They called her a ‘sinful’ woman. She was a prostitute, perhaps. The Bible doesn’t specify about her except for the fact that she was undoubtably and undeniably sinful. For that reason, she probably kept away from ‘righteous’ folk as much as she possibly could.
But then she heard that Jesus was in town! Jesus! He was the son of God. Well, some people said that he was. The woman wasn’t quite sure if she believed that or not. But the woman did know that he was a good prophet, a kind man who healed people. She wondered, is there room enough in his heart to heal a harlot like me?
When a woman who had lived a sinful life in the town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume…
In a way, I can be just like that woman. The word ‘sinful’ could serve as a description for each and every one of us. And I know for a fact that I am very sinful. I may not be a prostitute in the literal sense of the word, but haven’t we all been some kind of prostitute? I know I have forgotten God and prostituted myself to idols time and time again. I’ve been a prostitute to constant sin. I feel like it feeds me though it really just eats away at my soul. In many ways, I am just like that sinful woman.
But Jesus always saves. I know that from Sunday School and the Bible. I know I can always find my way back to Him, despite my sins. I think about it and realize that he probably has enough room in his heart to forgive me once again.
But when the sinful woman entered the room, she realized that not only was Jesus enough — He was more. He loved her, despite her many sins. Somehow, he cared for her more than anyone had ever cared before. Even though the righteous disliked her, this man, who was more righteous than all of them put together, was her friend. And the woman was overwhelmed. She did not think of herself anymore or even of impressing him with the perfume. Instead, she knelt down before him and began to cry. She wet his feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, kissed him, and poured the perfume on his feet as a final touch. She loved Him and He loved her. She was so unworthy, but somehow, He was worthy enough.
and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and poured perfume on them.
So many times, I’ve gone to church or just opened my Bible, with thoughts like this woman. Maybe He can save me again. And then I enter into his presence. Suddenly, all my fears, worries, and even failures melt away in an instant. It’s only Him and me. He is beautiful and I am ugly in my sin. But as I kneel before in worship, He wipes those sins away. Jesus refines me and makes me beautiful again.
But the ‘righteous’ men did not like the woman. They looked down on her and thought Jesus to be false for His kind treatment of her. To them, she was sinful, dirty, and not meant to be loved.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him, and what kind of woman she is–that she is a sinner.’
Sometimes, I feel bombarded on every side by people who hate me. I am judged by sinners just like me. Yet somehow I am ‘more sinful’ to them. I am caught in a snare because to them I am not worth enough.
But it didn’t matter to Jesus for he was more righteous than the pharisees’ self-righteousness. He was worthier than all of the woman’s unworthiness. Jesus had the power to stand above righteousness and fill the ‘sinful’ woman with worth.
Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to tell you. Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?
And Jesus forgives me just like he forgave that woman. His righteousness and worthiness makes up for my lacking. He fills me with all that I need, including His unfailing love.
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much.
So Jesus forgave the woman. Even though she was sinful, He loved her without holding back. And He loves me like that, too. Jesus dismisses my failings and replaces my fears with his amazing love. He turns to me, as he turned to that woman and tells me my sins are forgiven because my faith has saved me.
It’s interesting that Jesus told the woman that her faith had saved her. The Pharisees in the Bible and lots of “churchy people” now like to make up extra rules and judge people for what they don’t do. But the truth is that we are all sinners who are going to mess up. And that is why nothing but the blood of Jesus can save us when we put our faith in Him.
Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you;go in peace’
Remember that He didn’t say your purity or good works has saved you. We could never do or be enough for that. It’s not our righteousness, money we give to the poor, or the way that we dress ourselves. We would never be worthy if it were based on those things. It’s not how many days we go without sinning because the truth is that we all sin every single day. Instead, it is the grace of God that becomes ours when we put our faith in Him.
Have you put your faith in Jesus? Remember, it’s never to late. You may be sinful, but we’re all sinful. And Jesus accepts us just the way we are — broken and dirty. He makes us whole and clean through his blood. So come to His feet now and he will say, “My child, your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”