A New Reputation

Simon, a Pharisee invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his house and reclined at the table.

A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating there, so she came with an expensive alabaster jar of perfume.

Yes, a woman with a bad reputation brought a jar filled with perfume, maybe she knew…

A good name is better than perfume, (Ecclesiastes 7:1a)

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.

While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. (Song of Solomon 1:3, 12 NIV)

She poured out costly perfume, on the feet and head of The One Who’s Name is above all other Names, but yet…was accused by the religious leaders of being a glutton, alcoholic, devil worshiper…yes, by the Pharisees, who were all about how they looked to others.

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.”

He couldn’t see…he did not have eyes to judge.

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. (Matthew 7:1-5 MSG)

Then Jesus turned it around and showed him how it felt to be picked apart. And how to have eyes to see.

Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke-Acts 7:36-39, 44-48 BOOKS)

But the Pharisees never learn…

That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!”

Even so, this did not stop Jesus from loving the one in front of Him.

He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Luke 7:49-50 MSG)

Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you!

Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. 2Cor 2:14-15 MSG

And then Jesus gave her a new reputation…

“Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

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