“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ So he said, ‘Teacher, say it’ ” (Luke 7:40).

Have you ever played the game “Simon Says”? One player takes on the role of “Simon” and stands before a group of three or more children. Then Simon gives simple instructions to the group, such as “stand on one foot” or “pat the top of your head.” But only commands preceded by the phrase “Simon says” should be obeyed. If the leader says, “Simon says touch your nose” and someone does not touch his nose, he is eliminated from the game. If the leader says, “Clap your hands three times” and someone claps her hands three times, she too is eliminated since the leader didn’t first say, “Simon says.”

There was a man in the Bible named Simon who thought Jesus was not obeying God’s command. Simon the Pharisee was holding a feast in Jesus’ honour when Mary, a woman known for living a sinful life, came to the table where she broke open an alabaster flask and poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ head and feet. While her tears flowed on Christ’s feet, she began wiping them away with her hair. Simon thought to himself, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39).

Even though Jesus could read Simon’s thoughts, He would not carry out the Pharisee’s conviction that Mary be sent away. Instead, Jesus told a story revealing that Mary’s heart was converted and Simon’s heart was hard. Her pure expression of love toward Christ stood in contrast to the self-righteous Pharisee.

Sometimes we are quick to want to do the talking and give the commands. But how much better it is to listen and obey when Jesus speaks. Simon was open to hear Christ, for the Bible says, “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ So he said, ‘Teacher, say it’” (verse 40).

O Jesus, speak to my heart that I might quickly obey Your every command.

For Further Study: Matt. 26:6–13; Mk. 14:3–9; Luke 7:36–50; Jn. 12:1–8

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