I often like to think about what it must have been like to see Jesus and to talk to him.
What were his eyes like? Were they warm and kind, yet penetrating? How did it feel when those eyes rested on your own? How did it feel to be in His presence? Was he tall or short? What made Him laugh? What was the tone of His voice? Did it speak to your heart in ways that no other voice had ever done?
What did it feel like when He called you by your name?
I can feel my heart swelling now even as I write these ponderings. I can almost feel Him next to me, smiling at me, as I express my desire to be with Him forever, unworthy as I am.
I love to read the stories about Him in the Bible. But then I like to picture the scene in my mind and really feel the intensity of the events from the viewpoints of the people in the story. Was it a hot day? Were children playing nearby? Were there dogs and cats around, lazing in the sun? Were there women around doing chores?
How did it feel when the events were over and Jesus had moved on?
We are told in John that he spat on the ground and made mud, which he then rubbed on a blind man’s eyes. How amazing to witness! The man could see, but the Pharisees didn’t believe him and were greatly angered by the claim that Jesus had healed the man. If I was walking through my town, after doing my shopping and saw a man doing this today, then what would I think!? If the man was blind or deaf or mute or unable to walk… then how would I feel if he then saw, heard, talked or walked?
I suppose that it would be the same today as it was then-reactions of incredulity, suspicion, anger, curiosity, amazement, devotion.
In particular I love the stories of Jesus mixing with prostitutes, tax collectors and other sinners. He shared food with them and spoke with them, thus enraging and confusing many of the religious leaders of the time, who found it hard to understand why he would spend time with such hopeless and unclean sinners.
I can totally understand how the sinful woman wept her tears at His feet, then wiped them with her hair, kissed them with tenderness and then poured perfume on them. Only a heart that has been consumed by the despair of sin, that has shamelessly degraded itself, but yet has felt the merciful forgiveness of God could do such a thing.
The woman had felt what it means to truly repent. She had seen that there was another way. She had understood that Jesus was the way, the truth and the life.
Somehow this passage enables me to understand the mercy of God. God knows that we will fail and sin, time and time again. He knows that we are battling against dark deceptions to which we so easily succumb. Indeed Jesus tells us
‘I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’.
He knows we will sin but he asks us to beg for forgiveness, to realise how far we have strayed, to feel the pull of His love for us in our heart…to want to be worthy of it.
Jesus loves the sinner…He gives them hope. He tells them that they are not lost nor forgotten and He comes to tenderly call them by their name.