In the Gospel Luke, Chapter 7, Jesus enters the house of Simon, a Pharisee. Simon calls Jesus teacher, so we understand that there is some recognition of Jesus’ abilities by the Pharisee. Somehow though, a sinful woman, a common lady of the street has also entered this house. We are unsure what her sins are, what her name is, and we do not know how she came to be in the house of Simon other than she learned Jesus was around and sought Him out. It has been suggested that this woman is Mary Magdalene and perhaps also, one in the same, the woman who Jesus’ saves from being stoned.
All three, perhaps more, are in this house and the woman is weeping. She is weeping so much that a sufficient amount of water is being produced. From this water, she is washing the dirty feet of our Blessed Savior. This scene, to me, is dramatic and strange and to add to it, she is now cleaning His feet further with her hair and kissing His feet.
“Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:37-39
There is much to this story. The Pharisee seeks a teacher while the woman seeks a savior. The woman’s sins, which are great, are forgiven and thus loves Jesus more than another. Finally, we come to understand and appreciate the love of Jesus, who can even love a great sinner, where most turn their heads away in disgust.
What strikes me is the scene. If I saved a person’s life from a burning building, would they seek me out if I were in town, hysterically crying at my feet? My reaction would likely be of humility, giving all glory to God for saving her (right place, right time). I most certainly would not nonchalantly continue with my dinner party as if all were normal, while a woman wept.
The woman pours out her sins in tears onto the Blessed Saviors feet, unburdening her heart as Jesus forgives them all. Jesus, as a man, is made clean by her tears, her soul is made clean by her actions through His great Mercy. Jesus doesn’t demand her repentance by accusing her of her sins but she freely and dramatically repents and weeps.
I’ve wept. I wept when my daughters were born. I wept when I told my wife about the time an Angel saved me, even though I wasn’t deserving. I wept during a difficult time in my life when I went to adoration and couldn’t control myself. Each time I wept, I felt better but never have my tears been so great as this woman in the story.
Finally, Jesus doesn’t admonish her actions, weeping and cleaning and kissing Him. He is not humble of the fact that He has forgiven her and ask her to stop. He allows her to wash His feet with her tears and clean them with her hair. He let’s her do these things to Him for her own sake. It is for her that it is good. It is perfectly alright and recorded for all history of her actions.
Jesus is better than us and He knows it. The woman’s actions aren’t over the top, so He doesn’t fake modesty. Jesus allows her to fuss over Him because He knows that He truly is the Savior and we should run to Him, weeping away our sins as He wipes them away with His great mercy.