s happening at the feet of the person at the other side of the table. To me it’s so significant that when that day comes, when you get to Jesus feet, there might be nobody around you. Others might not see that. But you go there, because it’s a good place to be - at Jesus feet.
What did she do? She broke the gift. When se broke it, the other disciples were chatting, maybe planning where they would preach next, where they were going to lay hands, maybe they were strategizing like this day and age that we live in.
I’m so sure that when the perfume filled the air, when the fragrance filled the air, they probably thought: What is going on? This takes me to the question when I asked you earlier: Do you have a fragrance? … the fragrance of the Holy Spirit.
This woman represents to me the true Christian. There must come a day in our lives when we get down at Jesus’ feet, pray before Him, crying with humility on our knees. When we humble ourselves at Jesus feet, we can let Him speak to us. He can sometimes speak in a very soft voice… But when you’re not so busy, then you can hear the voice. Because He speaks to His child. Yes, we must break before Him. Why break?
- break with your normal habit
- break with your past
- break with your failures
- break with everything people know or think about you, and just go to Him
- break with the things that hinder you from getting to the Jesus feet
Once you are broken before Him, then like the fragrance filled the room, the Holy Spirit comes and He just mends the broken heart. He just mends the spirit of the child that is down. Whatever you need, then the Holy Spirit comes.
In the story the disciples seemed upset with the woman with such a reputation, that would come to Jesus – worst of all: touch Him, and maybe they thought she had a fine cheek to kiss Him! Sit at Jesus feet...
Once we’ve been touched by Him in our broken state… oh, it is so easy to just kiss Jesus feet in worship, to show Him love. That love leads to true worship. It even leads to brave worship. You will do whatever it takes to express your love. It can sometimes be uncommon to those around you, unconventional… it’s not important though.
Your intimatemoment with Jesus, when you get to praise and worship, or being with his kids, becomes a public expression of your experience. Yes, she broke the alabaster box and she caught everyone’s attention and it filled the room with the fragrance.
The Bible says that the disciples rebuked her. But then Jesus said: Let her be, leave her alone… This woman had perhaps encounters with men before and they may have spoken in any way to her, but I believe that Jesus spoke with authority. I believe He said, ‘Leave her alone, let her be…’ He has that authority. Now picture this woman at Jesus feet when He said those words. I do believe that
- she felt safe.
- she felt protected under His word You and I can rest safely in the promises of His Word.
- she felt loved, because I don’t think previously a man just loved her, and protected her from the opinions of others and what everybody else was saying. Yes, I believe that’s what she felt.
- this woman was an ambassador. She praise under the pressure and the criticism of the disciples. Let us praise under criticism and pressure and become true worhippers.
Let us allow ourselves to break down before Him. Allow yourself to go sit at Jesus feet. Humble yourselves, show Him love by reading His Word so that the fragrance of His presence can just fill you.
Why is it important that we break? We can live these Christian lives and we can wear the masks. We are just ‘beautiful Christians’, instilling Christian values in our children, trying to do what the Word of God tells us to do and we’re living Christian lives. But…
- break with the old habits
- break with sin. That is why she broke her most precious thing. She gave it to Him. Of course your sin is not precious to you, but break with it!
- everything that is going to hold you back from pleasing Him, break with it!
- everything that has put you down in your hurt, just break with it, because when you are broken and He comes and He fills you, you are a new person.
I believe when she sat at Jesus feet and then got up, she had an experience.
Sermon - At Jesus feet -
Scripture reading: Acts 9:36-40 (New International Version)
36In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas[a]), who was always doing good and helping the poor.
37About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.
38Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!"
39Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.
People loved Dorkas. She helped the poor, but she got sick and she died.
Can you see that it could be any of us? She was so loved by her community and when she died, two men was sent to call Peter to come and pray for her.
When Peter came to the house where she lived, there were people everywhere. It’s like today: if we hear someone has passed on, we go to the house to be with that person’s family to pay sympathy. You know what? When Peter got to the house it wasn’t just busybodies or people wanting to know ‘what time did she die?’ Wanting all the information our minds want naturally when we hear of someone passing.
It weren’t that kind of people. It were people that were genuinely sad about the passing of this person. Do you know why? Because I believe Dorkas was a true Christian. It was a loss to the Kingdom of God that this woman had died. Is it going to be a loss for the Kingdom of Heaven when you and I die?
The community, the widows, showed Peter the ropes that she had made. In other words: there was tangible evidence of this woman’s testimony. They could show Peter: I’m wearing this, because somebody cared enough to bless me. My children didn’t go hungry to bed, because God had spoken to Dorkas to come to my house and bless me. My spirit was low and the Holy Spirit had spoken to Dorkas. God spoke to Dorkas and she prayed with me. This woman cannot be gone.
So when the message comes about the passing of you and I, are the teachers at school, your colleagues, my colleagues going to miss what you brought?
- the Word
- the Testimony
- the Hope of Salvation
- the Hope of Eternal Life
That to me is what we must strive for. Dorkas impacted her community. My obituary I have given to you, but on your spiritual obituary – friends, brothers and sister: build on it daily
What will your son say about you? Will he say: I remember how my dad preached, prayed. What will your grandchildren say about you, grandpa and about you, grandma?
I plead with you this morning: Work on your spiritual obituary. Get to that point where you break at Jesus’ feet with sincerity and tears, so that His Holy Spirit can fill you. Go into your community everyday where you live and touch people’s lives in a tangible way with your words, with the way you live.
In short: Become a little Jesus Get down at Jesus feet. Spend time at Jesus feet. Then get up from Jesus feet and testify about your experience.
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