“One of the Pharisees ask Jesus to dine with him, and He went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the town who was an especially wicked sinner, when she learned that He was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment (perfume).
And standing behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears; and she wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed His feet [affectionately] and anointed them with the ointment (perfume). Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw it, he said to himself, If this Man were a prophet, He would surely know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching Him–for she is a notorious sinner (a social outcast, devoted to sin).
And Jesus, replying, said to him, Simon, I have something to say to you. And he answered, Teacher, say it. A certain lender of money [at interest] had two debtors: one owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they had no means of paying, he freely forgave them both, Now which of them will love him more? Simon answered, The one, I take it, for whom he forgave and cancelled more. And Jesus said to him, You have decided correctly.
Then turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, Do you see this woman? when I came into 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 from the moment I came in has not ceased [intermittently] to kiss My feet tenderly and caressingly. You did not anoint My head with [cheap, ordinary] oil, but she has anointed My feet with [costly, rare] perfume.
Therefore I tell you, her sins, many as they are, are forgiven her–because she has loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little. And He said to her, Your sins are forgiven!…Your faith has saved you; go (enter) into peace [in freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin].” (Luke 7:36-50)
This story beautifully shows the heart of love in this woman. She was despised and a social outcast. Probably a prostitute and part of the dark side of town. But she heard about Jesus. He looked straight into her heart and saw the potential and the plan His Father had for her. He saw the hunger and the love for God in her. Nobody else saw anything else but what was on the outside. Where she lived, the clothes she wore, and the way she made her living.
She heard He was at the Pharisee’s house. She knew she would be unwelcome. She knew she would be scorned and judged unworthy to enter his house–yet she went anyway. She came with her tears and her freshly washed hair and her alabaster flask of the most precious possession she had–the rare perfume that cost her so much money to buy. When she saw Him, she was painfully aware that her sins were as scarlet, but she knew He was the answer to all her problems.
So she began to weep for all the wasted years of sin and all the pain of rejection from her family and her people because of her sins. She wept for salvation to be hers–if only she could be clean! She humbled herself before the Son of God, wiping His feet with her hair and finally pouring out every drop of the costly and rare perfume from the alabaster flask onto His feet–feet soon to be run through with a huge nail on the Cross–for her, for you and for me.
To her amazement, Jesus began to say good things about her! That her great love was evident in comparison to the Pharisee’s small love. Then the words she never dreamed she would hear: Your sins are forgiven! She felt clean! She was clean! Her life would never be the same! And her life wasn’t ever the same. She followed Jesus from that moment on…into eternity with Him.
It doesn’t matter how unworthy we think we are. It surely doesn’t matter how unworthy others think we are. Jesus Christ considered us worthy enough to die for. The same words spoken to her have been spoken to countless people since: Your sins are forgiven! Like her, your life can change forever. Just call out to Jesus and He will come and set you free.