Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and 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. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner." Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said. "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
This woman’s gratefulness prompted her to give her best; her valuable perfume, her servanthood in wiping Jesus feet, and her heart through her tears of gratitude. What a picture of giving all that one can in terms of resources, action and heart. Yet, isn’t it true that we are often judged and characterized by others due to our sinful past and mistakes therefore being stigmatized as to whether we are worthy to serve Jesus? Jesus is so clear here that it is often those with the greatest sins that know the depth of His grace and mercy, and therefore are the most grateful to dedicate their lives and hearts to Him. Thus, the key is not what is perceived on the outside by others, but what takes place on the inside within our hearts, and therefore manifested through our actions in our relationship with Jesus and subsequently our serving Him.
I can so relate to this story as I look back upon my life and the mistakes and sins I’ve committed; a reminder of God’s grace and knowing the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ working in my life each day to bestow His love upon me in teaching me His ways. I am so thankful that He not only forgave me of my sins but deemed me worthy to serve Him in full time ministry as an example of one who was saved and touched by His hope and promise of new days. Thus, serving not out of duty, but out of gratefulness. This in no way disavows the lives of those who have not walked the sinful path that I have, but amplifies the grace, mercy and love that Jesus gifts to us and how all have the opportunity to turn their lives around and serve our Lord Jesus Christ for the glory of His Kingdom.
Dear Lord, thank you for the reminder of what you have done in my life in saving me from my sin and calling me to serve you out of a life that has been forgiven, changed, and passionate about serving you full time. Lord, may this story always remind me of your grace, mercy and love; and why I not only am grateful to serve you, but why I need to stay on the righteous path you call your servants to.