Welcome to our second week of the Bible study course Anonymous by Cindi Wood. This week our focus is on the woman who anointed Jesus and felt judged. This biblical story is relevant for Christians today. We live under the spirit of judgment from others. We discussed this in our small groups at Bible Cafe University.

People are judged for the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the schools they attend, and such. When my kids enrolled in Christian school the entire neighborhood shunned us and refused to allow their kids to play with mine. The judgment is so “normal” that people don’t realize they are doing this.

Perhaps, this is the result of too many years of reality television. My friends, when our entertainment is centered on judging others- such as singing competitions, dancing competitions, or cooking competitions- we start to view the world through that lens. And so we judge. The worldview acceptance of judging others has become so familiar that we are seeing people unfriended or de-platformed- and we have lost our freedom of speech. Opinions need to fit into a worldview box and not the Christian voice that we have seen historically. These are birth signs of the end times.

We endure judgments and social persecution by keeping our eyes on Jesus and our hearts on God. We look for like-minded people who share Christian values. These people were often gathered in churches. Or small groups. Perhaps they are harder to see because the algorithm has been filtering their content. Like mine.

Refreshing with God in quiet time helps calm the persecution attacks against my mind. When I seek Him through prayer, worship, and my Bible, God “speaks” through His Word. My heart hears Him spiritually, not audibly. As I tend my outside garden I pray and talk to God. I am abiding…in His presence and aware of His love…all the time and more noticeable when I am alone.

Open your Bible and read Romans 5:8: But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (NIV). How do you feel about receiving God’s authentic love? His love never fails even when mine did. When I ran as a prodigal and tried to hide myself from Him…He was there.

Now turn to Luke 7:41-43: “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”  Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.”

Cindi Wood observes, “Although Jesus spoke strongly, I don’t believe He spoke harshly.” I agree with Cindi’s observation. We are instructed to let Jesus measure our debts, not people. Remember what I said earlier about the judgment worldview? Let’s break away from that and adopt the biblical view instead.”

We read in our Bibles this week about the women who poured expensive perfume on Jesus. Not the cheap stuff. She gave Him her best offering. After observing this do you think Simon became a follower of Jesus? As a Pharisee, Simon was blinded by self-righteousness. He created his own rules and expectations for Jesus and the guests. Many people today are still feeling judged and so they keep their Christian faith hidden.

Have you ever experienced an accuser? When I was recently judged, I prayed and then decided to see the accuser through the eyes of Jesus. Looking with a different heart- Christ in me- helped me the brokenness of the person who was judging and attacking me. So I kept my mouth silent and “tamed my tongue” when I was judged.

Cindi Wood writes, “Jesus saw this woman as a forgiven sinner.” What happens when we identify ourselves by our sins or make light of them? Studying the Bible has helped me understand why I sin, and how I am forgiven. One story that helped me is called “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things” by Beth Moore. In that study, I was able to see how spiritual warfare is used against the children of God. So I no longer walk in the shame of my past decisions and I walk forward with Jesus as a woman forgiven.

Join me on that journey as you continue to study, connect, and grow at the Bible Cafe!

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.