Welcome once again to Learning Together! Today we are continuing the story of the month, “Washed in Tears,” found on pages 280-285 in The Jesus Storybook Bible written by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
Children: Please begin by listening again to the story being orally read to you. You could follow along in your own book as you listen. As usual, check out the cool pictures on each page. The pictures make the story come alive! Feel free to draw your own pictures, if you like.
What does it mean to anoint someone's feet? To anoint means to put oil or ointment on a person's head or body. In ancient times this was done for various reasons. Sometimes it was a sign of hospitality (See pages 286-287) or of routine foot care. Those who were sick or injured were anointed with oil or ointment as medicine. Anointing was also done for sacred reasons.
The woman’s actions at the dinner party were more and more astonishing as the story goes on. She cried, and she washed Jesus’ feet with her tears! She dried His feet with her hair!! Then she kept kissing His feet, and worst of all, she anointed Jesus by pouring her expensive perfume all over His feet!!!
You see, she was so very sorry for her bad choices in life. She loved Jesus, wanted to change for the better, and was asking for His forgiveness. Jesus replied that her sins, which were many, were forgiven.
Do you think you could ever do something to make Jesus not like you anymore?
Adults: The Biblical references for this story are Mark 14, Luke 7, and John 12.
After washing them, the woman began kissing Jesus’ feet. Kissing is an intense word. In Luke 15:20 it describes the father’s kissing of the prodigal son on his return home. Luke used it in Acts 20:37 to describe how the elders of the church at Ephesus kissed Paul when he took his leave of them. The woman’s kissing of Jesus’ feet was a striking expression of affection.
Then, unwilling or unable to wait any longer, she did what she had come to do and anointed the Lord’s feet with the perfume. This was a staggering display of honor rendered to Jesus in the midst of Pharisees, people who sought only to dishonor Him.
Ancient Middle Eastern hospitality demanded that a guest be welcomed with a friendly kiss, foot washing, and fragrant oil. Simon skipped those tokens of respect. Jesus pointed out that the woman was both conscious of her sins and grateful for forgiveness. Simon, on the other hand, was spiritually arrogant, believing he had no sins to be forgiven.
The sinful woman in this story answered the Lord’s call for faith while the self-righteous Simon the Pharisee failed to see his need of it. Faith in Jesus Christ and forgiveness are available to anyone in need of God’s divine grace, even the most rejected, outcast, scandalous people of this world.
~This week’s prayer: God loves me and will forgive my many sins if I ask him. Amen
Next week there will be one more online lesson about this story, “Washed with Tears,” and on Sunday, March 26, Sunday School will be held in person after service at 11:00. We will discuss the highlights of the story and do a fun craft. Hope to see you then!
So long for now,