We have an example of faith that is knowledge, mysterious in that no direct experience prepares you in its exercise. Predestination explains God having foreknown us. But how do God and man connect? Thinking outside the box perhaps gives one an idea. In Bethany a woman exercises faith in the house of Simon the leper and Jesus was the recipient of her kindness, that is pure spiritual discernment. When the guests faulted her for her grand gesture Jesus had to explain. “ She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.(Mk.14:7-8)” The creative faith of God runs on the rails of Power and Wisdom and faith is the medium through which glory of God can be seen and understood.
Let us consider these lines,”The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork./ Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge./ There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard/4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,(Ps.19:1-4)” The sinful woman in anointing him her calling was outside her circumstances. She might have degraded her flesh in ways that only spoke of sin and her own narrow circumstance. But presence of Christ made her do what was needful. In the Gospel of Luke we have the same incident, “And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head./ Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment./ Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little./ And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven(Lk.14:43-48)”. A proper burial for the Son of man made a woman think beyond her immediate circumstance. Here faith combined with works erased her past and her future in line with eternity that is another reality and another Time zone. Flesh profits nothing. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life(John 6:63)”. Unity of the Spirit translated her from darkness of flesh to light. Seeing her faith he forgave her sins. So faith is to connect (finger of God, as Jesus would say) so she was born after the Spirit even as Isaac was. Similarly the woman with an issue of blood for twelve years was healed because her faith transcended her circumstance of being born after the flesh (v.29)
When St Paul compares Isaac and Ishmael he is comparing children of the promise where faith is the key . Children of the bondwoman are in bondage of flesh. It is thus we need understand two worlds one where faith operates and the other that shall be like a shroud and it shall be cast away.
The woman who anointed the head of Jesus is of the children of promise. Jerusalem and New Jerusalem are entirely different as Jacob and Esau are. In vv.4-7 St Paul speaks adoption of sons is confirmed in his Son. It is faith and law of sin has no hold over those who are led by the Spirit. They are the sons(Ro.8:14) and heirs of God through Christ.
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,/ To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons./ And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father./ Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (vv.4-7).
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.