And behold, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus was eating 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 7:36-47

There was a religious leader who invited Jesus to dine at his house. A woman stood in the doorway watching the two men who were sitting at the table. In her hands she held an alabaster box of ointment. Slowly she came into the house and stood by Jesus. She began to weep, then she knelt down and let her tears bathe His feet. Tenderly, she wiped them dry with her hair, then she anointed them with the ointment, as she kissed them and continued to weep.

The religious leader looked at the woman and thought to himself, "If this man, Jesus, was a genuine prophet, then He would know what kind of woman it was who was touching Him, for she is a sinner."

As the current of the man's thoughts drifted upward and were read by Heaven, Jesus turned to him and said, "Simon, I have a little story to tell you."

"Tell it then," Simon responded, thinking he was about to be entertained.

"There was a certain creditor," Jesus began. "He had two debtors. One owed him five hundred dollars, the other only fifty. When they had nothing to pay, he forgave them both. Tell Me then, Simon, which one of them will love him the most?"

Simon thought a moment and replied, "I suppose that he to whom he forgave most."

Jesus smiled and answered, "You have rightly judged." Then He turned to the woman. "Do you see this woman, Simon? I came into your house and you gave Me no water for My feet, but this woman has washed my feet with her tears and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

She has served Me.

You gave me no kiss; but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with ointment.

She has worshipped Me.

She has humbled herself and knelt at the altar of My feet, while you have not moved one inch from your religious seat. So 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."

The depth of our gratitude determines the zeal of our service.

Copyright H.D. Shively 2003

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