This incredible monologue was written and narrated by my dear friend, Suzanne Tucker. The inspiration for “Encounter With Jesus” is from the passage in the Bible in Luke 7:36-50.
As Suzanne has presented this story to groups of people, both men and women have been deeply touched by the words and message. It is a story of love and forgiveness. This story ministered to me as I read it and I am so blessed to be able to share it with you.
It will be 20 minutes well spent to listen…
Click on the arrow in the audio player at the top of this post to listen.
Encounter With Jesus
From Luke 7:36-50
I knew their looks… looks of disdain, scorn, disgust. Those looks were not new to me. In fact, I’ve known nothing else for years.
I’m use to their lies – FLOWERLY LIES – empty words, spoken in a moment of passion, with no meaning… like clouds without rain. And it’s the man who speaks those deceitful words who is the first to scorn my existence. Perhaps his hatred is not as much for me as it is for his own weakness and failure. He’ll despise me one moment … but knock on my door the next.
How did it start? How did I get here? I don’t really remember… but would it matter?
I guess I had accepted my lot in life. Society will always have its OUTCASTS, its POOR, and its DEJECTED… as well as its RULERS, its RICH, and its POWERFUL.
Actually I figured I was just born to this kind of life. I never spent time thinking about whether or not I could be different… well, maybe at one time, long ago I did, but I’d never known any other life.
ONE DAY… a strange thing happened in our town. This man came, and large crowds were following him. Actually, that wasn’t so strange. There were often people that came and debated and spoke… and drew crowds. Many spoke about Rome… others spoke about insurrection. I never listened. Often men that came to my house would repeat things they had heard. I did listen to them, but never thought too much about what they said.
BUT THIS TIME… THIS man… I FOLLOWED the crowd. I don’t know why. I didn’t follow men… I didn’t go to them…. they came to me.
I don’t know why I went. Perhaps it was CURIOSITY. Or maybe it was because the men who spoke about him had the same scorn and mocking in their voice that I had heard so many times. I thought I could IDENTIFY with this man already.
The crowds were large and it was often hard to get close. But people moved away when I came near… so I was able to move close to hear him.
And I heard the words of this man. His words… they SCARED me at first. He spoke so
DIFFERENTLY… oh to hear words like he spoke… I DIDN’T WANT TO LISTEN. You see, I know the DECEITFULNESS of man, and how his words are beautiful lies. I had GROWN CALLOUS and deaf over the years. I would not trust the words of men… I would not believe the lies again.
Yet this man was SO BELIEVABLE. His manner so different. I couldn’t help myself. I WAS AFRAID because his words were WAKING ME UP inside. The PLACES THAT WERE DEAD were coming to life.
I had sworn I would never believe what men said again… and I couldn’t bear it, but I also
couldn’t turn away. The LONGING BURIED deep within me was coming alive, and I couldn’t stop it. That in me which vowed never to believe again was being smashed to dust.
I found myself responding to what he had to say, and longing to hear more. His words brought new responses inside me… HOPE, though I didn’t know what it was I hoped for. It was just there, bubbling up like a spring. There was challenge – even to me – the lowest of society.
He performed miracles, and I saw them, but it was his words that cut through me like a knife and divided my thoughts, my desires and everything within me.
Do good to those who hate you…
Bless those who curse you…
Pray for those who mistreat you…
There were those who hated me, cursed me and mistreated me.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Love your enemies, and do good to them… then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Be merciful as your Father is merciful.
Donot judge or condemn, but forgive…
And you will be forgiven.
As I listened to him… it’s like I WAS LIFTED out of a PIT… A dark pit that I didn’t
even know I was in.
Could it be? It is possible that his words are really true, that there is SOMETHING VALUABLE in me? For truly IF I could forgive and be forgive, that WOULD be valuable. That would be priceless.
As this man Jesus talked, he was full of kindness and compassion. He was wise beyond his years, and spoke with gentleness yet an authority I’d never seen or heard before.
His words turned over and over in me, and somehow, I knew I had to go to him and thank
him, though I didn’t know how.
This strange new thing in me… what was it? WAS THIS LOVE? It was so freeing. It seemed to be love for him, but so intermingled with love for myself, and for those around me… yes even those who cursed, mocked and used me.
Their PIT WAS AS DEEP AS MINE… Now I understood.
My mind was not thinking rationally. I found myself grasping my alabaster jar of perfume. It was my MOST PRECIOUS POSSESSION…. Really the only thing I had of value. I’d never had expensive things… never really considered having them. Oh, men brought me cheap trinkets… but at this moment, I truly wished I had a priceless gift to
give to him.
I listened to people in the streets, and asked a few questions, and finally learned that
Jesus was at the house of Simon, the Pharisee. Some even followed me, to see what I WOULD WANT with this man, Jesus. I didn’t stop to consider what anyone would
think about me going to find him.
I was simply compelled to go by that which had been awakened in me.
I went to Simon’s house and walked in… not even thinking that women weren’t allowed. I didn’t want to disturb him as he ate and talked. I went to his feet and knelt down, and COULD DO NOTHING BUT WEEP.
For one who has been so walled up and hardened through the years… it was all the tears from those years pouring forth. I couldn’t hold them back, and I didn’t want to. There were tears of guilt, shame and hurt, mingled with tears of joy and gratitude.
I wiped his feet and kissed them, and bathed them in the perfume. It was as though I was emptying out my entire life at this man’s feet.
At some time I became aware of what was happening at the dinner table.
Simon… I knew Simon – his kind – his piercing, judgmental looks. But it didn’t stop me this time. I kept pouring my perfume and my love on Jesus.
Actually, at the same time Simon seemed disgusted, he also seemed to DELIGHT in what was taking place. He sat and watched… SAYING NOTHING… yet saying so much, just with his looks.
And then Jesus spoke. He told a story, as I had heard him do before. This one was about
2 men, both in debt. One owed a smaller debt of about 50 days wages, and the other about 500 days wages. Neither one could pay their debt, and the money lender canceled BOTH debts.
I couldn’t imagine anyone doing such a thing. Think about how much it cost that man. Think about all he lost… But I listened, because I suspected Jesus had more to say.
He asked Simon… which of them will love him more?
Simon thought for a moment… Pharisees always choose their words carefully. He said HE SUPPOSED the one who had the larger debt canceled.
Jesus said he was right. Simon sort of smiled, as he had given, of course, the right answer.
But then… THEN Jesus turned to me, and kept speaking to Simon.
I was torn… and afraid. It was one thing for him to speak to a crowd, but now he was LOOKING AT ME!
What if he realized who I was? Part of me wanted to run and hide… yet all that was new inside me welled up and drew my heart to him.
Some things are just done in our society, in the name of common courtesy… the welcome kiss of greeting, especially for an honored guest, the oil on the head, and of course, water offered to a guest to wash the dust off his feet. Jesus told Simon, A VERY PROPER MAN, that he had done none of this. Jesus was not talking as though he was offended or judging, but as an observer who had a point to make.
Then… THEN… he said, “Simon, this woman has washed my feet with her tears, and dried them with her hair. She has kissed my feet, Simon, and poured, not oil, but perfume on them. You see, her many sins have been forgiven, for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.
That story he had told… He was talking ABOUT ME. He was reading my heart… HE KNEW… HE KNEW… HE HAD TO BE GOD. He knew He understood… and He accepted my gifts of love.
That would have been enough… It would have been enough… But then he did the
unspeakable. He looked straight at me, into my eyes. (No man ever looked into
my eyes.) His look was like his words, full of compassion and kindness. It was as though all I was and all I had ever done was washed away.
Then he spoke to me… in the midst of this dinner… He spoke to me – a woman – an outcast. He said, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has made you whole.” He accepted my gifts, my tears, and my love… but it was my faith in Him that had made me whole.
He said, “Now go in peace.” AND I DID, and I would never be the same again. Everything inside me was shouting with joy and ringing with a song. I now knew I HAD A SOUL, and it was OVERFLOWING WITH LIFE.
There’s so much more I could tell you about Jesus… His life, his death, his resurrection…
But even before all that actually happened, I had experienced it all in my life. You see, His words of love and forgiveness were not cheap or empty words.
I watched what it cost Him on the cross. He bought my forgiveness…. And I ACCEPTED it. Simon didn’t.
As for me, there are many who still look at me with scorn and only see me for who I was. They see my past, where Jesus saw my future. I’m sad for them, but I pray for them as he said to do.
And with His followers, I have found love, acceptance, and friendship like I’d never dreamed possible.
Today I stand here… with PURPOSE, full of LIFE, and LOVE… Because I met Jesus… and