Originally posted in December 2014. This is a recent favorite. Thank you, Mr. S|P!
I was downstairs a couple Sundays ago swallowing my snack when I realized most people were upstairs already.
Hey, your Daddy’s speaking this morning, I hissed to A and JLSS. We gotta get up there!
Where’s my lighter? I quipped.
We made it upstairs and Mr. S|P was talking about Luke 7, when the Lord Jesus has dinner at Simon the Pharisee’s house, and the “Sinful” woman anointed His feet.
This woman had a far-reaching reputation for being the “kind” of woman polite society should not receive. But when she learned that the Lord Jesus was nearby she took a huge risk – breaking her way into the dining room full of men who would judge her, washing his feet with her tears, wiping them with her hair, and anointing them with the contents of her alabaster box.
What was she crying about? I bet she cried over remembering everything that had happened, the choices she had made, the mistakes she never intended to make, the rejection that had given her no option but to continue down that path, and fear that she might be rejected again.
I think this is what that woman was remembering because I imagine I have a similar tightness around my heart. Sometimes it’s like there’s a hand squeezing the living daylights out of me as I undergo this painful but necessary reentry into the Land of the Living. Think I’m overstating it? I’m not. I know I didn’t do anything wrong – it’s just that sometimes I still miss The Valley, that’s all.
Simon, the host, saw this woman, and knowing her by reputation thought to himself, “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” (Luke 7.39).
But the Lord Jesus did know all about the woman’s background. He knew the extent of her shame and heartbreak, and the desperate sort of courage that had driven her to such a demonstrative and public act.
In describing this lady’s thought process, Mr. S|P just said, She had heard that Jesus received people like her.
At that point I wanted to burst into tears.
He had a reputation, too.
So she took a monumental risk, opening herself to yet more shame and ridicule – but what did she find? Relief.
“Thy sins are forgiven,” the Lord Jesus told her. “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7.48 & 50).