Community in Action February 16, 2021

Therefore, I tell you,

her many sins

have been forgiven-

as her great love has shown.

Luke 7:47a

    This is one of my all time favorite passages. It is a rendition of a story told in all four gospels. In Matthew and Mark this event takes place in the house of Simon the Leper. In John this event takes place in the home of Lazarus, but in Luke this takes place at a supper hosted by Pharisee, a learned, devoted, religious leader.

    The story is about an uninvited woman who treats Jesus with love and respect that goes beyond the normal rules of hospitality. The Pharisee did not provide Jesus with water to wash his feet or towel to dry them off. The Pharisee did not give him a welcoming embrace, yet this woman kisses his feet once she has cleaned and dried them. The Pharisee did not anoint the head of Jesus, but this woman anointed his feet with a costly perfume, honoring him above all who were present.

    The Pharisee sees this woman as a sinner with no worth above the ground and yet she provides Jesus above and beyond hospitality that this host failed to offer Jesus. Jesus was barely acknowledged at this dinner and yet this woman treats him as her Savior and Jesus forgives her for all her sins.

    The story is a good one to ponder. It makes us consider how we treat God. Does God have to live up to our expectations? Does God have to do what we think he should before we will accept him? Did Jesus come for the righteous or did Jesus come for the sinners?

    Many commentators say that this event is not the first time this woman met Jesus. Notice in this story Jesus says she is showing him her great love. And why is she showing him her great love? Probably, because she has received from him a forgiveness for her many debts, see the other story embedded in this passage.

    She knows how much she owes her Savior so there is nothing too precious that she doesn’t want to offer him. She enters a place where she is not welcome. She rebels against convention by letting her hair down in public. She cleans his feet with her own tears and wipes them with her own hair. She then takes something as precious as a year’s wages and pours it on his feet.

    This woman knows Jesus as her Lord and Savior and is willing to confess it before high and mighty strangers that may hold her fate in their hands. Yet she holds nothing back. She is willing to humiliate herself to profess her devotion to the man who has treated with dignity, respect, and love.

    This is a lesson worth noting and a lesson worth repeating. May we recognize the one forgives all our debts and offer him what we are willing to give, and maybe even more.


    Pastor Randy


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