Her many sins have been forgiven - for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little. Luke 7:47
Jesus was always getting invites to parties. He was the talk of every town - healing lepers and blind men, raising the widow's dead son and lots more. This night it's Big Shot Simon who invited Jesus to dinner. All of a sudden, enter stage left the town's Bad Girl (maybe even a prostitute). She's not still a bad girl but once was a bad girl. It's almost impossible to live that kind of reputation down!
All the dinner guests were lying around on their cushions around the tables. Bad Girl Jesus is invited to Simon's house. She knew all the men know her either by reputation or worse but she came in anyway. She brought a beautiful jar filled with very expensive perfume. It was a valuable essence! She stood at Jesus' feet and began to cry. (We don't know how her story with Jesus began, but she must have known Him to be the Son of God. Why else would she come to worship Him?)
As she quietly cried, her tears fell on Jesus' feet. She knelt, wiped His feet with her hair, kissed them and then poured all that valuable essence on His feet. The jar holding the perfume probably had a long thin neck to keep the essence protected. To pour it out, she probably had to break the neck on the jar. Martin Luther calls her tears heart water. They surely came from her heart. This was her act of thankful worship for the One who had loved her and forgiven her many sins.
Simon was furious. He was really angry that Jesus would even let this woman touch Him. Jesus knew what Simon was thinking. Jesus also knew money was very important to Simon. Jesus talked to Simon about what is really valuable. He told Simon a very short story about two men who owed a debt. One's debt was large; the other small. Both debts were forgiven. Then Jesus asked Simon: Which man will be more grateful? Simon grudgingly answered, Well, I guess the one with the greater debt.
Jesus also pointed out that Simon didn't even bother to have a servant wash Jesus' feet when He arrived. That was a real insult to any guest! So that slight by Simon toward Jesus made the Bad Girl's gift and actions toward Jesus even more loving! Jesus said, She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal. (Luke 7:47)
Simon and Jesus both saw the same woman. Simon saw her for what she was. Jesus saw her heart! Her heart burned with love for Jesus! Simon's heart was frozen. Jesus spoke tender words to the woman, I forgive your sins. (Luke 7:48)
Where is your heart today? Is it frozen or does it burn with love for the One who still forgives sins?
Lord Jesus, help me to see how much You are willing to forgive me. Lord Jesus, may my love for You reflect the greatness of Your forgiveness for my sin. Give me Your love where I walk today. Help me to love others in spite of myself. In Jesus' name. Amen.