My ladies’ Sunday School class is studying a book about different women who met Jesus. This coming week, we are going to look at the woman who washes Jesus’ feet in Luke 7:36-50.
We have already seen how Jesus was willing to talk to an outcast, the Samaritan woman. He showed great compassion on two widows: Peter’s mother-in-law and the widow of Nain.
As I studied this story about the lady who broke the expensive ointment over Jesus’ feet, kissing his feet, and washing his feet with her hair, there were many wonderful truths that I learned. Here are just some of them:
- Jesus is touchable. He is touchable by all, even those everyone else considers sinners.
Luke 7:39 shows Simon the Pharisee’s response. It says, “Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.”
Jesus did know what kind of woman touched Him, and He loved her and forgave her.
- Jesus can look past our past, no matter what it is, and forgive us.
This is hard for humans to do. We remember how others have hurt us and how others have failed us. But Jesus, he does not remember us by our past. He remembers us by our future in Him. He sees us covered in His blood and forgiven. What a wonderful fact.
It is not easy for us to blot out a past, and to free ourselves from all prejudice resulting from our knowledge of that past. Yet that is exactly what the Lord does. And He does so, not unrighteously, but righteously. He knows the power of His own grace, and that it completely cancels the past, and gives its own beauty to the soul.” G. Campbell Morgan
- This lady is willing to do go to great lengths to express her love for Jesus. She knew she would be scorned by the Pharisees at the dinner. In the eyes of almost everyone watching, she wasted a very expensive bottle of perfume. The fact that she was willing to do anything to express her love for Jesus was convicting. Am I willing to do anything to express my love for Jesus?
This story in Luke 7 is different from the story told in the other gospels about the woman who anointed Jesus’ head with oil. Spurgeon says about these two stories:
It ought not to astonish you that there were two persons whose intense affection thus displayed itself; the astonishment should rather be that there were not two hundred who did so, . . . Loved as Jesus deserved to be, the marvel is that he was not oftener visited with these generous tokens of human love.”
- This lady loved Jesus and served Him alone.
Do I serve out of a sense of duty or do I serve because I love Him? She had one motive for her service.
She served Christ himself. It was neither service to Peter, nor James, nor John, nor yet to the poor or sick of the city, but to the Master himself; and, depend upon it, when our love is in active exercise, our piety will be immediately towards Christ — we shall sing to him, pray to him, teach for him, preach for him, live to him.” (Spurgeon)
- Jesus sees us for who we really are, not for how others see us.
Simon the Pharisee in his mind judges the woman. He thinks Jesus doesn’t know who this woman was. Look at verse 39:
“Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.”
But Jesus knows his thoughts and says to him basically, “Do you really see this woman?” Look at verses 44- 46:
“ And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. David Guzik says it this way:
Do you see this woman? Simon the Pharisee thought that Jesus was the one who could not see her. His thought was, “Jesus, don’t you see this shameful woman associating so closely to You?” Jesus turned the thought around on Simon, saying, “Do you see this woman? Simon, do you see her love, her repentance, her devotion? That’s what I see.”
- This lady realized she had been forgiven much so she gave much. Jesus tells the Pharisee this in verse 47:
“Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”
It made me think, “Do I realize how much Jesus has forgiven me? Do I love Him as much as He has forgiven me? I know I do not, but I want to!
Forgiveness is ready from God; there is no hesitation or shortage on His part. Our part is to come with humility and loving submission to Jesus, and to receive the forgiveness He offers by faith. David Guzik
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