“And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” Luke 7:50
In Luke 7:36-50, we have the story of a woman that goes from a place of pollution to the portals of peace; all because of the difference Jesus makes. In truth, her story; is our story! The names, the places, and the faces may appear to be different, but all men possess the corrupted genetics of the first Adam in need of the cure provided by the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ. Look with me at the common ground that is shared by all that have experienced the second birth.
The very first thing that we are made aware of is the tragedy of the sinner, “And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner” (vs.37). Sin had a devastating effect upon the life of this woman; and so it does with all men! While no one is interested in mentioning her given name, they are interested in magnifying her guilty nature. Sin gets in no hurry; it is methodical in its acquisition of a life. Sin began by robbing her of her virtue; and left unchecked, sin continued to make withdrawals until the value of life was nothing. The magnitude of her sin leaped beyond the boundaries of friends and family, until she was the talk of the town. She had become liter by the roadside of life; an eye sore to society and shame to those of kin. While we have whitewashed it and given sin respectable names, the results are still the same; “and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15).
Light begins to push back the darkness as we see the task of the seeker, “when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him” (vs.37-38). The most difficult task for the seeker is not discovering the place of Jesus, but the preeminence of Jesus. The curse and the course of sin, when acknowledged; makes all men seekers. The perfect example of this truth is the woman with the issue of blood; “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse” (Mark 5:25-26). This woman had been a seeker for twelve years; the curse of the disease had determined that. It was not until she acknowledged that answer to her need was in Jesus alone that she quickly found Jesus. When the sinner sees Jesus as the answer; Jesus will make sure that He is within reach!
The darkness continues to recede as seen in the treasures of the sacrifice, “And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment” (vs.38). Confident of His preeminence and the certainty of His performance, she cast her all upon Jesus. While society may value the substance, the Saviour values the sacrifice of self. She has found Him to be worthy of all and that is what she will freely lavish upon Him.
The light has almost gained complete victory over the darkness as we view the tenderness of the Saviour, “she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head . . . this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet . . . this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment” (vs.44-46). While Simon and society are appalled by her presence; the Saviour does not resist the touch of her hand or the kiss of her lips. The self-righteous lash out with venomous words of criticism that burn and blister the spirit of man. Not so with Jesus! All penitent souls that seek Him will find a warm welcome; “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). The Lord sets no boundaries of self-righteous on those that would seek Him out; “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
The darkness has been eradicated and the light shines forth in the testimony of the saint, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much” (vs.47). There are two aspects of the saint’s testimony! There is the testimony of conversion and the testimony of compassion. The child of God can openly declare that because of the unmerited favor and mercy of God that “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). While the testimony of conversion is made with one’s lips, the testimony of compassion is made with one’s life. The most basic courtesies had been withheld by Simon, but this was not the case with the sinner that had been made a saint! Love would deny Him nothing; for Jesus had calmed the storm of sin and replaced it with “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
This woman had come to the supper as the trash of society, but she left as the treasure of the Saviour. She came polluted, but left with peace. She had arrived with the wages of sin, but left with a wealth of salvation. What a difference Jesus can makes in the lives of all that will come to Him.