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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox


One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “speak.” “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” ~ Luke 7:36-50

Who likes facing the music?

I remember as a kid thinking if I hid in my room, maybe my parents would forget the punishment I was owed.

I certainly wouldn't go looking to draw attention to it. Especially not in front of other people!

We aren't told what the sins of this woman were. We know only that Jesus knew and that they were many.

And we know that she went to Jesus weeping, I imagine she was broken hearted from shame, and worry, and loneliness, and guilt.

But in the midst of her sin, she took as submissive a posture as you could take and gave her all to the one who could forgive all.

As a woman to extend herself to Jesus this way - and in front of a roomful of men - would only increase her shame.

And yet she did it. She laid it all out there to beg for mercy and to give freely the very best she had.

Holy God, move me toward justice, mercy, and humility in all my dealings with your people. Amen

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