The Woman who Broke the Rules


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Today, I thought I’d share one of my favorite stories in the Gospels — the woman washing Jesus feet with her tears (Luke 7:36-50)

What courage she had, to walk into the house of the Pharisee, uninvited, bringing only a bottle of perfume and her heart. What boldness she had, a known sinner, to be doing this. What trust she had, that Jesus wouldn’t push her away or rebuke her but accept her offering of tears, repentance and deep worship. 

It doesn’t say so, but it seemed like she had an encounter with the Lord sometime before. It was so powerful, so compelling that she walked into another person’s house, uninvited, to pour out her love for Him. 

And Jesus calmly accepted the loving touch of her hands, the worshipful kisses on his feet, knowing these were outward expressions of a grateful heart. He, and she, defied the conventions of the day. She ignored the judgmental glances of the Pharisee, He rejected the man’s silent criticism. 

The Pharisee only saw ugliness in what was playing out before him; but Jesus only saw beauty. Jesus’ summary was succinct — those who love much, have been forgiven much; those who love little, have been forgiven little. Such beauty in the truth of those words.

The woman took a big risk in displaying her love for all to see, but her reward was so much greater: Jesus declared, “Your sins are forgiven” — they were already forgiven, but His pronouncing it aloud shifted the atmosphere and her life. And “Your faith has saved you.” As the saying goes, FAITH is spelt RISK. She trusted His heart and did the socially unthinkable. And He found it beautiful.   

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