The tragedy of self-righteousness

The tragedy of selfrighteousness:

Luke 7:39 – Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”

To me this is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. Here the saviour had come to visit Simon the Pharisee. This was the same Savior who had visited Zacchaeus and Matthew, the tax collectors, at their homes. (Remember how Zacchaeus had stood up and confessed his sin, after which the Lord Jesus said: “Today salvation has come to this house”.)

And yet how different this visit to Simon’s house was. Simon seemingly did not see himself as a sinner. Maybe he did not even see his own sin. Nor did he have any remorse or repentance for his own sin. He should have been the one who threw himself at the Lord Jesus’ feet; and should have been weeping there. Instead he was busy thinking how sinful the woman, who was weeping at the Lord Jesus’ feet, was. He was also criticizing the Lord Jesus, for allowing a sinful woman to weep at His feet.

How must it not hurt the Lord Jesus, when we are proud and blind to our own sin? He forsook heaven and came to this earth. He was a man of sorrows and was acquainted with grief. He faced the anger of God for our sins and died for us on the cross. He did all of this, because He loves us and wants to save us. Yet how often does our pride and blindness to our own sins, prevent Him from saving us. The Lord Jesus came to this world to save sinners. But if we do not see how terribly we have sinned and how depraved our hearts are, He cannot save us.

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

If we do not see ourselves as lost, we will not allow ourselves to be found. May God give us the grace to be sensitive to our own sins. May we come; like that woman came, to the throne of grace, being honest of how evil and sinful we are.

Hebrews 4:15-16 – For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

This story on the other hand is a story of hope and joy. If we have seen our own sins and depravity, as the sinful women did and If we walk daily in humility, we have these blessed words:

Luke 7:48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Let us also remember, it is not our tears or repentance that saves us. It it is the Lord Jesus who saves us. So we do not have to be continuously miserable to be saved. What is important, though, is our attitude. We should see that, without Him, we are weak and needy. Hence, we are always dependent on Him, Yes, at times we will weep because we have sinned. Yet, daily, we can rejoice in Him. He loves us so much, bore all our sins and has imparted to us His righteousness.

As the hymn says:
“Rock of ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee…
Could my tears for ever flow…All for sin could not atone, Thou must save and thou alone..
Nothing in my hand I bring. Simply to Thy cross I cling”

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