She was unclean. A notorious sinner in the town actually – perhaps a prostitute.
An immoral wretch, at the bottom of the totem pole.
But she was intrigued by this loving, kind, forgiveness-dispensing Jesus, and she dared come to Him to express her appreciation and love in a tangible way – anointing His feet with very expensive perfume.
All this, in the house of one of the self-righteous religious folks of the day. Simon the Pharisee had invited Jesus in for a meal (after all, on the prophet circuit, Jesus was head and shoulders above any contemporaries! He was really stirring things up with His authoritative teachings, His miracles, and His kindness to the lowly and outcast).
Because Simon was more interested in hosting a prophet than humbling himself before a Savior, he did not honor Jesus with the courtesy of providing water to wash His feet. In fact, when the unclean woman made up for Simon’s lack with her tears and perfume, Simon sneered in his heart – “some prophet – he doesn’t even know that this wretched woman touching him is a sinner!!”
Au contraire – it was Simon who did not know he was a sinner. And Jesus nailed him to the wall with a little parable about debts.
Read the rest of the story here. And then ask yourself; am I the forgiven sinner who loves his/her benefactor? Or am I the blinded sinner who denies his or her indebtedness, and therefore shows no love – feels no need – for a Savior?
Here’s the point: no matter how deep, wide, and long-lasting our sins – no matter how profoundly mired we are in our moral uncleanness – Jesus is far, far, infinitely and immensely far greater in His love and grace.
Did I mention far?? The Scriptures talk about His willingness to remove our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. That’s…………….far.
The first work of grace is a spiritual awakening to our uncleanness. The next work of grace is a painful awareness of our utter bondage and helplessness in our rebellion. Conviction of sin is the awful mercy of God. Yes, we did all that. Yes, we are utterly foul and helpless. No, we are not righteous, not one bit.
Then we will turn to a Savior. Then we will worship. Then we will love much, having been forgiven much.
Cleansed prostitutes will be in heaven. Once-unclean and immoral people of every stripe, gender, race, and background embrace Him now, and will enjoy Him forever. But there will be no self-righteous ones there to sneer.
photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) via photopin cc