It’s a true story: A sinful woman, critical witnesses, and an explanation about her behavior by Jesus himself.
“And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
“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………..Wherefore I (Jesus) say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little…..And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.”
Did Jesus really say the more horrid a sinner you are when you get saved, the more love you will have and show towards Him? Well, not really, because that would let some of us off the hook, for we seem to think that our sins are few compared to the sins of others. It’s just how we are. We compare ourselves among ourselves and act toward God accordingly.
What really happened here, was that this woman, unlike the good moral people in the room, realized the debt that was forgiven her, and it brought about such an overwhelming love for Jesus that she couldn’t help but show it. How do we know that? Because Christ said so in his explanation to Simeon in the same passage:
“And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.”
Both men owed a debt that neither could pay. I’m pretty sure they both could have been thrown into prison. Regardless the size of the debt – both men had been forgiven of all they owed, and both were free.
What was Christ trying to point out? Look what he said to Simon:
“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.”
He was saying to Simon, Simon you owe me the same debt, only you don’t acknowledge your debt by the same sacrificial, servant, attitude as this woman. She understands more, and loves more than you, because she willingly admits being rescued from her wretched condition. She understands it, she is humble, she is acting on her understanding and serving the only way she knows how – with her entire being.
Our modern day Christianity focuses more on what Christ can do for me, in my wonderful life, than on the debt I owed. Modern day Christianity focuses on your best life now, don’t forget your Jesus necklace, see ya next week, type of Christianity, instead of focusing on what Christ HAS done for me, how wretched I really am, and yes, I should pour out my treasures at His feet.
Perhaps that’s how we created some of the selfish monsters in our churches today. People who come to church to take, to stand and never bow their knee to the call from scripture, and to shake their fists at those who dare to call them out for such behavior.
Let’s remember: Amazing grace is a sweet sound – grace that saved a wretch like me.
About the Author:Renee DeMoss has been a Christian for over 40 years, a pastor’s wife for over 30 years, and my mom for 28 years. She is one of the wisest women I know, and seeks to serve and love her Savior every day. I’m so thankful for the example she has lived for me my whole life. I don’t know where I would be without her. I hope you enjoy her wisdom as much as I do.