She’d been watching Him for some time, which was easy to do considering she just had to follow the crowds. Wherever Jesus went people clamored around Him. She was one of them. No wonder there was a clear distinction between Jesus and, well, everyone else; particularly the Pharisees, who in their tasseled robes walked around town with nothing but contempt sketched across their seasoned faces.
The distinction was vivid enough that this pariah of a woman had no trouble approaching only Jesus while He dined in the home of Simon the Pharisee. Falling at Jesus’ feet she began weeping, allowing her tears to cascade down upon them. With her hair hanging down, she gently wiped away those tears. And upon doing so she pulled out an alabaster flask of perfume and poured it where the tears had fallen. As the aroma filled the room, Simon’s anger rose. But Jesus? Well, He received her gift of love as just that . . . a gift.
Think carefully about this question: Would this woman anoint your feet? It is a legitimate question, for she had multiple pairs of feet from which to choose. For instance, she could have anointed Simon’s feet. Yet in her heart she knew he only scorned her (Luke 7:39). Indeed, despite the fact that he was among the religious elite (he was a Pharisee!) he was not even approachable. So calloused was Simon that the customary provision of foot-washing was not even offered to his popular guest, Jesus. The woman may have had a questionable reputation, but she was not so far out that she didn’t know a self-centered man when she saw one. Thus, she had no desire to anoint Simon’s feet.
So she went to Him who was approachable. She went to Him who welcomed sinners. She went to Him who loved unconditionally. She went to Him who willingly gave everything. Indeed, she went to Jesus.
Which, of course, begs some questions of us. Would she go to you? Would she come to me? Would you or I be to her as Simon the Pharisee? Or would we be to her like Jesus—God’s representative? The answer to these questions may have great implications for just how well we love our neighbors. Therefore, consider well: how are you perceived by the people around you?
Father, give me feet like that of the Savior’s,
That trod faithfully down the servant’s path.
May they be fit for your honor and reputation,
Supporting a frame that builds what only lasts.
In the wake of the dust they create,
May love be sown around.
And may it be that many will follow,
As they aim toward Heaven’s ground.