Do You See This Woman?
She heard Him speak in the city and saw the crowds following Him. Can the stories about the miraculous healings be true? He spoke with such authority that it caused her to wonder in amazement. As she listened, His words began to penetrate her hardened heart. She was a woman of the world, but had never seen a man such as Him before. His eyes had looked at her but not in the same way as the men she had known. Her heart was exposed, everything about her was laid bare before His gaze, but there was no condemnation. His presence emanated power, compassion, unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness. He said He had not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. He must be the Christ, but would He forgive her? Her sins were so many. She desired to be set free; she desired to be washed clean, but was her sin too great? Her heart was in turmoil.
She learned that Jesus was reclining at the table in Simon the Pharisee’s house. She had to go to Him, but not empty handed, what could she offer the Christ? She would bring her alabaster vial of costly perfume. It was the perfect love offering; through it she hoped to show her desire to submit to His love and grace, and to allow Him to redeem her past. A love offering to show she desired to live a sinless life by pouring out the costly perfume in loving repentance, anointing the Christ with the perfume she had once used in her sin to allure and entice.
He was there just as she had heard. As she drew near, the power of His presence was overwhelming and at first all she could do was stand behind Him at His feet and weep. She was consumed by guilt, shame and sorrow. Her sins were so many; she felt so unworthy and yet desperately wanted to honor Him as Savior. He offered unconditional love and forgiveness, how could she not repent and love Him in return with her whole heart? Forsaking her pride, she kneeled at his feet, the tears of repentance and gratitude flowing in abundance. She let loose her hair to wipe away the tears and tenderly kissed again and again his feet expressing her love and devotion to Him. She broke the vial and anointed His feet. As she was worshipping her Lord, she could hear whispers and gasps of disgust from others in the room. Then Jesus began talking with Simon and asking him some questions, but it was not of her concern. Jesus was the center of her focus. She desired with her whole heart to humbly serve Him and to lavish her gratefulness and love upon Him.
Suddenly He spoke directly to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” There were the gasps and murmurs again in the background but Jesus was still the center of her focus and she was trying to grasp the meaning of His words. Forgiven? I have been forgiven? How can that be? He graciously spoke to her again saying, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” All doubt was gone! It vanished with an assuredness of knowing her salvation was complete and secure in Him. There was no more turmoil! It had been replaced by a peace that passed all of her understanding; it flooded her soul.
One of Jesus’ questions to Simon was, “Do you see this woman?” Simon was a Pharisee, a religious man, yet he had looked upon this woman with scorn, not seeing her brokenness. He, in his piousness, would never have let her come into his presence, and certainly would not have allowed her to touch him. All he saw was a sinner, a cast away, not worthy of mercy or forgiveness. “Do you see this woman?” She had great sorrow over her unworthiness, yet Simon may have relied on his works, his position as his justification. In his smugness he offered Jesus no courtesies as a guest, no kiss of friendship. She knew she had been separated from the promises of God; so she took the posture of a servant, washed His feet with her tears, and in lowliness of heart, a heart overflowing with love, she could not refrain from kissing the feet of the Christ. “Do you see this woman?” She anointed the feet of the Christ, yet Simon questioned if Jesus was a prophet. How could he not see that in his house, dining at his table was the One who was his only hope of eternal salvation?
Do we see others through the eyes of our loving, merciful Savior? Do we dismiss people because of their past even when their hearts overflow in love and they kneel in worship? Are our hearts full of compassion for the lost, the needy, and the broken? Have we thought to ask them to dine at our table? Or, worse yet, have we forsaken our first love? Are we not doing the deeds we did at first? Or have we become lukewarm? May we heed the words of Jesus to be zealous and repent; and buy of Him eye salve to anoint our eyes so that we may see.