Luke 7:36 – 8:3
36One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. 37And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. 39Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” 40Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “Speak.” 41“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” 43Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” 48Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”50And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
8Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, 2as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
Today I give thanks for the work of Roy Lichtenstein and the genre of pop art.. My first attempt at this piece was wrong on so many levels. It was difficult to draw, without it becoming majorly sexual.. But that was the point, she was a temple prostitute (implied by the text) to uncover someones feet in the bible was to show your intentions, check out Ruth..
But Jesus takes it way back.. I feel like he is saying get your mind out of the gutter boys.. Don’t you get it ? This woman is just grateful and this is the only way she knows how to show it.. I love how often, no matter what raw form humans come to Jesus and show themselves in their brokeness, Jesus sees through it to the beautiful creation of God they are..
The Pharisee was pretty sure he was sorted with God, but Jesus catches him out. He’s not really even showing basic hospitality.. Why did he invite Jesus to his house? Was he part of the gang trying to catch Jesus out or were they such good friends, it was just like hanging out and he had began to take the specialness of a friendship with Jesus for granted? The one thing we can be sure of he was worried all about appearances which is the exact opposite of Jesus!
I have put the woman in the middle because I want you to notice the women in this reading.. We have the weeping woman but also at the end of todays reading hear about 4 women by name and many others who provided for the disciples out of their own resources.. I had been a Christian for a long time before I stumbled across this reading, I was shocked to find it.. There are women following Jesus around with the disciples and they are named as the people providing for them.. It’s a short 3 verses, but the writer found it important enough to include. It wasn’t just the disciples with Jesus there were many more and some of the significant ones were also women..
The community Jesus was creating was richly diverse and broke so many stereotypes. Probably the most profound and significant was the way he chose to see people, not for the image they portrayed but the love and generosity of their hearts. I wonder how you see you fit in the story this week? Who do you recognise and what challenges you in how Jesus deals with the situation?