"Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." Luke 7:47
In the book of Luke we can see a light shine on the forgiveness of a "Sinful Woman." Her name is never stated and honestly, you could just place MY name in this passage and it would suffice! I remember growing up I always thought this was referencing Mary Magdalene, maybe it is, or maybe there is another nameless woman that could really relate to many of us today. I mean, I don't even want to count the times that I have been claimed as a "sinful woman" by others or myself, or even God! I have most definitely made MANY mistakes and poor, POOR choices, which I'm sure a few people can relate to that. So this is why this example of redemption hits me in a new, DEEP way now.
Luke 7: 36-50 tells us about Jesus sitting with Pharisee's for dinner and how this woman, who is apparently a well known sinner, shows up! She is described to be behind Jesus, at His feet, just weeping. I'm willing to bet she was feeling REAL unworthy, but she knows in her heart that He is Jesus and knows what comes from kneeling and surrendering to Him. She begins to wash His feet with her tears. I imagine these are tears of guilt and shame, all of her failures flashing before her eyes. Then wiping His feet with her very own hair, a most sacred act. Which in those days (and still today in many cultures) women do not show their hair to just anyone much-less use it to wipe the feet of someone. She's kissing His feet and anointing them with her oil, I'm sure she is feeling like no matter what she does it won't be enough to honor Him.
As I was reading this with my new, REDEEMED eyes and heart, I couldn't help but think, this woman KNOWS her faults, she KNOWS her shame, she also knows who she kneels before. She knows that if she just offers what she has at the moment, her tears for water to provide cleansing, the intimacy of her hair, her own fragrant oil for anointing, she knew if she just gave what she had, He would see her.
Meanwhile, the Pharisee only sees her sins! Saying to himself, "This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner."
This part really got me!! I wonder how many times others have looked at ME and said those exact words. "She is a sinner" because the truth is others will sometimes ONLY see our sin, and not truly see US. Some of our core people will see us as the Pharisees saw this sinful woman. I know I have lived a life that was very much outside of God's path which led to a sinful life and bad choices. This created a setting for others to only see me for my sins. Some will see us as unworthy to sit with Jesus or incapable of living for God. The Pharisees saw this woman as having too much of a past. The Pharisee saying "if He only knew!" This is not how Jesus sees us! Jesus already knew every single fault and failure this woman had, yet He saw her heart.
Like the sinful woman, I knelt at the feet of Jesus and laid it there, and left it there! Humbling myself before Him. Placing my life in His hands because the routes I have taken in the past have always led to anger, shame, or a lack of peace.
Luke 7: 44-47 - Jesus truly SEES how this woman comes before Him, in the most humble of manner. Knowing if she does this she will receive that beautiful thing known as redemption.
Then He says to her, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."
When we find our way to God, or back to Him, we are usually coming with suitcases stuffed full of shame and guilt, or a brokenness that is a colorful past that most of us would rather not have displayed for the world to see. All of these things weigh us down spiritually, so much so that we feel that we can never sit at the feet of Jesus and truly be blessed.
Jesus shows up with a bounty of forgiveness and redemption. The more redemption and grace He gives us, the more we want to repay Him by living our life fully for Him and the Glory of His Kingdom.