A Pharisee invited Jesus to dinner. They were joined by an unexpected “guest”:
A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is — that she is a sinner.”
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Let’s look at our 2 BIG Questions:
1. Who exactly is Jesus?
That’s what the guests were wondering when they asked: “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
Of course, only God can do that. So, Jesus is declaring himself God in the flesh. He further demonstrated that reality by discerning the Pharisee’s thoughts.
2. What exactly should we do?
First, don’t be like the proud and judgmental Pharisee. We’re ALL sinners who need forgiveness.
This woman who “lived a sinful life” gives us a graphic demonstration of what real, saving faith looks like. We should humbly come to Jesus and trust him to forgive us 100%. And when he does we should worship him with thankfulness and let his “great love” flow through us and out into the world as we “go in peace.”