“One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
Luke 7:36-39, ESV
A woman of the city, that explains so much. She comes with a lot of baggage; she has seen all the world at its worst. Her life has been hard, she has made poor decisions. Enough to pull her into the presence of Jesus.
She may be a stripper, an addict, a porn star. It doesn’t matter, she is a sinner, and scripture does not elaborate beyond this. All we know is she is ‘a woman of the city,” and that she is referred to as “a sinner.” The sin has made her a desperate person. She steps forward, and does not care about what the crowds are saying about her. She has heard it all before. She comes with her flawed and inadequate heart, to anoint him with an ointment that is somewhat susceptible because of her past.
She pushes forward, pressing past the inner ring of disciples who are ‘protecting’ Jesus. She takes what she has, and pours it on Jesus’ feet. It is a concentrate of a perfume that is intense, and very much a declaration of what her heart is wants to do. The scent of this ointment undoubtedly very strong, and lingers, being a concentrate. It probably comforted Jesus while he was being nailed to the cross. He would remember what she had done to him. Her love would comfort him as he was dying.
Jesus acknowledges her decision to bless him in this unique way. She pushes to him with a single mindedness that we can only marvel at. She falls at his feet, and Jesus allows himself to be touched by a women that has such a difficult and dark past. I truly believe He takes everyone whoever comes to him. He passes no judgement on her, and people who are like her— like me.
He has no issues, and accepts all who the Father brings to him.
This sinful woman has shown the way for sinners like us to connect. Her action establishes for us a precedent— a sure way to advance into his presence. We start by admitting that we are in a very desperate state. Her example focuses everyone to all what is truly important, and we dare not slip past her example. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We know that this is true.
We must come, as she has come, in faith that only He can forgive us. We should come with a radically intense intention to be with him. There must be a real decision (on our part) to follow after him. When we actually fall at his feet, we will find ourselves to be completely forgiven.
“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”