What about Simon?
A Devotional Thought From Matthew 26:6-13
6Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. 8But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. 11For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. 12For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. 13Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
She gets most of the attention from those that study this passage and rightfully so. Mary of Bethany sacrificed a very expensive box of ointment and even more. If you put together the other gospel records you see that she humbled herself to wash the feet of her Lord with her hair. She was willing to look bad in order to give him honor. I wish I always had such boldness for him!
She did it for his burial. While the other followers had missed them, Mary had heard the words of Christ about the coming cross and knew he was soon to die, be buried and rise again. I believe she knew his body would not be in the tomb that Sunday when the other women went to anoint his body. Mary chose to honor him in life. Her faith, her humility and her sacrifice teach us much and should inspire us to be like her, always at his feet and focused on him.
What about Simon?
The party where Mary made this grand gesture was at his home. Simon had hosted this event in honor of the Savior, but few speak of him. I understand, we don’t know much about him, he is after all just a minor actor in this scene.
I would like to point out a couple of things about this man the Scripture calls Simon the leper.
1. He wasn’t a leper any longer.
He had once had an awful contagious disease, but I have no doubts that Jesus had healed him. How do I know? Well, for one reason the law demanded that a leper leave society and practice extreme social distancing. A leper was required to cover their mouth and declare themselves unclean if anyone healthy approached them. A leper had to leave their home and flee to a place where they could not pass on their contagious disease. If this man were still a leper, it would have been illegal for him to be at home and invite guests to make unclean. This man was no longer the leper that he had once been. I know because he is at home and throwing a party in honor of the one who had healed him. That makes sense doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you want all your friends to meet the man who healed you from a life-threatening disease? I suppose everyone would want to honor a person that changed their life. I guess that leads us to a question, why aren’t we honoring him more? Did he not save us from the second death? Has he not changed our life?
2. He was called a leper for the rest of his life
Despite the obvious fact that he had been healed of his disease, he was still called Simon the leper. People often have a bad habit of holding on to the past of others. It seems that people often remember the things the Lord has forgotten. Isn’t it a shame that men and women allow the sins of a person’s past to continue to define them? Isn’t it wonderful that the Lord has promised to bury our sins in the depth of the sea of his forgetfulness? You may see me as Jason the sinner, but my Lord sees me as Jason the saint!
Let’s determine today to accept the salvation that our Lord offers. Let’s honor him like Simon and Mary and let’s look at our brothers and sisters in Christ through a gospel lens. Sound good?