This passage tells the story of Jesus going to the home of a Pharisee named Simon for dinner. As they reclined at table, a very sinful woman enters and is so moved that she cries, her tears falling on Jesus’ feet. She wipes her tears from His feet with her hair, for what else did she have to wipe with? Then, she pours perfume on His feet to anoint them. As this is going on Simon the Pharisee is thinking that if Jesus were a prophet He should know this woman is sinful and thus send her away.
Jesus responds out loud to Simon’s thoughts…
You really need to read the text for this one, because it is a beautiful thing to behold, and there is no way for me to do it justice…
The upshot of the story is that a very sinful person can be forgiven just like a not so sinful person can, and in all probability that very sinful person will love God all the more because they have been forgiven so much. Naturally, those who are very upright and righteous, who have only sinned a little bit, may continue to view the forgiven one who has sinned so much more than we have, with disdain for their past actions, arguably increasing our own “sin-count” in the process.
On the other hand, God sees all forgiven souls as clean.
The lesson that Simon and his friends needed to learn here was that God’s approach to sin, forgiveness and love is not a transactional approach, but a relational one. Every single one of us, whether saint or sinner, was created in the image of God. Every single human was made to be God’s sacred child; God loves all of us, even the sinner who has not yet accepted His grace.
I know that this is a difficult concept for many of us to grab hold of… and no, I’m not saying that God doesn’t care about sin. But our sins and transgressions against God do not cause Him to stop loving us; do you know how I can say that with so much confidence?
Because while we were still in our sin, God sent His one and only Son to die for us, that whosoever might believe in Him, might have eternal life. Therefore, if God didn’t love this sinful woman, and hundreds of millions of others like her, Jesus would not have ever come to this earth.
Interesting isn’t it, that she understood this, and Simon and his associates struggled with it.