Mark 14:8 “She did what she could. She came beforehand to anoint My body for the burial.”
Love is can take many forms. The ways people express love is often interpreted by the intent by which it is given. Intent is a revelation of the heart and whether a heart is filled up with evil or good will be the foundation by which a quality such as love is manifested.
When Jesus was nearing the time of His death a moment happened that reverberated throughout history….it was a sincere expression of love by one who had been castigated in society and scorned for her unchastity.
The breaking of the flask and the anointing of the perfume was costly, no doubt a sacrifice of profit gained from years of toil by which the world had simply taken, without concern for what was left.
What was it about this woman that made this moment so significant?
Luke 7:39 “Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
The image presented at that moment was one of certain officials who thought they were justified by the law, full of themselves and glorying in their position. Then there was the lowly, who entered in quietly and unassuming, carrying with her the regrets of a past that had brought much dishonor, shunned by society and yet embraced in secret, the weight of her past was broken and given to the giver of all Life.
This is Love
Undoubtedly costly, the perfume she used to anoint Jesus was more than a simple act of service, it was a culmination of recognizing where life is truly found.
When a sinner comes to the knowledge of who they really are and decides they have had enough, the heart change that occurs is a breaking of all their past. Releasing the hope they had placed in a worlds definition of security, they now place their hope in the One who is truly secure.
This process of changing course is not an easy one to embrace. It took great courage for this woman to walk into a room with the self-righteous. She must have known she would receive the glaring look of disdain. She had to have felt the penetrating eyes of rebuke and if she couldn’t feel any lower all ready, she still chose Jesus over all of that she knew her act would elicit.
Luke 7:44-47 “Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore 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.”
When Jesus saw the strength of humility and courage of this woman, He must have smiled. It was to these for whom He came and she had embodied the Kingdom of God perfectly before them. The pharisees missed it, all they could see was the sinner, the superficial, and the filth of the world. What they missed was the beauty of godliness exhibited in a vessel whom God loved and had created.
Just like Jesus, He related a parable….
Parables were given as a test of character, they were revelations of wisdom or the lack thereof. To those who could see, the parable came alive and the glimpse into the divine inspired hope. To those who were spiritually blind, the parable left them confused, with more questions unanswered than before.
The indictment against them was their lack of love.
Luke 7:48 “Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The act of love exhibited by this woman was a revelation. Her repentant heart had come to the realization that she was indeed a sinner. She had undoubtedly heard this description many times past but justified her actions because of her needs. She had to make a living, her husband had abandoned her and she had no choice but to use the facets of her body that could earn her income. The excuses for sinning are many, and many attempt to justify the means because they see no other end.
…….She found another means.
She realized that by honoring the Lord first in her life, she had found the life she had desired all along. Sinning just brought hopelessness, despair, and ultimately shame. No doubt many told her they loved her, but the love was a hollow expectation of taking her dignity and leaving nothing behind.
What does God require?
God simply asks of us to give Him everything.
Everything our life entails.
- Our past
- Our hurts
- Our strengths
- Our weaknesses
- Our present
- Our future
- Our hope
…..He asks for it all.
It means making yourself vulnerable. It might mean enduring the scorn of those around you. It could entail a complete change in career, relationships, and possibly where you live.
We learn to protect ourselves.
When we get hurt, we tend to close ourselves off to the world. Once we seal our hearts, we think we are protecting ourselves from ever being hurt again, but this is a fallacy. All the separation does is seals in the pain. Then, as more abuse occurs, as the enemy of our souls brings more accusation, the pain just grows and grows until it seems the only plausible way out is death. This is what the enemy wants you to think.
Luke 7:50 “Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
Do you want peace from your past?
Do you want to know the peace of God today?
Come to Jesus….break the flask of your past onto His feet and the fragrance of your worship will turn into an anointing of His grace.
You will finally know the peace you have always sought. He is good. He wants to forgive—-He is just waiting for you to come.