Tears & Perfume
Have you met people who reminded you of yourself? Well, this morning I met a lady who reminded me of how it was when I genuinely met Jesus the very first time. The lady is found at Luke 7:36. If you have never met her, I recommend doing so.
“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
Luke 7:36-38 NIV
This sinful woman brings expensive perfume and shame. She comes to Jesus with the cost of her sin, probably everything it was worth. I cannot even imagine how she must have felt standing there with the eyes of the Pharisees on her. The shame of my sin is still fresh in my memory. Maybe you remember the weight of your sin standing next to Jesus… Jesus, the Righteous One, perfect love and perfectly just… Jesus who touched the leper… Jesus who ate with criminals and Pharisees… That Jesus. Do you remember, because I do? I remember standing next to One so clean and myself so filthy.
Do you suppose, that she came to see if he would see her too? If he touched lepers and tax collectors maybe he will not reject her. I wonder if she came to be seen and acknowledged. People probably sneered and used her. I wonder if she was afraid. Sometimes, I have rejected her. There are times we reject those who need our love the most. That person may be you. Fat tears were falling off her face onto Jesus’ feet as she wept. She cried, cleaned it off with her hair, then oiled his feet with perfume. Were her tears of fear and shame? My tears were definitely those of fear and shame. Jesus though!
Jesus though! He is all kinds of wonderful. Jesus turns to address the naysayers who think she’s too dirty for grace. She’s too sinful, too dirty to come to the altar. The altar should alter you. The only place to get clean is at the cross of Jesus. We must come to the altar. To grade sin is to reduce the blood coverage of Jesus. His sacrifice provides 100% coverage. I know it can be hard to give grace, but it is harder sometimes to receive grace. I wonder friends if you need full coverage?
Jesus though! He sees my dirty, my ugly, and my selfish. And yet His love is consistent. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of a woman’s extravagant showing of love for the One who changes everything.