Father, thank You for Jesus and the life I have in Him!
“…a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at His feet, weeping, raining tears on His feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume.” (v 37-38 MSG)
The Pharisee host couldn’t believe You’d let this woman touch You, Lord. Yet, You took this opportunity to again contrast the attitude of the Pharisees with “sinners.” In reality, both Simon and the woman were sinners. The point You were highlighting to Simon was that the woman had realized it. She was stricken by the raw awareness of her sin and the value of Your mercy, forgiveness, and love. She was so moved by this recognition that her response was extravagant adoration of You, the one by whom she received such phenomenal gifts.
WASHED IN SERVICE
“…she wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.” (v 44 NIV)
This woman came into a room, though uninvited, found You there, as she’d hoped, and stood behind You. (The custom of the day was for guests to recline at the meal table, so Your feet would’ve been behind You, and she could’ve easily slipped in without disrupting the table guests.) When she arrived at her target destination, all she could do was weep. No doubt, You felt each tear drop onto Your feet. I wonder how many tears fell before she noticed their landing spot …before she knelt and more tears gushed forth … until she let down her hair and used it as a towel to dry Your feet…
Father, may my heart be so aware of the fathomless pit out of which You’ve brought me by Your gift of salvation that my foremost act in Your presence is serving You. Let me not grow so proud as Simon, who didn’t even carry out a simple social custom of providing water for Your dusty feet as You entered his home. Oh, make me like this woman — aware of my sin, aware of my salvation, and deeply, visibly grateful for the great chasm between the two!
KISSED IN AFFECTION
“…this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing My feet” (v 45 NIV)
Simon had not even offered You a customary kiss of greeting; yet, here again, the woman, who was looked down upon by the religious leader, becomes a model to which You call attention. Realizing the depths of Your forgiveness, her heart bursts with love and adoration for You, Jesus.
When I embrace the thought of this woman’s actions, I can feel it, yet putting it into words is difficult. I remember the time when my acknowledgment of my sin used to be more like Simon’s. I went about my faith walk not conceding too often that, though I’d been a good person as I grew up, I was a sinner like any person whose sins were visible, public, and atrocious. A reality had to hit me: My sin put You on the cross too. I recall the change inside when I was vividly aware that I had always been and will always be at YOUR mercy, dependent on Your grace. Even now, I weep tears of gratitude as I consider how You love me … and I can barely release the words from my quivering lips … “I love You, Jesus.”
ANOINTED IN HONOR
“…she has poured perfume on My feet” (v 47 NIV)
She had carried in a carved, expensive and beautiful jar of perfume, no doubt costing her a great amount. How had she earned the money to purchase such a treasure? Was it a family heirloom that she’d manage to hang onto? Had someone given it to her as payment for her services? The origin of her gift is not known, except that it was hers, and she chose to use it to honor the One who set her free.
Lord, may I follow this woman’s example of taking whatever I value in this life and using it to bring honor to You. Let me be extravagant in glorifying You, because like her, I KNOW that it is only YOU who could and have set me free!
SERVICE, LOVE, and HONOR…these three were the responses of a woman who acknowledged the depths of her sin and the price of her salvation. You didn’t forgive her, save her, or free her because of these good acts. You did all those things because You came to serve, to show Your love, and to restore honor to us fallen ones.
This woman had You in person; she could convey her gratitude directly to You. Today, though, Lord, for me, You tell me that I am serving You when I serve others (Matthew 25:31-40) …that I am loving You when I love others (1 John 3:11-18; 4:7-12) …that I am honoring You when I honor others (Romans 12:10; Philippians 2:3-5ff). Help me to live in an attitude of gratitude, cognizant of all You’ve done for me, and humbly expressing what that means to me. You’ve brought me so far, Father. Continue to make me just like Jesus. Amen.