How are you? This month, I have been posting on the topic of love. Today is no different. However, I thought that I would show an example of a woman who showed love in the Holy Bible. It is from someone we might not have expected if we knew this person beforehand. Yet, that doesn’t matter.
God Uses Ordinary and Sinful People for His Glory and His Message:
Have you ever noticed how God uses ordinary sinners like you and I for His glory and His message? I mean, you would think that He would use more people like King David, Solomon, Jeremiah, Elijah, and Isaiah. You would think that God would use royalty, prophets, famous people, and social media influencers to spread His messages and show His glory. Right?
Often it is these same famous people or social media influencers who people turn to today to get their messages out. People are more apt to follow the advice of a famous person they admire or that social media influencer who has more than 100,000 followers, right?
Well, obviously God uses royalty, such as King David and Solomon to make His point and spread His message. We also know that God uses prophets like Jeremiah, Elijah, and Isaiah in His message too. Yet, do we think about the ordinary people God uses in the Bible and in modern times to spread His message?
An Unnamed Woman used in God’s Message of Love:
Not long ago, I pondered the story of Lot’s wife and what we can learn from her. I also mentioned that she was an unnamed woman who God used to teach us. At least with Lot’s wife, we knew a little about her. We knew her husband’s name and knew that she had kids anyway. With the unnamed woman in Luke 7:37-38, the only thing we know is that she was a sinner.
Other than being called a sinner, we don’t know anything about this woman’s past. We don’t know why she has done the things she did. We don’t know how she came to know Jesus. Yet, we do see a glimpse into the love she showed Jesus.
Put Yourself in the Unnamed Woman’s Shoes:
Can you imagine being this unnamed woman mentioned in Luke 7:37-38? We are all sinners to one extent or another, so that part might not be difficult to imagine. Let’s imagine knowing that we are known sinners and like this woman hear that Jesus is going to be at this dinner party, so we go as well. (I am not so sure we were even invited either.)
I don’t know if it is out of shame or from being so close to Jesus or what, but we break out in tears, just as the unnamed woman did. I don’t know if you can imagine it, but I can up to this point. Can you?
Let’s go on. Can you imagine the rest of it though? Can you imagine getting down on the floor, letting your tears drip onto Jesus’ feet, and wiping those tears away with your hair? Also remember, from a practical sense, those feet after walking around in dust covered lands so much, those feet might not be the cleanest or smell the best. Can you imagine doing that?
Remember, this isn’t even in private. This is in the midst of a dinner party. There are others there as well. And, likely Jesus is the guest of honor, so he would be set at a place in plain view of others. So, we would be doing this washing in front of other people, not hidden away somewhere. I don’t know that I can imagine myself washing Jesus’ feet like that, especially in front of so many people. Can you imagine kissing and anointing Jesus’ feet? I think I would be afraid of bringing attention to myself in that way. What about you?
Then, the woman is “called out” so to speak. The Pharisee tells Jesus that the woman is a sinner. Of course, Jesus already knows this. Yet, I think I would want to go hide after someone calls me out to my Lord and Savior at a dinner party in front of everyone. Can you imagine the embarrassment?
What Jesus Says about this Unnamed Woman:
In Luke 7:40-42, we see how Jesus told the Pharisee a story to depict to him why this woman was doing these things. In the story, we see how the one who is forgiven more will show more love than the one who is forgiven less. It is natural.
This woman knew she was a sinner. She also knew that washing Jesus’ feet, kissing his feet, and anointing his feet wasn’t above her. We don’t know whether she went in and started doing these things in hopes of forgiveness or out of love for a man of love, or out of humbleness to her savior, or what. We don’t know much about her motives or expectations. We don’t even know if she knew much about her motives or expectations.
After the story about the two men who owe and are forgiven, Jesus tells the Pharisee these things that the woman has been doing for him and the things that the Pharisee himself neglected to do for him. That by itself may have been some comfort for the woman. Would it be for you? It may have been kind of a vindication of sorts or at least an acknowledgement of understanding and kindness.
I don’t know if I can really imagine myself in this unnamed woman’s shoes for most of this passage. However, I would really like to imagine myself in this woman’s shoes as the events in Luke 7:47-50 play out. I really like what Jesus says about the woman in Luke 7:47 (KJV), “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much, but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Then in Luke 7:48 (KJV), Jesus turns to the woman and tells her directly, “Thy sins are forgiven.”
Jesus knew she was a sinner. The woman knew she was a sinner. Yet, she showed a great amount of love and Jesus lovingly acknowledged that and forgave her sins. I know I have sinned and I know that Jesus forgives me. However, I don’t know that I have ever tried to imagine Him saying it to me in such a loving way. Have you? It might be something for us to try to imagine. Then, we may be able to feel it in such a way as this woman did.
Then, as the people who are at the dinner party seem to talk among themselves and wonder who Jesus really is and how can he be forgiving sins (Luke 7:49), Jesus turns to the woman and says, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50)
Yes!!! I would like to imagine myself in that situation. I would like to imagine myself being next to my Lord and Savior and having him tell me plainly that my faith has saved me and I can go in peace. I would think that would be a life altering and live giving situation to remember. What about you?
There are many things in God’s Word that mean many things to many people. They may also mean various things to the same person depending on what they are going through in life and where they are in their faith journey.
There are other verses about women anointing Jesus in the Bible. Could this unnamed sinful woman be part of God’s message that shows a bigger picture? Jesus isn’t only anointed by this woman (and others), but he is more importantly also anointed by God. We see that in Luke 4:18-21, where we see Jesus reading from the book of Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth about the anointed one of God and he tells the people that he is the one about which the scriptures is speaking.
We often see human stories and circumstances noted to help explain heavenly principles. We see depictions by people in biblical times that help teach us lessons and make sense of other parts of God’s Word we might not understand as much.
Many of the New Testament authors rely on Old Testament scripture or things that are understandable to the people of the time to explain God’s message.
Thank you for sending Jesus down to be our Savior. Thank you for the forgiveness of our sins. Thank you for your infinite love. Thank you for using ordinary people for your glory. Thank you for teaching us. Help us to show the love that this unnamed woman showed. Help us to treat you, your Son, and your Holy Spirit with the same level of love that this woman treated Jesus. Help us to never think that we are “above” or “below” anything that you call us to do. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
This month has been a month for posts about love. Have you read the other posts about love? If you liked this post, you may also like these similar ones.
*Why are We Called to Love Our Enemies?
*Charity Among Ourselves?
*Love and Fear
Now, it is your turn.
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