Yesterday we were introduced to a woman who entered a party in complete breach of all societal protocol. What is worse is that she was not just any woman. She was “a woman in the city which was a sinner.” Simon in a revolting fashion thinks to himself in verse 39, “She is a sinner.” Even Jesus, speaking of her in verse 47 says “her sins, which are many.” There was no doubt in anyone’s mind what kind of woman this was. She was well known for her sins.
This type of language was used to describe an immoral person. She was probably the town prostitute or at least a woman who had the soiled reputation of sleeping with many different men. In that Jewish culture, she was a social outcast, scorned publicly by all, even those who would privately seek her services.
What a contrast she makes with Simon. He is clearly the most religious, the most important and highly revealed person in town. She is at the other end of the spectrum. What does she do that is so scandalous?
She steps out of the surrounding crowd and moves in on the guests at the table. She came because “she knew that Jesus sat at” the table. In her hands, she carried “an alabaster box of ointment” or a flask of fragrant oil. She quietly walked up behind Jesus and simply “stood at His feet.”
At this point conversations cease, the clattering of busy servants stop and the buzzing of the crowd of townspeople trails off. The only sounds are the sobs of her “weeping” and all eyes are fixed upon her. Have you ever seen someone who was completely broken in their own sin? What a convicting story…