My uncle was cycling behind me, muttering and scolding. He couldn’t bear watching me wobble my way along. What could I do? My cycling experience had merely been sneaking a few minutes ride here and there on my friend’s bicycle when my father wasn’t looking my way. We were on our way to my ‘veena’ (a large musical instrument) examination. My uncle’s neighbour was balancing the veena, while seated on the bar of his cycle! I had to resort to cycling let alone wearing a half sari – another thing that I hadn’t been accustomed to. (No, the featured image isn’t a picture of me!!) Mind you, that wasn’t all to it! It was in Jaffna at a time when one could expect bombs to fall upon them at any moment. Were we fearful? Obviously! Yet the purpose literally drove us on.
It reminds me of the story of the woman who had lived a sinful life (Luke 7:36-50). The setting was a cultural period where women were looked down upon and ‘sinners’ were outcast. Imagine then a ‘sinful’ person, let alone a woman going to a banquet and that without being invited. I’m sure she would have trembled with fear within her. She would have noticed the muttering or the evil glances of rejection that the guests and the host had to offer. However, her love for Jesus kept her going. She knew Jesus would not reject her. It was worth taking the risk of humiliation from others.
Jesus was reclined at the table – the posture would have allowed Him to easily shrug her off her feet. Yet He didn’t; He saw her heart. She was weeping and poured an alabaster jar of perfume which could have easily been her whole life’s savings onto His Feet. She was OVER-WHELMED by the love of Jesus. The host, a Pharisee, hadn’t even facilitated the washing of Jesus’ feet upon arrival according to Jewish custom. However this woman washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. What demonstration of love! She was grateful that here was a man, the Son of God who could forgive her sins. Her burdens could be relieved, releasing her from shame.
Fear is an interesting thing. There are healthy fears that save us from danger – those fears are from God to protect us. However there are fears that are paranoia which prohibit us from something awesome. The enemy wants to condemn us and keep us in bondage. We need to face our fears and conquer them to be able to get the rewards. Often many want to be accepted by others and thus refrain from taking the narrow path to follow Jesus even if their heart is longing to do so. This woman took the chance and her faith saved her. She was forgiven for her sins and was rewarded a lifetime with God – eternally!
- What are the unhealthy fears in your life? How are they crippling your life in terms of relationships with God and others? What about in terms of your career, education, ministries etc?
- What are your fears that are stopping you from accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? Which fear seems worse to you – the jeering / rejection of people or the rejection of God leading to life in hell?
In faith, this woman took the risk – even before Jesus had died on the cross. Why do we, who know the work on the cross has been done to set us free from our sins and to lead us in the way everlasting, why do we hesitate or fear to take the risk to follow Jesus?
God doesn’t promise us a bed of roses but rather a life of trials where He carries us through.
Let our fears drive us to obey God rather than give the enemy the upper hand!