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.”

All that we have…


Picture I love the Christmas movie, the Little Drummer Boy. I love it, because he worshiped God with all that he had…and all that he had was a drum.   But he played it for the King, and he played his best for Him.

That’s all God wants from us. He just wants us to worship Him with all that we have. We may not be the best, or do everything perfectly, but he doesn’t care about that.  He cares about our heart.

One of my favorite parts of the Bible, is when the woman comes in and anoints Jesus. Pouring the costly perfume on his head and at his feet.  I love that we don’t really know who she is, only that she was a sinful woman, and that she wept, washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair.  She loved much because she had been forgiven much.

We can see the reaction of the others in the room, and we can imagine the smell as that pure nard filled the room.  To Jesus it was the fragrance of worship, but to the religious leaders that did not even know Who they were eating with…well…I imagine it stunk.  It’s easy, to stand back, and watch another  worship, judging them them and measuring their hearts.

Although the Bible says that the oil was worth a year’s wages, we really don’t know the true cost of what she poured on Him that day.

Like the little drummer boy, when he brought the wounded lamb before Jesus, he had no gift to bring, that was fit to give a King, but He just had to give Him something, He just had to love and honor Him.   So he played his drum with a pure heart…and the little lamb was healed miraculously.  Then, he was too, in that moment of pure worship, God had also set him free.   He had been so hurt and wounded, filled with hate, but now he was forgiven and redeemed by the Lamb…as he poured out his oil of worship to the King.

We are called to worship Him like that…with all that is in us, because that’s all we truly have to give him…even though, it will never feel like it is enough…still…He loves it!   And it is in our worship, that we might be set free!

Merry Christmas!!!!