“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 wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.””
Luke 7:44-48 NASB
The scent of grace
The passage above is part of a larger vignette that I find to be one of the most beautiful in the Bible. Here is a woman of bad reputation coming to Jesus in complete humility. She literally laid down her glory as she wiped His feet with her hair. She is broken, the very definition of what brokenness is. She lived not the life of a a noble woman, nor even that of a common woman. She was the lowest of the low.
In her need, she laid aside all of her dignity and pride to minister to the One who could save her from her sins, in the very presence of some of the men who were likely her customers. Her pain was greater than her pride as she wept bitterly. She mourned over her life of sin and knew where to find the blessing.
““Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4 NASB
Those that saw this glorious moment unfold were caught up in their religious bigotry. They did not have the Spirit of Jesus and could only see the woman in her sinful past and not her eternal future.
I see myself as the woman. I came to Jesus, climbing from the depths of sin, a life filled with pain and struggle. He drew me and by His grace I approached, humbled, with no esteem. He saved me. I remember my Aunt Katherine telling me that she was amazed that I would have come to know Jesus. She didn’t see me the way He did.
When I read of the woman’s brokenness, I know the joy that she felt. Sin is heavy. It weighs one down and corrupts everything. She laid it down and her tears washed away a life of painful degradation. She was lifted.
There is great advantage in coming to the Lord young. Life is smoother and there is far less wreckage go through. The downside is one only sees a glimpse of the transformational power of the Holy Spirit. In the depth of sin and degradation, it is the only the supernatural power of Jehovah Tsidkenu, God who sanctifies, that brings the change.
I still marvel at the power of God to change me and am daily moved by the experience. Not only have a I experienced it once, but daily, as continuously transforms my heart and guides me. He is an powerful God and always loving.
We all have those people in our lives who seems so far gone that there appears to be no hope. Nothing is impossible with God. Keep praying for those who seem lost to hell. Pray for that breakthrough.
I am sure there was a time when that woman felt completely trapped in the life that repulsed her. I am sure she doubted the God represented by the “holy men” who used her sexually and then cast some empty blessing upon her.
Then there was Jesus.
All praise to my great God who knew me from the foundation of the world who drew me into His glorious light!