One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” Luke 7:36-39
I never really thought the passages concerning the anointing of Jesus to be very controversial until the past few months when I encountered some comments on by blog where the writer felt that it is through Judas and not Jesus we are saved. This person was referring to the anointing in Bethany which is recounted in Matthew, Mark and John. Matthew and Mark do not single out any one disciple who was upset with the expense of the ointment used but John tells us that Judas was especially upset by the ointment was not sold and the money given to the poor. However John also tells us the real reason Judas wanted to sell the ointment was so he could steal the money as he kept the money for the disciples. In today’s verses Luke recounts another time when Jesus was anointed this time in the house of a Pharisee. Luke is very straight forward in letting us know that this woman was a sinner.
We are not told who this woman was or what her sins were but her identity and sins are beside the point. I believe this was one of the women who Jesus had forgiven her sins, maybe one of the prostitutes, but she became a follower of Jesus and this was her way of showing devotion to Jesus. Or maybe she had heard how Jesus had forgiven the sins of other women like her and had heard from them that this Jesus was the Messiah so she came to honor Him.
The Pharisee was quick to let Jesus know that this woman who was touching Him was a sinner. In fact the Pharisee questions if Jesus is really a prophet because He seem to be unaware who this woman is. As I reread today’s verses something new came to mind. If the Pharisee knew this woman was a sinner and Pharisees went out of their way to avoid sinners then why was she in his house? This was a dinner after all and they were already reclined at the table. So why was she there? Just my opinion but it seems this Pharisee had a double standard when it came to Jesus.
Have a blessed day,