And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. ~Luke 7:37-38
How much do you love Jesus? Sometimes, that question seems relative to the person or situation at hand. It is a personal question that makes some feel uncomfortable. It is a probing question that makes us examine our hearts. It is a performance-driven question because it begs the follow-up question, “How do you demonstrate that love?” This morning, we are looking at the demonstration of love that one unnamed woman showed to Jesus.
There is the fame of this woman.
She apparently was known among the circle of men that were present. Luke refers to her as a "sinner." The Pharisees refer to her as a "sinner." She was a woman of ill repute. We are not told all the things that she did that made her notorious, but the fact remains that she lived in sin. The men were taken back that she dared to enter the house of the Pharisee where Jesus was sitting for a meal. They were even more taken back that Jesus allowed her to touch Him as she wiped His feet with her hair and ointment. The men looked at her as if she was the plague. Jesus looked at her as a person. What you think of others says a lot about what you think about the Lord.
There is the forgiveness of this woman.
She came to Jesus for forgiveness of her sins. The Jewish system made it impossible for her to have a clean start. By the works of the law no flesh is justified. He accepted her. He forgave her. He gave her a new start. He showed her that God never shuns any sinner from his presence. He gave her confidence. He showed her mercy. This woman found in Jesus what no system or philosophy can do. She was completely remade because of the power of a loving Savior. Forgiveness is accepting the person who is in need, wiping away the person’s offense, and having a fresh restart. True forgiveness is lasting, longsuffering, and loving.
There is the faith of this woman.
She did not come to appease her guilt-ridden conscience. She came to express her love to the Lord for His forgiveness. She knew her sin debt was huge. So, in return she brings an alabaster box filled with costly ointment. She bows down to Jesus, kisses His feet as a sign of her humility, and with a combination of repentant tears and the costly ointment, she wipes His feet with her hair! What she did before the stout and arrogant Pharisees was stunning! She knew that faith without works is dead. She put her faith to work and gave God great glory for the transformation in her life. The typical Christian has such a low view of God’s forgiveness of sin. Forgiveness is not cheap. It is not an everyday commodity that we trade with people. Without forgiveness, we are of all people most miserable. While the men at that meal focused on this woman’s past, this woman focused on her passion for Jesus.
How much do you love Jesus? Does the thought of being forgiven bring tears to your eyes? Does the reality that we are accepted in the beloved because of His mercy and grace move you to action?
Have a passionate God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Nahum-Habakkuk