One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.” Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Oh? Tell me.” “Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?”
Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”
“That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.” Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.” That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!” He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
The woman, who most presume to be Mary Magdalene, was filled with a reputation – she was covered in sin. However, she understood her need for Jesus, her need for His grace and forgiveness. Her desire for His forgiveness and for her to be made new in Jesus is what sets her apart. Jesus saw this and recognized her desire to be made clean through Him. He did not push her away and she did not have to be made clean before he welcomed her.
This is something to emphasize, to remember. Many people believe that they are too covered in their messes for Jesus to want them. This is so far from true! Jesus wants you just as you are. When you come to Him understanding the depth of your sin, admitting that you need Jesus, that is when you begin to comprehend the goodness of the love of Jesus and what He has has done for you. Jesus explains to Simon that someone who has sinned much understands the reality of all that He has done by canceling their debts. That is exactly what Jesus did when He laid His life down on the cross. He paid our debts so that we could be made free in Him and Him alone.
To be honest, this scripture is my favorite. I have it tattooed on my right forearm. The beautiful exchange between Mary and Jesus is something that leaves me breathless. How grateful are we to be so deeply loved by our King that He does not define us by our shortcomings, but sees us as His beloved.
Friends, sit in His presence and take a minute to think about the reality of the cross. With open hearts, thank your Father for sending His Son and thank Jesus for dying so that you can have life and life abundantly.
I pray you have a week that is filled with joy and gratitude.