He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Proverbs 28:13
She doesn’t have a name, but the grace of the Lord was surely working in her heart. Yes, she was nameless, but full of faith. The account is found in Luke 7:36-39.
Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him that she is a sinner.’”
Jesus was invited over to a Pharisee’s house for a meal. Now we very well know there was tension and hostility throughout Jesus’ ministry between the Pharisees and Jesus. They were skeptical of Him. They looked for opportunities to trap Him and diminish His influence. Their hospitality was not out of love and acceptance. His host had mixed motives.
We switch focus to an unlikely guest who arrives on the scene. She is referred to as a “sinner” which means those in attendance were well informed of her promiscuous life. These people were not the least bit welcoming. They were, in fact, the people condemning and ostracizing her, but that didn’t stop her from showing up. After all, Jesus, the Friend of sinners, was present.
At this point in the story, there is no dialogue that is recorded between Jesus and the woman. However, her actions speak volumes. She has acknowledged her sins and placed herself at the feet of Jesus. It is there, at that exact place, where we as Christians must continually find ourselves. We can come to Him a mess and broken and be assured that He can restore, heal, and make us whole.
Her regret over her sin is clearly put on display with her intense crying. She kisses Jesus’ feet and anoints them with perfume (Luke 7:38) which expresses her immense gratitude and belief in the forgiveness Jesus offered her. This beautiful image of repentance is so moving and inspirational. Now, there are many reasons that could have prevented her from attending. Instead, she displayed such courage and humility to go in spite of such wide rejection. Just like us, pride can keep us from confessing our sin. It is when we take an honest look at our heart and agree with God of its ugliness that we can receive God’s grace to change it.
Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.” Luke 7:39
Jesus came for this very purpose. It was His main goal. He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). Thank God for His love, kindness, and mercy that despite our rebellion against Him, He would send His Son to pay our sin debt through His death on the cross and give us new life through His resurrection.
May we frequently visit the feet of Jesus.
Michelle Kenney serves in the Guest Services Department. She has the privilege of working alongside her wonderful husband Mr. Robert Kenney. She loves being a wife and makes it her mission to encourage her brothers and sisters in Christ every day.