The welcome had been curt, lacking the respect normally given to an invited guest (Lk 7.36-38). Simon the Pharisee had doubtless been pleased, his objective attained, or so it would appear. The kiss of welcome had been refused and feet washing withheld. Surely it would be noised abroad that Simon had achieved what had eluded others. He had dealt with this Nazarene as being one of no significance. With distaste he must have watched the woman whose hair, loosened to fall about her, dried the copious tears that provided the feet washing denied Him, and whose tender kisses displayed a deep affection and devotion lacking in the cold pharisaic heart of His host.
She stood at His feet weeping, overcome by the sense of her own unworthiness and of His matchless worth. Would that we, even after coming to know Him as Lord, may also stand at His feet as she did, with the same demeanour, weeping in gratitude, realising that we are the unworthy recipients of His grace. Up to now her sin had kept her back, but no longer. May we never let sin be the cause of denying us this privilege.
Demons had dominated him, controlling his mind, destroying his life and tormenting his soul. But now he sits at the feet of Jesus (Lk 8.35) "clothed, and in his right mind", fit for His presence, ready for His word, with his uncontrollable fury checked. He is sitting at His feet resting. How often do we find time to so this, just to sit quietly and savour the fact that He has delivered us? To rest on that and to enjoy it is favour indeed. Before that, the demons possessing him would have kept this man back. And so the Adversary works today to bring about circumstances that will deny us the opportunity to sit quietly in His presence.
The day had been busy and her sister was distracted. Mary, however, was also sitting at His feet (Lk 10.39). She had fulfilled her responsibilities, for she "also" sat before Him. Amidst the busy activity around her she sat at His feet listening, and as she listened, doubtless on more than one occasion, she came to an understanding not yet shared by the disciples. As a result she was compelled by devotion to purchase a box of pure oil of nard, which later she would break to anoint His feet. On that occasion she knew that He shortly would be put to death, for that priceless box had been kept, said the Lord, "against the day of my burying" (Jn 12.7). In this case over involvement with legitimate things would have kept her back.
The day had started as so many others since the scourge of leprosy gripped them. Ten lonely men, with no prospects, cut off from loved ones and friends, dwelling apart in their misery. But the Lord passed by and heard their cry, "Master, have mercy on us" (Lk 17.13). As they obeyed Him, and set out to show themselves to the priests, their leprosy was cured. One would have thought that ten cleansed men would have turned back to worship, but no! Only one, a Samaritan, determined that worshipping Him came first, and so "this stranger" fell at His feet worshipping. Only one! Does this not strike a chord in our hearts? Do we stand with the "nine" or with the "one"? How often do we bow in His presence in worship and "glorify God" for His greatness and for the deliverance that we enjoy? What kept the others back was lack of appreciation. Much thankfulness for the cure, but little for the Healer! Shame on us if, like those who walked away from Him with no refrain of gratitude on their lips, we enjoy the blessings He gives without returning the worship owed to Him.
At His feet, therefore, is where we weep, rest, and learn. Worship, so clearly pictured in the healed Samaritan leper, is the thread that runs through each incident. We live in a society today where many are "unthankful" (2 Tim 3.2). Believers ought not to manifest such a spirit. We have blessings abundant, but how many take time to worship? The question, "Where are the nine?", was asked of those who failed to return. May we resolve never to be found in that unthankful company.