The Sinful Woman
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 7:37–38
It’s the only word to describe this woman’s attitude as she approached Jesus. We might wonder what her background was. How did she hear about Jesus? How did she know to come to Him for the wholeness she sought? What had she done in her life that branded her as a sinner in the eyes of those surrounding Jesus?
We don’t have the answers to these questions. But we do see something so touching, so beautiful, from our Savior in this moment. This story shows us that our pasts are irrelevant. The love of Jesus finds us wherever we are, even when we’ve made mistakes.
Maybe you have some dark mistakes in your past. If so, you’re not alone. People with dark pasts have been coming to Jesus for millennia.
- He doesn’t reject those seeking to turn their lives around.
Maybe that message is for you to receive today. Maybe you need to be reminded of the deep forgiveness and love Jesus offers to each of us. But this message is also for all of us as we grow in Christlikeness, seeking to echo Jesus’ actions in our own lives. Our Savior modeled gentleness and compassion to a broken woman who believed. Let’s follow His lead!
Jesus declared this woman’s sins forgiven (Luke 7:47). How can you walk in confidence today, knowing your sins, too, are forgiven?
The Woman Caught in Adultery
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. — John 8:6–9
This is such a beautiful picture of the heart of Jesus. He knew what was in the minds of the Pharisees. He knew they were seeking to trap Him and not at all concerned about this woman or her relationship with God (John 8:6). His heart was to redeem this woman — to save her and not condemn her. Amazing, wild, wonderful grace.
Maybe you have a hard time receiving that grace for yourself. Maybe you feel dark and twisty and irredeemable inside, and you can’t imagine Jesus standing in the gap for you, protecting you from your accusers. Or maybe you have a hard time showing this kind of grace to others. Maybe it seems like the world is decaying around you and you’re the only one who is getting it right.
If either of those is the case for you right now, you’re not alone! But let’s take a close look at our Savior’s example here. He treated this woman caught in adultery with dignity, kindness, and respect, even though she had done wrong. Then He followed up with important truths, spoken in love. That’s how He approaches us, and that’s how He wants us to approach others who need His message of repentance and redemption.
- Let’s take a moment to fully grab onto the idea that Jesus’ grace is for us and for all those around us, even if they’re struggling.
Do you ever struggle with grace, whether accepting it for yourself or extending it to others? Which of these is harder for you?
Excerpted with permission from 60 Devotions Inspired by Women of the Bible, copyright Zondervan.
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Whatever it is… Whatever you’ve done or failed to do, said or failed to say… the forgiveness of Jesus is yours for the asking. He doesn’t reject anyone who wants to change their behavior or their entire lives. Run to Jesus! He loves you! ~ Laurie McClure