In Luke 7, there’s an amazing historical account of Jesus visiting with a Pharisee named Simon, and while in Simon’s home a prostitute enters. She washes Jesus’ feet with her tears & dries them with her hair. She kisses his feet and then anoints them with perfume.
As Luke received this story from eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Jesus he wrote: In the neighborhood there was an immoral woman of the streets, known to all to be a prostitute. When she heard about Jesus being in Simon’s house, she took an exquisite flask made from alabaster, filled it with the most expensive perfume, went right into the home of the Jewish religious leader, and knelt at the feet of Jesus in front of all the guests. Broken and weeping, she covered his feet with the tears that fell from her face. She kept crying and drying his feet with her long hair. Over and over she kissed Jesus’ feet. Then she opened her flask and anointed his feet with her costly perfume as an act of worship. Luke 7:37-38 NET
This sounds quite strange to us in our Western culture, but it was common for someone to great a guest with a kiss and wash or offer to have someone wash their feet.
While that’s interesting, what’s more interesting is what Jesus says to the women and to Simon about the event.
Jesus, knowing the heart of this woman and why she was doing what she did said: (verses 48 & 50) “All your sins are forgiven…Your faith in me has given you life…Now you may leave and walk in the way of peace.”
Jesus, knowing the heart of Simon and others who were gathered explained to them WHY. She has been forgiven of all her many sins. This is why she has shown me such extravagant love. But those who assume they have very little to be forgiven will love me very little.” Luke 7:47 NET
I wonder if the reason so many who claim to follow Jesus rarely show such extravagant love for him in the way we serve, give or love others is because we’ve forgotten or never really realized how much we’ve been forgiven? Talking about sin is not very popular, but until we realize the magnitude of our sin and the extraordinary price paid by Jesus to purchase our forgiveness, I’m afraid we may be missing one of the most significant elements of God’s love.