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Daughters of God

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    Appendix A—At Simon's House

    “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.” Christ had no home that He called His own. Those who invited Him to their houses regarded Him as being too poor to possess a home. But every house was His property.DG 236.1

    Simon thought that in making this feast he was doing Christ an honor. But, even though what he furnished had been his own, in partaking of his hospitality Christ would have given more than was bestowed on Him. As He sat at the Pharisee's table, He ate the provision furnished by His Father. Scribes and Pharisees were tenants in His home. His benevolence provided them with food and clothing. If He had not become man's surety, they would have enjoyed no blessings. And not only do temporal blessings come from Him, but to all who will receive it, He gives the bread of life.DG 236.2

    Christ ate with publicans and sinners, as well as with Pharisees. When He was invited to their homes, He accepted the invitation. In this He offended the scribes and Pharisees, who thought that a Jew should not thus forget the wall of partition that tradition had erected. But with God there is no sect or nationality. When thus accused, Christ answered, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” He placed Himself in the very avenue where He could gain access to perishing souls, and plant in human hearts the seeds of truth, seeds that would spring up and bear fruit to the glory of God.DG 236.3

    Christ never provided a luxury for Himself, but He allowed expressions of respect and love to flow to Him. This was His due. He had nothing in the world which He claimed as His own, yet He made the world and all that is therein. For our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He bore the weakness of humanity. Could human eyes have been opened, they would have seen that He was stronger than the strong man armed; but He never forgot that in the estimation of the world He was a poor man.DG 237.1

    There was no sham humility about Him. He was humility itself. “Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself.” When anyone did Him a favor, with all courtesy and heavenly politeness He blessed the giver. He never refused the simplest flower plucked by the hand of a child and offered to Him in love. He accepted the offerings of children, and blessed the givers, inscribing their names in the book of life.DG 237.2

    “And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.”DG 237.3

    By curing Simon of leprosy, Christ had saved him from a living death. But now Simon questioned whether Christ was a prophet. Because Christ allowed this woman to approach Him, because He did not indignantly spurn her as one whose sins were too great to be forgiven, because He did not show that He realized that she had fallen, Simon was tempted to think that He was not a prophet. His heart was filled with mistrust and unbelief. Jesus knows nothing of this woman, who is so free in her demonstrations, he thought, or He would not allow her to touch Him.DG 237.4

    But Simon could not read his Guest's heart. It was his ignorance of the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He had sent, that led him to think as he did. He had not yet been fully converted from his Pharisaism. He did not realize that on such occasions God's Son must act in God's way—with compassion, tenderness, and mercy. Simon's way was to take no notice of Mary's penitent service, her humble action. Her act of kissing Christ's feet and anointing them with ointment was exasperating to Simon. He thought that if Christ were a prophet, He would recognize sinners and rebuke them.DG 237.5

    Reading Simon's thoughts, Christ answered them before he had spoken, thus showing that He was a prophet of prophets. “Simon,” He said, “I have somewhat to say unto thee.... There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou has rightly judged.”DG 238.1

    As did Nathan with David, Christ concealed His home thrust under the veil of a parable. He threw upon His host the burden of pronouncing sentence upon himself. This way of presenting the matter made Simon feel very uncomfortable. He himself had led into sin the woman he now despised. She had been deeply wronged by him. By the two debtors of the parable Simon and the woman are represented. Simon's sin is shown to be tenfold greater than that of the woman, as much greater as the debt of five hundred pence is greater than a debt of fifty pence.DG 238.2

    Simon now began to see himself in a new light. He saw how Mary was regarded by One who was indeed a prophet in every sense of the word. He saw that with keen prophetic eye Christ read her heart of love and devotion. Simon was ashamed. He felt that he was in the presence of a being superior to himself.DG 238.3

    Simon had doubted that Christ was a prophet, but in His very knowledge of this woman, Christ gave evidence of His prophetic character. His mighty works bore witness of Him. His miracles, His wonderful instruction, His long patience, His humility, all were evidences of His divinity. Simon need not have doubted.DG 238.4

    “I entered into thine house,” Christ continued, “thou gavest me no water for my feet: but [with tears of repentance, prompted by love] she hath washed my feet ... and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman [whom you despise] since the time she entered in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet.” The washing of the feet and the kiss of welcome were attentions that were not invariably shown to guests. It was customary to bestow them on those to whom it was desired to show special regard. These ministrations Christ should have received from His host, but He did not.DG 238.5

    Christ recounted the opportunities Simon had had to show his love for his Lord, and his appreciation of what had been done for him. Plainly, yet with delicate politeness, Christ assured His disciples that His heart is grieved when His children neglect to express their gratitude to Him by words and deeds of love. Some may think that this scripture is no longer of force, but it is. Writing of those women who were to be honored, Paul said, “If she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work” [1 Timothy 5:10].DG 239.1

    Many need sympathy and appreciation. But those who would wash the saints’ feet must have sanctified discernment, that they may be able to recognize a saint. The garment of God's messenger may be travel-stained and worn, but he may be an angel in disguise. Unrecognized, angels talk with men, speaking words that are to their souls as the water of life. Mary was looked upon as a great sinner, but Christ knew the circumstances that had made her thus. He saw that she had great capabilities for good. He saw the better phase of her character, and knew that through His grace she would become a partaker of the divine nature, and would purify her soul by obeying the truth.DG 239.2

    Christ might have extinguished every spark of hope in Mary's soul, but He did not. The Heart-searcher read the motives that led to her actions, and He also saw the spirit that prompted Simon's words. “Seest thou this woman?” He said to him. “She is a sinner; I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.”DG 239.3

    Those present, thinking of Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead by Christ, and who was at this time a guest in his uncle's house, began to question, saying, “Who is this that forgiveth sins also?” But Christ continued, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”DG 239.4

    Jesus knows the circumstances of every soul. You may say, I am sinful, very sinful. You may be; but the worse you are, the more you need Jesus. He turns no weeping, contrite soul away. He does not tell to any all that He might reveal, but He bids every trembling soul take courage. He will not reject any who come to Him penitent and believing. Freely will He pardon all who come for forgiveness and restoration.DG 240.1

    But to know Jesus requires a change of heart. No unconverted person, in his natural state of depravity, loves Christ. A love of Jesus is the first result of conversion. The proof of this love is given: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.”DG 240.2

    Christ might commission the angels of heaven to pour out the vials of wrath on our world, full of hypocrisy and sin, destroying those who are filled with hatred to God. He might blot this dark spot from His universe. But He does not do this. He is today standing at the altar of incense, presenting before God the prayers of those who desire His help. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”DG 240.3

    Jesus is to be loved and trusted. All who will be obedient He leads upward step by step, as fast as they can advance, that, while standing by the side of the Sin-bearer, in the light that proceeds from the throne of God, they may breathe the air of the heavenly courts. Beside his great Intercessor, the repentant sinner stands above the strife and accusation of tongues. “Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.”DG 240.4

    No human being, even though united with evil angels, can impeach the souls who have fled to Christ for refuge. He has united the believing soul to His own divine-human nature. In His mediatorial office, His divinity and humanity are combined, and upon this union hangs the hope of the world.—The Signs of the Times, May 9, 1900.DG 240.5

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