“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. . . . And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” (Luke 5:39, 50)
There is more in this scene than meets the eye, or ear. For there were two secret conversations going on at this meal in the Pharisee’s home.
Neither conversation could be heard by the others around the table because they were unspoken. One person definitely thought his ideas were private, while the other dearly hoped hers were fully known by God. Nobody else had a clue as to the intense emotions stirring in the minds of these two.
Nobody, that is, except the Lord Jesus. He was well aware of the silent accusations being launched his way by Simon. At first, from his self-appointed perch of importance, this religious man had probably thought to impress the Master with a show of honor and glamour. But he had been surprised by this embarrassing visitor, who had unwittingly peeled away his facade. Soon his heart betrayed his actions and poisoned his mind with ugly criticism toward his Guest. He was too proud to insult the Master in such a setting so he spoke to himself.
Or so he thought. It never occurred to him that Jesus could hear him loud and clear.
The Lord also knew what was going on in the mind of the distraught lady, whose craving for a new life drove her to break social protocol. As far as she was concerned, her reputation was already in the ashes and she had little to lose. The moment had come when the conviction in her heart could no longer stay pent up, so she made a bee line in his direction.
But she quickly realized how out of place she was at this banquet, and undoubtedly felt the stares, heard the snickers, and sensed the scornful looks.
In her anxiety and embarrassment, she kissed, she wiped, she anointed, she worshipped . . . oh, what a mess she seemed to be making of everything! Why had she been so rash?
And then Jesus spoke. But not to her. He spoke to Simon, and there was a serious ring in his voice. Initially it might have sounded like the Lord was just giving another parabolic lesson. But as the words became more personal and forceful, the Pharisee realized that Jesus was actually responding to his own malicious thoughts!
Soon the Lord was contrasting the woman’s devotion with his own indifference, and God’s assessment of the situation became crystal clear.
Then Christ turned to the lady and addressed the second unspoken conversation. But His attitude was quite different, one of sympathy and tenderness. His words revealed to all what the longing of her heart had been. She craved forgiveness and desperately wanted the peace only God could give. And that is exactly what He gave her.
Dear Father, You know my thoughts–always. You know what I truly believe about everything. You hear every word my mind would speak if it wanted to. Help me glorify You first, where it all starts, in secret. Amen.