Read Luke 7:36-39
36-39 Then one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to a meal with him. When Jesus came into the house, he took his place at the table and a woman, known in the town as a bad woman, found out that Jesus was there and brought an alabaster flask of perfume and stood behind him crying, letting her tears fall on his feet and then drying them with her hair. Then she kissed them and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were really a prophet, he would know who this woman is and what sort of a person is touching him. He would have realised that she is a bad woman.” (JBP)
Each of us expresses emotion in different ways. Some shed lots of tears, while others tend to cry on the inside. Some are loud and demonstrative, while others are quiet and reflective. We can see this in the way Christians act when they gather together. There can be order and restraint; there can be noise and spontaneity.
There is no necessary problem with this: God has wired us differently. The problem comes when those who don’t tend to show their feelings much look down on those who seem to ‘go over the top’. Some churches have been crippled because in their desire to avoid shallow emotionalism they see emotion itself as suspect.
But why not get emotional, in one’s own way, when confronted with the grace and goodness of God? The woman in our text today caused great embarrassment to the religious homeowner. How dare that sort of woman do that sort of thing! Later, Jesus goes on to commend the woman and chide the Pharisee.
Of course our faith is more than mere emotion. But let’s not allow the need for order and decency squash our deeper emotions. In our legitimate desire to avoid the dangers of going off the deep end, let’s not overlook the equivalent dangers of going off the shallow end.