Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
The invited guest – Jesus was invited to dine with one of the Pharisee in his home
- Customary hospitality
- Greeting with a kiss or embrace
- Water was provided for washing the feet
- Oil was provided for anointing of the head
- They reclined at the table
The uninvited guest –
She was not an invited guest, but she heard that Jesus was in the house.
- She came into the house knowing that everyone knew of her sins. She was “an especially wicked woman.” A social outcast – devoted to sin.
- She came at great risk. In the Old Testament sinners were required to live outside the camp. You were not to eat, associate with or even touch those who were “unclean.” She made her way through the house, through the large crowd knowing that those who were there would be whispering or perhaps even talking out loud about her as she passed by. There was a good possibility that she would be thrown out or even stoned.
- When she saw Jesus, she set her eyes on Him and him alone, not looking to the right or left, not caring what others thought or said about her. She gave Jesus her full attention, humbling herself in His presence.
- She wept in His presence, allowing her tears to fall on Him. Her tears were important to Jesus.
- She wiped His feet with her hair
- She kissed His feet affectionately.
- She anointed Him with the expensive perfume. She gave Jesus the very best she had. Costly – rate – worth a year’s wages for a working man. The alabaster container alone was worth a great deal of money. “A compact fine-textured white and translucent gypsum often carved into objects.
The container had to be broken in order for the perfume to be released. The Gospel according to John says, “and the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” She allowed herself to be broken in His presence. The whole house was filled with the fragrance of her worship.
Luke 7:39 – Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw it, he said to himself, If this Man were a prophet, He would surely know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching Him—for she is a notorious sinner (a social outcast, devoted to sin). (Amplified Bible)
- We should never criticize, judge or look down our nose at how someone else worships. We do not know where they have come from.
- What Mary did was important and monumental that Jesus did not want us to miss it. Her story is told in each of the four gospels. In Matthew 26:13 and Mark 14:9 Jesus says, “I tell you, where the good news is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will be told also in memory of her.
- Satan would like nothing more than to convince us that we are not worthy to be in God’s house or we are not worshipping correctly. Jesus teaches us the simplicity of worship in this account.
Jesus is looking for a people who will
- Come into the house
- Come as they are
- Humble themselves
- Not care what others might think or say
- Set their eyes upon Jesus
- Give Him their full attention
- Give Him their best
- Allow themselves to be the alabaster contained broken in His presence that the perfume of worship may fill the house as they honor and reverence Him
- Allow the Holy Spirit to lead them in perfect worship. Like Mary, you will not leave the same as you came. You will be changed.
Jesus told her to go in peace.
- Shalom – peace – completeness, welfare, health, to a whole, sound perfect – nothing missing – nothing broken
- Sozo – saved, healed made whole