Summary: Let me give you a definition for grace; it is the unmerited favor of God which comes to all who by faith receive Jesus as Savior. We are not only saved by grace, through faith, but through this grace we also receive the blessings of God and the fruits of
A Woman Which Was a Sinner
(adapted from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon)
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Luke 7:37-50 (KJV)
We are going to talk a lot about grace today, so let me give you a definition for grace; it is the unmerited favor of God which comes to all who by faith receive Jesus as Savior. We are not only saved by grace, through faith, but through this grace we also receive the blessings of God and the fruits of the Spirit.
Now let’s get to our story.
The woman in this story has been confused with Mary Magdalene. I don’t know why this error is made, because there isn’t any evidence, that this woman, who was a sinner, has any connection to the Mary who had seven devils cast out of her. What's more, the sinner in our story is not Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. That Mary, also anointed our Savior, but that happened previous to this anointing. This woman, who was a sinner according to our text, should not be confused with Mary of Magdala or Mary of Bethany.
In the story that’s before us, there is the image of both grace and love. Let’s begin first with grace, and then we will speak about love.
The first thing to say is, “GRACE IS AN EXPENSIVE OINTMENT.” This story is literally dripping with grace. Here grace falls like a gentle due from heaven.
First, grace is glorified in its object.
She was a sinner, not in the every-day sense of the term, but a sinner in the filthier sense. According to the parable, which our Lord told on this occasion, when He compared her to the Pharisee, she was a five-hundred-pence sinner, and he was only a fifty-pence sinner.
She practiced what is termed, the oldest profession. She sinned, and made others sin. But, and this is a miracle, she was an object of exceptional grace, and she was destined for eternal life. Why was this?
On what grounds was she selected? What was it that made her so special, that Jesus would bless her so greatly?
Was this an extraordinary and isolated case? Not at all, because God has frequently chosen the lowest of the low and the most degraded. Look into the word of God, and study the genealogy of our Lord. Listed there among great saints, you will find shameless Tamar, the harlot Rahab, and the unfaithful Bathsheba, so the indication is that the savior will inter into a relationship with the most degraded and fallen of the human race. Friends, I must say, "I am glad He does."
Jesus was known as “a friend of publicans and sinners,” but it was a title that was thrown at Him out of contempt. I am glad that He was a friend to sinners and of the worst people, because now I know He will not refuse to associate with me.