36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

–Luke 7:36-48

This is the picture of a broken and a contrite spirit before the Lord. The woman is called a sinner, that word is in the Greek ἁμαρτωλός. For those of you who don’t read Greek, which I’m guessing is most if not all, that word translated is hamartōlos, it means harlot or in general a sinner by lifestyle and occupation: gambler/thief, harlot, slave trader, etc…

This woman owned one possession of value, an alabaster box of spikenard ointment which was very costly. This was something she used for her trade as a prostitute to make herself appealing and alluring to men. The picture of her wiping the feet of the Master with that possession is one of her surrender to a new life in Christ and literally laying her former life of sin at His feet. The custom of Jews to treat guests in their houses was to offer them water and a towel to wash their feet: it was a disgrace and a social taboo to sit at the table to sup with unwashed feet. It was also the custom of Jews to greet each other with a kiss on the cheek; –though that may seem awkward to us today, it was the equivalent salutation to our handshakes– even the least welcome visitors were given this type of treatment, but the Bible says that Jesus did not.

45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

Jesus was not treated with respect or honor in the house of Simon the Pharisee; He was made sport of and mocked. But, this woman who knew who He really was and what He had done for her said “No. I won’t allow Him to be treated like this while I’m here”. She stood up for the Master though she felt unworthy of Him. There is a stunning picture here of this woman anointing Jesus feet so pay close attention. She brought her most valuable possession to give it all to Christ. The Pharisees wouldn’t wash his feet and no one would give her a towel to clean the Master’s feet.

So, what does she do? She breaks the law. It was illegal for a Jewish woman to let her hair down in public, but this woman didn’t care. Her actions said “You can imprison or kill me, but I won’t let you treat my Savior like that”, and she wiped the feet of Jesus with her hair. A picture of total surrender of her life to Christ.

41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

Who will love God more? The one who was forgiven of the most. Because she believed, because she surrendered, because she loved Him more than her own life, Jesus forgave this woman. This is grace for the unlovable: those who have the most to forgive. God loves to save the worst among us, because their gratitude is pure and their change is definite and enduring. This woman would never go back to her former life again; how could she? She had met the Master and would never be the same.

As always, thanks for reading.

–the anonymous novelist

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