As she walked into the room, all eyes were on her. The women, looked judgingly at her and whispered to one another, “Look what the cat dragged in. I wonder why she is here? Whose husband is she after tonight?” The men quickly turned away, avoiding eye contact. Some afraid of being exposed, others not wanting to appear as if they are known by her. But she is oblivious to the rejecting stares and the condescending glances. She is a woman on a mission.
Some time before she had encountered Jesus. His words had set her free. He looked at her and did not see what everyone else sees, a sinner. He saw a daughter. He had spoken to her in such way that she felt accepted, loved, hopeful. So tonight she came to worship, to honor, to love, this man whose words had pierced years of heartache, years of sinfulness, years of rejection.
She was willing to endure the rejection by the religious elite because she had found acceptance by Jesus. She was willing to debase herself to worship her Savior, the forgiver of her soul. This was a woman who knew she was now accepted, now forgiven. It was this knowledge that empowered her to worship, that emboldened her to go where she was not wanted.
It is this same knowledge – you are accepted, you are forgiven – that should spur you to worship extravagantly, to serve without reservation, to proclaim the good news, to be free to be different. She didn’t care that she looked like a hot mess to everyone around her. It only mattered what Jesus thought. Let us learn to be more like this once sinful but now forgiven woman.
“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.”
Luke 7:37-38 NIV