“Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47, HCSB
What was she doing there?
Upon invitation, Jesus ate at Simon the Pharisee’s house. A certain someone, known as an immoral woman, heard about Jesus’ visit and decided to crash the party. Bringing a container of valuable perfume, she entered and stood behind the Lord as He stretched out at the table. Weeping, she wiped, kissed, and anointed Jesus’ feet, worshipping Messiah with a full heart.
Everyone–except Jesus–could see her. She didn’t seem to care. She was too overcome.
I wonder why the Pharisee even let her in. I’d think he wouldn’t want such a lowlife to enter his home since he retained a leadership position in the Jewish community. Why didn’t he stop her? Though it appears she worked as a prostitute, he didn’t chase her away. Simon simply watched and thought … and judged.
Maybe this woman had earned money at Simon’s house in the past.
Maybe Simon and this woman knew each other.
Obviously, Simon felt superior.
Yet Jesus saw right through. He read the Pharisee’s thoughts, and though Simon didn’t ask for a response, the Lord answered anyway:
“Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.’ And Jesus answered and said to him…” Lk. 7:39-40, NASB
Jesus communicated truth through a parable about two people unable to repay debt. Graciously, their moneylender forgave each of them–one for 50 denarii and the other for 500 denarii. The Lord then asked Simon who loved the lender more, and Simon correctly understood. Of course, the person forgiven for the greater debt held a greater love.
Just like that woman. That “sort of person.” That “sinner.”
Though she really had nothing to offer, she humbly gave all she could: her tears mingled with perfume, the tresses flowing from her head, the gentle kiss of her lips … all spent on Jesus’ feet.
I don’t believe she’d ever used those parts of her body in such a holy way.
But unlike Simon, this woman grasped in the core of her being that the living God sat before her. A Savior so exquisite, so loving, so welcoming–so forgiving–Who made her new. She’d followed the Lord Jesus Christ to the Pharisee’s house, publicly displayed her faith, and worshipped Him unashamedly.
She knew what she was, yet she’d come to know who HE IS.