Thursday, October 29, 2020 -
Luke, who was not a Jew, paid special consideration to the women who Jesus encountered and those who followed Him. He records five unique events pertaining to women not covered by the other gospel writers.
One of these is what happened at the dinner in Simon the Pharisee’s home he gave for Jesus (Luke 7:36-50). Obviously, because of Simon’s position as a Pharisee, he was considered a righteous and holy man but had not yet decided to become a follower of Jesus. The custom at that time was for diners to recline at the table with their feet stretched out behind them.
But the dinner party was crashed by a woman with a sinful or immoral reputation, who most likely was a harlot. She came only upon hearing of the presence of Christ, to no doubt perform an act of worship. She was likely unwelcome by Simon.
Picture this scene: Weeping, she tries to approach Jesus as discreetly as possible. But she cannot control her sobbing, and the tears fall on Jesus’ feet. She uses her own hair to wipe Jesus’ feet, dirt and all and then opens a beautiful alabaster jar and pours an anointing oil of what would cost a full day’s wages, all over Jesus’ feet. All during this episode, she also continually kissed His feet through her tears.
Simon knew this woman’s reputation and had a hard time justifying in his mind how Jesus, the great Teacher and Miracle Worker Who preached a message of repentance, could accept this sheer adoration and worship from a woman of such horrible reputation. Jesus, however, knew Simon’s thoughts, just as He realized the motivation of the woman intruder to be one of complete adoration and love. The respect she showed Jesus was respect Simon should have demonstrated himself, for it was common for a host to have his guests’ feel washed and greet them with a kiss of greeting. I grew up in a culture where men would greet each other with a kiss on each cheek, and women would also greet each other in the same manner.
In fact, Jesus said, since her sins were so many, her love she demonstrated toward Christ was justifiably more than one who sins less, just as one who has been forgiven a greater debt will show more love and gratitude than one who has been forgiven little. Jesus told her, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” This woman had recognized Who Jesus is. She knew He was forgiving and willing to accept her into His kingdom no matter her background, even prior to when Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven.” He provides peace no matter our background. Again, He knows our thoughts. He knows when we’re truly repentant and grateful for His forgiveness and sacrifice on our behalf, just as He knew this woman’s heart. This woman couldn’t control her gratefulness, and neither should we.