Her example is meant to provoke us.
Her example is a compelling public display of gratefulness for the forgiveness of her many sins.
Her example is presented in vivid detail by Luke in his Gospel, in chapter 7:36-50.
This woman, whose name we do not know, arrives uninvited at a dinner party. She came for one purpose, known only to her. Probably, no one noticed when she entered the room. But no one could ignore what happened next. No one was prepared for what she does. And no one would forget what they observed:
She comes into the room with an alabaster flask of perfume in her hand and a burden of gratitude in her heart.
As she stands at Jesus’ feet, she begins to weep.
The tears pour from her eyes and fall on his feet, enough tears that she wipes them away with her hair.
She kisses his feet, and pours the perfume on his feet, a fragrant offering to her Lord.
And though she doesn’t say a word, this display of affection and gratefulness could not have been louder.
She expresses her love and gratefulness to Jesus. And she does this because she has been forgiven of many sins (Luke 7:47). Hers are tears of joy and gratitude. She loves Jesus much because she has been forgiven much.
When is the last time you cried tears of joy for the forgiveness of sins? When is the last time you felt the intense gratitude expressed by this woman? If it’s been awhile then her example is meant to serve us. May we never grow familiar with—or remain unaffected by—the forgiveness of our many sins through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for our many sins.
“The one who is forgiven should love much because it cost so much to the one who forgives so much.” David Garland
This post is adapted from a message I preached at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville entitled, “Forgiven Much.”