5 November 2013 |



Luke 7

New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus
went to his home and sat down to eat. 37 When a certain immoral
woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a
beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then 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.

39 When 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!”

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

“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.

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

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

“That’s right,” Jesus said. 44 Then 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.
45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came
in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy
of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare

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.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your
sins are forgiven.”

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

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

Usually when we read this passage, when it’s spoken about or when it
is the text of a sermon, the focus is on the expensive perfume that
was poured on the feet of Jesus. We speak of its value, how the woman
was willing to give up a valuable asset to bless Jesus.

But see verse 38: “Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping.
Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair.”

This was a sinner. This point is made obvious a few times in this
passage – the pharisees certainly wouldn’t let it go unnoticed that
she was a sinner. Jesus Himself remarks that her sins “are many”.
She is introduced to the reader as a certain “immoral woman”. So
we can read between the lines and realize that this woman wasn’t
merely the town gossip, or someone who wore her dress just a little
short, or manipulated people into voting her onto the school PTA. No,
there was some serious sin in her life.

And she knew it.

Why else would she enter the house of a pharisee, knowing she would be
judged, in order to weep at the feet of Jesus? Somehow, something had
brought her to an awareness of her sin which lead her straight to His
feet, weeping in repentance.

We will never know what that lead her to that point. It could have
been the conviction of the Holy Spirit, it could have been a close
call with the consequences of sin that made her realise she was
heading down a path she could not return from, or it could have been
the a friend who pointed out the error of her ways. Whatever it was,
it caused her to go to the right place, and do the right thing,
resulting in her leaving righteous before God.


She could have easily ignored whatever prompted her repentance. She
could have easily decided that it wasn’t worth the humiliation of
going to the pharisees house to find Jesus. She could have postponed
it to the next day, as you and I may have done. But she didn’t. She
responded immediately to the awareness of her sin and dealt with it.

How do you respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit that reveals
your sin, or a friend who points out that the path you are walking
down has no space for a U-turn? The only appropriate response is
demonstrated in this passage: go immediately before the feet of Jesus
and repent. Allow the sorrow of your sin to lead you to that place of
repentant worship before Jesus. There is never a good reason to delay


Jesus thank you that you are a gracious, loving, forgiving God. Thank
you that you have given me a standard to live by, and a second chance
when I mess up. I come to you today, bow at your feet to repent of the
following sin: /confess your sin to Jesus, thanking Him for His
forgiveness this morning. /

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