36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. 37 And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “speak.” 41 “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” 48 Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
I love this passage as it shows the incredible love Jesus has – no embarrassment, totally secure in who He is.
- He is willing to go to Simon, a Pharisees’ house for dinner with a group of men. He is up for a challenge!!
- He is not embarrassed by the “sinful” woman kissing his feet, washing them with her tears and wiping them with her hair – he is blessed and honours her extravagant love and affection (have you ever wondered what she was doing there!!!).
- Their rejection of her is in stark contrast to Jesus’ embracing love, acceptance and forgiveness of her.
- Jesus accepts her despite her sin and she finds forgiveness and peace.
- He tells a parable hoping that they would ‘get it’ – love and forgiveness – yet they don’t get it at all. His gospel falls on deaf ears and their only reply is “Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins.”
Lord help us to accept people – no matter their background, their ethnicity, their beliefs, their past, their present…..let us become people who embrace with Your love those who come across our paths. Help us to be more like Jesus.
Written by Ps. Sue Botta