Shame WITH Jesus
David Powlison spoke on what the gospels have to say about shame and guilt. How did Jesus address the issue of shame during his time on Earth. David began with asking a question, “How can a cry of heartache, despair, and hopelessness become a song of love and rejoicing?” These men who are speaking at this conference have a deep abiding sense of life’s messiness and brokenness that coexists with a deeper, more penetrating sense of God’s faithfulness and His ability to mend the broken and clean up the mess. It is beautiful to sit under teaching that flows from that kind of worldview. Powlison pointed out that there is a particular kind of person who comes looking for Jesus. These people are messy and confused and each of them have an all-consuming sense of need. They are working with this pre-Theological notion that they need help and Jesus can help them. They don’t know that he is the Son of God, nor do they know that he is the Messiah who will die to rescue them from their sin. They’ve just seen him work. They’ve seen who he is. They don’t know how he will help, they just have a sense that he will. I love the story of the woman with the alabaster jar washing Jesus’ feet at Simon’s dinner table. Powlison shed some new light on the story for me when he said “Jesus can see that, despite her broken past and her skewed view of relationships, this woman has learned how to love. Love has always been unsafe for her but there is something about Jesus that she trusts. She intuits that he will bless her and not curse her, that he will keep her and not abandon her and as a result, she is freed up to love him in a way that she could never love anyone else.” It is so beautiful how Jesus honors this woman. Can you imagine how she felt? Before all of these men who have labeled her according to her sin, Jesus speaks forgiveness over her and honors her with his words. To know Jesus is to solve what is most wrong with our hearts. The way up is down—humility. Overcoming shame is about knowing your need, asking for help, saying thank you, and loving the one who helps you. What a beautiful picture of the saving grace of Jesus.