One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:36-39)
There are several people involved in this situation, but this week, let’s take a closer look at the woman.
This is all we read about this woman, in a mere few short verses. If we only went based on the description of others and not her actions, the image of this woman is pretty bad – a sinful woman of the city. YET, we see her actions of adoration to Jesus far outweighs the sins of her past.
This “woman of the city”, or as it is thought to describe her sexual lewdness, had steep opposition in coming to Jesus that day. She was a known sinner, her sins were known publicly, and this alone could have prevented her from coming to Jesus. In order to get to Jesus, she had to enter the house of a Pharisee uninvited. She brought an ointment in an alabaster flask that was undoubtedly of high value to her. She served Jesus by wiping His feet, which in just cleansing feet alone would have been a servant’s role, yet she used her own tears and hair, and kissed and anointed His feet. On the outside, everything was against her, and yet she surrendered everything to serve and worship at the feet of Jesus. She counted serving and worshiping Jesus so valuable that she faced her shame and disgrace to do it.
A Beautiful Exchange
Even though Jesus hadn’t died yet, we see the making of a beautiful exchange here. The very hair that this woman once used to adorn to lure in lovers, was now being used to humbly wipe the feet of her Lord with her tears of repentance. She had nothing but sin weighing her down, and yet she came to Jesus humbly and with a brokenness. In return, Jesus accepted her adoration and ended up forgiving her sins and sending her in peace.
This woman is not Mary Magdalene, but it is beautiful to see recorded in Scripture that two women were brought to such adoration of Jesus that they worshiped and honored Him in this way.
How do you honor Jesus?
We don’t have Jesus physically here to anoint and fall at His feet, but we do have the very Spirit of God dwelling within us and allowing us to enter in before Him anytime. The very feet that were pierced and now scarred, rest as He is seated at the right hand of the Father.
“It ought not to astonish you that there were two persons whose intense affection thus displayed itself; the astonishment should rather be that there were not two hundred who did so, for the anointing of the feet of an honored friend…Loved as Jesus deserved to be, the marvel is that he was not oftener visited with these generous tokens of human love.” (Spurgeon)
Today, in your adoration of Jesus, what token of love will you offer Him Who is your Savior, your Lord, and your friend?