Luke 7:44-48 (NIV)
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–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus had been invited to a dinner party of sorts by a Pharisee name Simon. The dinner was just underway when a woman enters the room. She moves quickly because she understands the customs and knows if she doesn’t find Jesus first she will be met with stiff protest and quick eviction from the premises. Kneeling behind Jesus she begins to weep, it’s an odd sight, embarrassing for the host but Jesus, the dinner guest is unfazed. Her momentary gasps for breath amidst her tears breaks the awkward silence in the room. Soon, her tears are flowing rapidly like a swelling river during flood season. Her gasps increase and she is weeping openly at His feet. As each tear falls like salty raindrops she purposely positions herself over Jesus’ feet and allows each drop to fall onto them. His feet are still dusty from the gravely, chalky road and as the moisture from her tears gathers in the crease lines of His feet mud begins to form. The woman bends closer allowing her long hair to touch his feet. Reaching up she uses her hair like a cloth and proceeds to wipe the muddied feet. Then, from her pocket in her cloak she retrieves a small jar of perfume. The smells of food are suddenly replaced with an expensive aroma of perfume. She pours it onto Jesus’ feet and continues to wipe away the remnants of the dust and dirt. Her sobs are now the only sounds within the dining room.
The host; Simon is shocked as the rest of those gathered guests look on in bewildered amazement. This woman, known by the community for her tarnish reputation is at a Teacher’s feet…such things should not be, and yet Jesus does nothing to stop her. Instead Jesus looks at Simon and tells Him a short story. “There were two people who both owed a debt to a moneylender. One owed five hundred silver pieces, while the other owed fifty.” Jesus pauses as he glances from the woman back to Simon again, the light of the room reflecting in his eyes dances to the light of the flame. “Neither one of the debtors had the resources to pay back the debt to the moneylender.” Jesus continues to say, “but a remarkable thing happens, when the moneylender realizes neither one of them could repay the debt back, he cancels the debt.” Again Jesus glances up from the woman and looks Simon directly in the eyes again as he ask most important question Simon will hear all night, “Which of the two people owning the moneylender money will be the most thankful for the debt cancelation?” Simon doesn’t waste any time as he responds with confidence, “I imagine the person who owed the most would be the most thankful!” Jesus nods in agreement and looks down at the distraught woman still wiping his feet with her hair and say to Simon, “You see this woman who has disrupted your dinner party? She comes with much to forgive, you, Simon didn’t wash my feet when I enter and here she is washing my feet now.” Simon sits pensively as he listens. Jesus continues, “When I entered your home you did not greet me with a kiss which is customary, yet this woman has not stopped kissing my feet since she entered the room.” Silence falls on the room again as all who hear Jesus’ words chews on them like a piece of fatty grizzle. “Isn’t it remarkable?” Jesus asks, “She has been forgiven for a many sins today! She has found love and is reciprocating this great love to me even now!” Then Jesus speaks directly to the woman for the first time with kindness and more respect than anyone in the town had ever given her and her less than perfect reputation; “Woman, your sins are forgiven…” how could such a thing be the others wonder to themselves? “She was a sinful woman was she not? Who was this man that can forgive sin?” The other dinner guests and Simon, the host, murmur and grumble together. Yet Jesus ignores them and continues to speak to the woman at His feet with love and care; He tells her, “Your faith has saved you this day, now go in peace!”
What a moment for that woman! She came seeking forgiveness, she came with such a debt that she couldn’t possibly repay, and Jesus canceled the debt and gave her life again! Imagine the heavy burden that must have been lifted as soon as she got up from His feet? Can’t you envision her moving a little lighter as she makes her way home? Perhaps she sleeps heavier than she has slept in a very long time that night! Those in her household and those that know her well would have seen a drastic change her attitude and lifestyle! It all came about because Jesus allowed her to weep at His feet and to find forgiveness in this humbling act. Oh that we too may kneel at His feet and find such sweet deliverance! Whether you have much to be forgiven for or very little, seek Jesus, kneel before Him with a penitent heart and find your debts of sin canceled!
“Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Calvary, Calvary
Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very Near!”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”