“And He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.’ ” Luke 7:50 (HCSB)
Jesus’ ministry on earth was short but He had so much to teach the people – to teach us. We learn not only does Jesus perform healing miracles on the physically sick; He performs healing miracles on the heart. Luke 7:36-50 recalls a woman’s encounter with Jesus in the home of Simon the Pharisee. The passage tells us she had lived a sinful life – quite possibly she was a prostitute. She came into Simon’s home weeping and fell to her knees kissing the feet of Jesus. She wiped her tears off His feet with her hair and then poured expensive perfume on them. Scripture doesn’t tell us how she knew about Jesus but it is obvious she had heard He was the Messiah. Perhaps she even heard Him teach. Even though it was customary to wash one’s feet upon entering a home, Jesus knew that this was no ordinary foot washing.
Imagine for a moment being this woman. She knows she has been living a sinful life and needs to be forgiven. If she goes to the priest … no, they won’t accept her, but maybe Jesus will. While wiping tears off her face she runs to get the most precious thing she has; an alabaster jar of perfume. When she arrives at the home where Jesus is, she sees Him. She can’t speak. Maybe she has a knot in her throat as she tries hard not to cry. Maybe she knows with her reputation she is not worthy to be in the home of a religious Jewish leader; let alone in the presence of the Messiah. All she can do is fall at Jesus’ feet and kiss them. Feeling the remorse of her sin, sobs of tears burst forth onto Jesus’ feet. She quickly realizes His feet are getting wet so she takes her hair to wipe off the dirty sin her tears represent and continues to kiss His feet. She doesn’t even hear Simon talking to Jesus about her reputation. Then she remembers the offering she brought. She pours the perfume on His feet to clean off her dirty tears.
All this precious woman wants is to be clean but she doesn’t feel she can be. No, not with what she has done. Then she realizes Jesus is looking at her. He starts speaking to the Pharisee about what she has been doing. That she has shown Jesus greater kindness and love to Him than the Pharisee despite her reputation. The most amazing thing happens next. Jesus says to her, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48). The voices in the room become a mumbling background noise to her. All she can hear is Jesus’ voice healing and filling her heart with peace and joy. She knows she is forgiven and clean from all her sin. It’s a miracle! He then tells her, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (Luke 7:50).
Today’s verse from Luke teaches us about a woman who knew she was a sinner in need of a Savior. It also tells us about a Pharisee who only saw the woman’s sin and not his own. They are both sinners yet one seeks Jesus’ forgiveness and the other does not. Jesus points out that the woman’s faith in Him has saved her. Ephesians 2:8 reminds us, “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift” (HCSB). We all have need of forgiveness and God gives us the faith to seek Him for it.
When was the last time you asked God to forgive you of your sins? Are you sometimes more aware of the sins of others than your own? Ask God to reveal your sin to you if you don’t see it. Take time today to pour your heart out at Jesus’ feet. Be genuinely sorry and seek His forgiveness. If you have faith to believe in Him, He will not only forgive you, He will heal your heart and will say to you, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
By Carol Jones