40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 20 – Worship


When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” (Luke 7:36-47)


Today we close out our review of Worship. Tomorrow we will consider the Discipline of Sabbath.  I can’t think of a better story to end on than the story above in Luke 7.  This very popular story offers many lessons on the Discipline of Worship through the lens of love.  Please prayerfully read the passage and answer today’s questions.

Today’s Questions for comments:

  • What do you believe was the primary motivation for the woman’s act of worship?
  • What may have caused Simon not to acknowledge Jesus in similar fashion?

Make this entire week a special week of worship (recognizing God’s worth).

7 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 20 – Worship

  1. I believe the woman had heard about Jesus, maybe observed Him and heard Him preach and was dying to have a personal and intimate encounter with Him. She was willing to humiliate herself personally by weeping at His feet and make a public display of herself by doing it in the presence of a Pharisee and pour out a most costly possession over Jesus’ feet because she believed He was worth it. She did not ask for anything. My devotional today is about Total Abandonment, going to the Lord because of who He is and not because of what we can get from Him. This confirmed the message to me and what the Lord is teaching me in this season. She came with no pride or self righteousness while Simon was quick to note the womans as a siner. I believe this was the difference between her and Simon and hence the vastly different responses to Jesus.

  2. I believe her primary motivation was simply Jesus, and for that to be the case I think she must have recognized her own brokenness. While Simon on the other hand was ‘blocked up’ by his own self-righteousness.

    She must have heard of the love that He offered and innately recognized her desperate need for it. She loved Him with all that she had because of the sweet love of His that she had heard about and maybe even seen from afar.

    Simon, on the other hand, did not recognise his own need, not even in the presence of the Saviour, and that is self-righteousness and foolish pride, and is in fact the more deprived state of being, thanks to the existence of the amazing grace of God.

  3. I believe this woman’s primary motivation for her act of worship was reference, awe, and humility. She knew the type of sinful woman she was and she knew the person Jesus was. She was probably quite repent-full and new that Jesus was a nonjudgmental person who wouldn’t be condescending towards her. She was worshiping Jesus in the way she thought was appropriate.

    Simon, because of his own pride, probably considered himself religious enough and didn’t need to be reverent to Jesus. The Pharisees were known to be pious and thought they were the most religious people.

  4. What do you believe was the primary motivation for the woman’s act of worship?
    I’m currently reading through Exodus and Leviticus and thinking of the different offerings. Oil was one of them. I think her worship was and offering. She was presenting her sin offering to the Savior. Everyone, including herself, knew she was a sinful woman and she was willing to scarfice the same and enter Simon’s house to get forgiveness from the One who mattered.
    What may have caused Simon not to acknowledge Jesus in similar fashion?
    Simon might have been more focused on getting things just right for entertaining Jesus that he didn’t consider his own heart’s condition. Mary and Martha syndrome.

  5. I believe that her primary motivation for her act of worship was due to her recognition of Jesus as the son of God; and her wrong doings for which she was truly sorry. She seemed oblivious to what others may have thought of her. Her total focus was on Jesus. She must have also known how forgiving and how loving he is, to have humbled herself as she did. She came to give, not to get; to just show remorse and wanting his forgiveness. She may not have been able to put into words her love, her faith in Jesus, or the extent to which she was sorry for her sins.
    Simon seems to not really believe Jesus is the son of God or he would have treated him with the respect and reverence he deserved.

  6. Thanks commentators! Underlying your comments is a quote in the passage that really struck a chord with me as I reflected on worship. Jesus said, “as her great love has shown”. It seems so rude for Simon to invite someone to his home and then not give them the common courtesies expected. I cringe for Simon but as I do I also cringe for myself. I realize that I have invited Jesus into my life and He is often not given the worship He deserves. The woman came broken and prepared to worship because she understood the power of forgiveness that only Jesus can give, “as her great love has shown”.

  7. I believe that the primary motivation for her act was first love for Jesus and acknowledgement for who Jesus is and that He has the authority to forgive sins. No where in the passage was a description of the magnitude of the sin was described.

    Forgiveness can be requested by words, but this example shows that actions indicating a broken heart can also result in forgiveness.

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