AN UNINVITED GUEST
Lord, I worship You and thank You for Your grace and mercy.
Read Luke 7:36–50
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 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. 38 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.
39 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.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 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?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 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. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
a Luke 7:41 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectThink about a meal you enjoyed with friends. Was it the host, the company or the food that made it special? Or a combination?
Here we see a dinner party from many points of view. We have the uninvited sinner woman (37) who has come rushing here simply to meet with Jesus. She pours out not only her tears but her precious perfume. We have the self-righteous Simon the Pharisee (39) who, from the sidelines, draws his own conclusions about what is happening, and very much finds the tables turned on him. We have Jesus who, even at rest, has time for both the woman’s need of love and forgiveness and to deal with Simon’s prejudices.
Even though Simon has invited Jesus to his house, a thing many of his fellow Pharisees would not have done, he still feels the need to hold himself apart and pass comment (39). As Jesus points out, he has failed in his duties as a host. He has given far from his all (44–46). Perhaps we too have a tendency to watch Jesus from the wings and try not to get directly involved. But if we really want to follow him we have to get in there like the woman did, with our tears and our gifts. That is the response of the forgiven sinner (47). Only then will we receive the words she did: “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Ask God to show you how you can bless others, and bless him, by sharing the gifts you have been given.
Lord, forgive me when I take Your blessings for granted. May I be a blessing to others.