Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

36One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat.h 37When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

40Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”

“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.

41Then Jesus told him this story: A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silveri to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

43Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

“That’s right,” Jesus said. 44Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

47“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”48Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”

50And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Jesus was in the company of socially prestigious person with money and influence, and at the same time, a social outcast known for her sinful life. The woman was rejected by the “good” people who wouldn’t even want her to touch them. Yes, Jesus was in the company of both, but who touched Jesus and who did Jesus really touch?

Think of it another way. Of the three people in this scene, who do I NOT want to be?

We all truly are the immoral woman, for who among us can claim to have never been immoral? But in this story, being the woman is fantastic. If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are one with him and are called to BE Jesus. To be Jesus in the scene, is fantastic. Of course, let’s not forget that being Jesus here also means you must be Jesus on the cross…and at the empty tomb. Still fantastic.

We don’t know how it all ends, but being Simon here, doesn’t look so good. He is clearly the person in this scene I do NOT want to be. So that begs the real question. As the scenes of my life play out, who am I?  

Lord, give me the courage to admit that I am the immoral woman and accept the boundless forgiveness you give me and the justification you won for me in my place on my cross. Holy Spirit, live within me so I be touched by people like this woman and Jesus can touch people through me. And lastly Lord, when I play the role of Simon, as I do so often, help me to remember that you are sitting right there beside me and I can join the woman in her humility and tears, and love, and joy…and play a better part in the next scene.

Good to see you at the empty tomb!  🙂


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