A despised woman, broken and ashamed, trudged down the long path to the home where Jesus was staying for the evening. Years of poor decisions had left her with a profoundly grieved countenance; her lack of dignity had even weighed down her posture, leaving her eyes downcast and her shoulders slumped towards the ground. She didn’t know much, but of one thing she was sure: her own sin had brought her to this place in life, and for that, she was deeply sorry.
She arrived at the door. Knocking hesitantly, she opened it as her eyes welled up with tears. She was desperately clinging to a glimmer of hope that this man, this precious Jesus, could make her whole again. She’d heard of him giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, and healing the sick. Could he restore a broken spirit? Could he forgive a crimson-stained heart?
She spotted him at the dining room table; he was surrounded by a sea of intimidating, distinguished men. In a swift rush of desperation, she hurried to where he was sitting and collapsed before him. She knelt there, weeping. As her kisses and warm tears covered his feet, she took her hair and began wiping away the filth that had built up from a long day of walking the dusty roads.
She had no righteous deeds to show, no beautiful clothes to adorn herself. And though she had nothing but her tears to give, still she came. A sacrifice of a humble and repentant heart she laid at his feet. And it was enough.
Jesus looked up from where she was kneeling. He surveyed the room full of dignified men. “Do you see this woman?” he asked. “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. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet” (Luke 7:44-45).
Though the others despised her, Jesus highly esteemed her, for she had come to him broken. Looking down at her with deep admiration and love, he held out his hand to lift her up. “Your sins are forgiven,” he said. “Your faith has saved you” (Luke 7:48,50). Gratitude and awe overwhelmed her as she took his hand. Just as she wiped away the filth from his feet, so he wiped away the filth from her heart.
She came in sorrow; she left in peace. As only Jesus can, he revived her soul.
Psalm 102:17 “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.”
I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Isaiah 66:2 “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”
Isaiah 57:15 “For this is what the high and lofty One says- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’”
Other Scripture References: Luke 7:36-50, 1:53; Psalm 51:16-17; Matthew 5:3; Proverbs 18:23; Revelation 3:17