I want to share a story with you that’s found in Luke 7:36-39 (NKJV) about a woman who interrupted a dinner party because she knew Jesus was the only answer for her messed-up life. Although this woman lived over 2,000 years ago, Jesus is still the only answer for the messes in our lives today.
Here is that passage.
Then one of the Pharisees asked Him [Jesus] to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, ‘This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.’
Think about it. For this woman to go to the house of a Pharisee was amazing in itself — she knew she had a reputation in the city, and she also knew what the Pharisee would think of a woman like her. He would consider her as dirt under his feet. For her to approach Jesus and pour out this expensive perfume on Him and, really, pour herself out like she did was monumental. Her display of worship — the adoration, her tears, the pouring out of expensive oil upon Jesus — came from somewhere deep inside this broken woman. She interrupted a gathering at the home of that Pharisee because she knew that Jesus was her only answer!
Do you know that Jesus is your only answer?
This woman did not cry at Jesus’ feet for fear of the Pharisee. She cried because of the Lord’s presence. I once heard a story about Smith Wigglesworth, a humble British plumber who became an evangelist and was filled with God’s Spirit. He once got on a train to travel to a certain city, and God’s presence on him was so strong that people approached him to repent of their sins and asked him how to know God. Smith Wigglesworth never preached to his fellow travelers — he never said a word. It was the overwhelming presence of God on this man that drew the attention of the other passengers.
Similarly, the woman in this passage of Scripture wept in the awesome presence of God that was upon Jesus. When the woman approached Jesus, she was first standing. But then she probably dropped to her knees because it says that as she wept, her tears fell on His feet. She was weeping so much that she washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Then she kissed His feet. Can you imagine that scene and what the religious Pharisee must have thought? I am sure that this hard-hearted Pharisee was disgusted!
Then, for the Pharisee, the scene got even more intimate and worshipful. The woman poured out a very expensive oil on the Lord’s feet and the fragrance filled the house. The worship of Jesus had completely taken over the Pharisee’s house! Her act of worship had interrupted the meal, and the fragrance of the expensive oil had overpowered every other scent in the house.
When I thought about how her worship interrupted the homeowner and his guests, I asked myself, Does MY worship interrupt the broken world of other people around me? Do people around me even sense His presence in me? Would people say there’s something different about you? It’s a question for us all to think about.
It’s interesting in verse 39 that the Pharisee, the one who invited Jesus, doesn’t speak his thoughts out loud, but Jesus heard them. Can’t you just imagine the Pharisee’s judgmental tone as he muttered to himself, If He were a prophet, He would know what kind of woman she is and who is touching Him. She is a sinner. But Jesus knew exactly what he was thinking.
Jesus directly responded to the Pharisee’s thoughts with the following words about the forgiveness of debt. Jesus said, “‘There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?’” (Luke 7:41,42 NKJV)
Jesus emphasized that one debtor owed ten times more than the other, but neither of them could pay his debt. What point was He making to the Pharisee? Well, let’s say that the woman at Jesus’ feet owed 500 denarii, and the Pharisee only owed 50 denarii. And let’s just suppose that neither could pay the debt. The Bible says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We all as Christians once owed a debt of sin to God, but He freely justified us and forgave us that debt “because of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (v. 24). And in the case of the two people in Luke 7 who owed a large debt (500 denarii) and a small debt (50 denarii), the creditor freely forgave them both (v. 42).
What was the difference between this sinful woman and the Pharisee? She knew who Jesus was, and the Pharisee did not. If the Pharisee had known who Jesus was, he would have welcomed Him into his house with open arms. Jesus said that the Pharisee didn’t welcome Him into his house properly, yet this woman came with expensive oil to pour over Jesus because she knew who He was — she recognized Him as the One who could justify man and forgive sin. (See Luke 7:44-46.)
Friend, that is why we need to have more and more fellowship with the Holy Spirit — so we can properly receive His presence and power to reveal to us who Jesus is. Oh, that we would become like this woman. She knew who Jesus was, she showed her great appreciation for Him, and she knew He was the only answer for the messes in her life.
Thank you so much for spending this time with me. I am so convicted in my heart that we need to absolutely spend as much time as we can in the presence of the Lord. We need to seek His presence, fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and spend time in God’s Word because we need a faith in our heart these days that is like a rock — unshakable faith. That’s why I wanted to share this message with you — this precious woman had something that we need. She knew who her answer was, and she was desperate to be in His presence and to have her answer. Jesus is the only answer you need too!
If you have any prayer needs, please let us know. And we would also love to know if God is doing something special in your life so we can rejoice with you. Just call us at 1-800-742-5593 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re ready to “interrupt” the situations and circumstances of your life to help you receive the answers you need in His presence!
We are moving forward together,