And behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping and began to wash his feet with her tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.Luke 7:37
She knew that Grace was at the house of the law. She came to Jesus. Despite the cold hard stares, she didn't go to their seat at the table to take care of her guilty conscience, much less her burden of sin, her debt, her indelible mark. She knew the sinfulness of her sin. She knew the disposition of her Savior toward a sinner.
This is a beautiful picture of repentance and faith. She left where she was, condemned by the law, and feeling the guilt of her sin. The Law is our Schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Yet she walked right to the Feet of the One who could wash her white as snow. Not just the sin but the stain. She focused on Him and bowed to His Lordship. The law had condemned her. Jesus didn’t destroy it but He stood there, the fulfillment of all the law. She could've brought offerings and given it to the Pharisees to try to pay for her sin. Yet she knew that was not sufficient for complete forgiveness. Had she tried to keep the whole law to deal with this sin and guilt before? Who had she sinned against? She realized it wasn't the Pharisees, it wasn't merely letting people down. It was the LORD. When you see the sinfulness of your sin, the weight of it against a holy God, repentance and faith isn't quantitative. Did she repent enough? Have enough faith? When true Godly sorrow is yours, you won't have to wonder.
This is also a beautiful picture of worshipfully serving the Lord. The Pharisees thought they were doing the right thing but they were missing the heart. The motivation for it all is love. We love Him because He first Loved us, and it's because we've been forgiven much. Is our serving out of love and gratefulness? Is our serving to quiet critics, to calm our guilty soul, to do penance, to attract the attention of others? Love must be the only motive for serving. She anointed Jesus feet for Him, not for others. If her eyes were on them, she wouldn't have done what she did.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsover ye do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31
Many around had opinions, glares, and cruel words. The Law condemned her. The accusers accused. "You don’t measure up. You aren't perfect. You're a sinner." Yet how beautiful that she focuses only on Him in faith. The accusation of the law and the acceptance of Christ in the midst of shame. She bows to his Lordship and washes his feet with her tears. Forgiven - what a beautiful word. Take a moment to reflect how much you've been forgiven. It will fill your heart with gratitude and you will love Him much. It is the basis of our forgiving others. Even as Christ forgave you…
My sin – oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin – not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the Cross and I bear it no more.
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide;
Whiter than snow you may be today.
Just as I am, without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me.