Luke 7:36-50 (NIV): Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
It breaks my heart that so many people think they are so sinful that they cannot be saved. Here, Jesus clearly states otherwise. The fault today largely lies with Christians – Christians, who despise the “tax collectors and sinners” of our day – the alcoholics, the liars, the prostitutes, the drug addicts… the lost. We make it very clear to them that we don’t consider them worthy of our time, presence, or effort. Why, then, should they expect the attitude of our God to be any different?
Shame on us. We are a disgrace. The world around us is going to hell and we have the audacity to scorn them as they fall. We need to remember that we are no different than they. They, too, were formed in the image of God. We, too, were made from dust. God’s grace is the only thing that sets us apart from them, and the only reason they don’t have it is because we haven’t shared it with them. We are responsible for making sure everyone we meet has come into contact with the good news of salvation and forgiveness. How many people are going to hell due to our arrogance and our lack of compassion and urgency?
“Christian” means “Little Christ”. It was originally used as a derogatory term for all these people who were going around and imitating Jesus. Little did they know, that was exactly the point. As followers of Christ, we are supposed to imitate Christ. And what did Christ do? He specifically came to save the lost (Luke 19:10)! If you claim to be “Christians” — “little Christs” — prove it. Imitate Him. Go out there and proclaim hope to the lost.