Summary: The woman who anointed Christ regardless of what others knew or thought about her, and her act of love is memorialized by Christ. I believe that scripture shows us this woman has a name -- Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus.
By Pastor Milton O. Bradford, Good Hope Baptist Church
Luke 7:36-50 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. 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.
Many years ago Sidney Poitier starred in a movie called, GUEST WHO IS COMING TO DINNER. Sidney Poitier, a black man for all who do not know, played a controversial role which was very much a taboo, it was a no-no of that time, where a Negro was engaged to marry a white women, may even had put his life at risk. Nevertheless, it demonstrated all the problems, all the biases, and the racism that worked not only then but also still now in 2002. He had not only to tell his parents but the greatest hurdle was revealed in breaking the news of their relationship to her white parents and seeking their blessing. The couple decided to break the news over dinner to all four parents at the white parent’s house, thus “Guest Who Is Coming to Dinner” was born. Once the door was opened nothing had to be explained. You can be sure that what they had to say was known long before they ate one morsel of food.
Many a story can be told as to what happened and the experiences shared while breaking bread. Stories of business associations being strengthen, and friends and relatives reaffirming their care for one another have often taken place over a meal. A gentleman can give you a scoop on his attempt to wine and dine a lady to win her affection. In fact, many young ladies not only believe but practice right now that "ole" adage , that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. More relationships has been enhanced over the dinner table.
In our text Jesus had accepted a dinner invitation. For the bible says that one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And He went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. In this text something is revealed about the host. Let’s look for a moment at the host maybe we can find a clue at to who this is who disturbed His dinner arrangement.
1.He was a Pharisee. A Pharisee was a religious leader of the Jews. In fact this text is literately surrounded by controversies that Jesus had with the Pharisees. In chapter 6 in Luke the Pharisees squabbled with Christ over the Sabbath. Many suffered chronically from self-righteously, "How dare Jesus let His disciples do work on the Sabbath, they are picking grain, and He is healing the man with the wither hand." Scripture said that they watched Him closely for a chance to accuse Him.