Manners of the Day

Luke 7:44-48 is generally explained in the context of the forgiveness of sin, which it is. However I’d like to point out that it is also about manners.

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. (Luke 7:44-46, NIV)

In Jesus’ day, a host welcomed his guests and provided water for their dusty feet. He anointed their heads with oil. But this Simon fellow didn’t bother to do any of that for Jesus. The woman did all these things, but in unorthodox ways.

What kind of manners do we expect from a host in today’s world? The host is expected to provide for the needs of his guests, just like in Jesus’ day. It is rude of the host to expect gifts and it is especially rude to tell guests what kind of gift you want.

On the other hand, guests are only the ones invited. If the invitation says Mr. and Mrs. Smith, that means Mr and Mrs. Smith, not all the Smith tagalong children and extended relatives.

Real hospitality is generously offered, without expectation of anything in return; except maybe table manners… a topic for another day!

As I said earlier, this Simon fellow didn’t bother to do anything for Jesus. The woman did all these things, but in unorthodox ways, so we also learn that when others should be providing, and don’t, God is perfectly able to do that.

Prayer – Father, make us better hosts and for that matter, better guests. Amen

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