Luke 7:36-50 – When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 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.
39 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.” 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet,but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
The cost of the perfume in my alabaster jar is priceless. The things I had to endure to obtain such a treasure are astronomical. Can you imagine this woman sitting in her home, waiting and preparing for her next client when she heard that Jesus was in town. RIGHT DOWN THE STREET! As she pondered that fact and completely talked herself right down to the lowness and unworthiness she already was accustomed to, she combed her har and shut herself off mentally from what was about to take place. She weighed heavily the options before her. In that moment of decision, when the man walked in the room, the moment when obedience seems crazy, she chose the way of the Lord. She ran down the street, toward a house full of haters and mockers, some of them she had even entertained in her own bedroom, and there was no turning back. We may not be street walkers, but nearly every single one of us has prostituted ourselves to the world for something….money, fame, fortune, success, a fancy job, a nice car….what compromises were made in the process??? Just a question.
Only those who understand the depth of their sin and are able to push aside whatever compelling reasons that led to bad behavior can truly appreciate complete forgiveness.
Now to Simon. He shunned Jesus from the get go. Not once did our Lord act ENTITLED to receive a washing of His feet, an anointing of oil, or a kiss of greeting from the man at whose table He was reclining. Those things were offered to everyone else and He was the Son of God. Never once did He say, “How DARE Simon not recognize who I am and do for me what he is doing for everyone else!” It was all an act of humility so huge that it takes my breath away. In verse 39, Simon said to HIMSELF…that man had not even formed words out of his mouth to cast public judgment on this woman, yet Jesus HEARD him and answered him.
Our love for Jesus, even in the midst of trials, even in the depths of our own sinful ways, even in the pure acts of humility as we are riddled with shame, is what brings Him into the light of forgiving mercy.
What is the cost of your alabaster jar? Would you be willing to humble yourself before Christ to receive forgiveness? He already knows your heart and can hear your thoughts, whether you choose to speak aloud or not. Are you content to sit in your house, looking at the jar on the shelf, or take your years of sinful work and lay it at Jesus’ feet?