Posts Tagged ‘sinner anointing Jesus’

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. New 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 7:36-39)

anointing Jesus' feetOne day while having dinner at the home of Simon, a Pharisee, a woman came into the room and standing behind Jesus she bathed His feet with her tears of repentance. In order to understand how the woman could be standing behind Jesus and weeping on His feet, we must picture Him reclining on a couch with His legs outstretched. The woman was at the lower end of the couch weeping over His bare feet. Jesus’ feet were bare because that was the custom in those days. The guest was to leave his sandals outside the door when entering the house. The host was supposed to get some water and a towel and wash the dust off of his guest’s feet.

We are told that this woman was “a sinner”. The woman was very aware of the contrast between herself as a terrible sinner and the Lord Jesus as totally sinless. In the presence of the Savior she could not control her emotions and could not help weeping until His feet were very wet. She then dried His feet with her hair.

The Pharisee, Simon, was looking on with disgust while she was weeping on Jesus’ feet. Simon’s reaction probably indicates that the woman was a prostitute. The Pharisee would have considered himself unclean if the woman had touched him. According to Rabbinic rules the woman was supposed to be at least four cubits away. Simon could not understand why Jesus was allowing her to be so near to Him.

Why was Jesus invited into Simon’s home? It seems odd that the Pharisee did not even extend the courtesies to Jesus that all guests were to receive. When the other guests were arriving Simon would have embraced them, even offering the kiss of friendship that was common in the East. Slaves would have been standing by waiting to wash the road dust off of their feet and to pour sweet oil over their heads to soften their parched skin.

But Jesus was just a poor traveler. He did not receive the treatment of the other honored guests. So why was He invited? Was this Pharisee trying to determine if Jesus was the Messiah? We know from his thoughts that he was at least considering that Jesus may be a special prophet. And why did Jesus accept the invitation? Jesus wanted to show His love for all people by eating with publicans and Pharisees alike. All people, no matter what their station in life was, need the Lord Jesus.

So Jesus came. He caused Simon much consternation by allowing a prostitute to touch Him. But if Jesus was a prophet, Simon reasoned, then why didn’t He know that the woman was a sinner? Jesus knew what Simon was thinking.

And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he 1replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred 1adenarii, and the other fifty. “When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” And turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you agave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. “You agave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, 1has not ceased to kiss My feet. “You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” And those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say 1to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:40-50)

Simon called Jesus a “Teacher”. He was so right. Jesus instructed Simon by telling him a story about two debtors. One owed the creditor a small amount and one owed the creditor a huge amount. The creditor forgave both of them. Jesus asked Simon, “So which of them will love him more?”

The Pharisee would consider himself as being the one who owed a small debt. This Pharisee was the one who served God but did not love Him. Though Jesus was offering him forgiveness he did not want it. He was too self-righteous.

The woman was the debtor who knew the depth of her sin and the immensity of a debt she could never repay. She could only beg for forgiveness. She looked to Jesus for help. She trusted in Him for forgiveness.

The woman gave Jesus the grace that Simon withheld. She washed His feet. She also kissed His feet. She gave Jesus the honor of anointing Him. Often the oil was poured over the head. In our story the woman anoints Jesus’ feet. This was considered a real luxury. Jesus told Simon that it was more valuable than what Simon would have done.

Jesus told the woman “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” The woman’s whole life was transformed! Now she could truly have real peace and joy. She would love Jesus and follow Him from then on.

Most of us have not committed this particular sin. But we have committed plenty of other sins. We can go to Jesus for forgiveness. We must be truly sorry for our sins, but He is gracious and compassionate and willing to forgive. The result of our forgiveness should be gratitude and love for the Savior.

1-John 1.9




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