When Ordinary People Show Extraordinary Love
Passage: Luke 7:36-50
“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” V.47
She knew she wasn’t welcome, but she went in anyway. Her long hair, once carefully braided with flashy jewels, fell freely in front on her body. Her face, once adorned with color and shimmer, now clean and bright.
She stepped into the room with careful resolve as she spotted him from afar. She would never forget His eyes, much less His voice. The voice that pierced her soul only a few days before. The eyes that looked at her as if to see each one of her heart’s wounds… her soul’s blemishes.
She had gathered her coins and purchased an expensive alabaster vial of perfume, worth many months of her earnings. Prostitution earnings. Product of her sin and shame.
The guests held their breaths as she approached the Rabbi and stood behind Him. Simon, the host, a Pharisee of Pharisees, watched the scene with despising contempt. “How dare she!”
Jesus didn’t move. He knew she’d come. He was waiting for her. Tears streamed down her face and fell on His feet. Shameful tears. Joyful tears. Tears of overflowing realization that she was in the presence of Messiah.
Tears of Hope.
She knelt down and as the tears washed His feet, she wiped them with her hair, kissing them continuously, while anointing them with the perfume.
As her tears fell… Her love, overflowed.
Her shame turned into the sweetest aroma, exuding her repentance and sacrifice.
He gave her hope. Something she had long lost.
Her love for the Savior could cost her everything. Her possessions. Her safety. She didn’t care. All she knew was that Love had found her and she would never be the same.
I read the passage and can’t help but imagine the atmosphere around the room. My eyes fill with tears as I put myself in this woman’s place… a broken life, and the hope of restoration. The realization of the weight of sin pressing down for the first time. The understanding that she was loved, in spite of, hitting her in such an overwhelming fashion that she didn’t think of where she was… or who she was.
All she knew is that she loved Him. And needed Him. More than anything she had ever needed before.
She needed to tell Him… but words could not describe. So she showed Him the vastness of her gratitude and love.
Some believe she was Mary Magdalene, but we don’t know her name for sure. She could have been me, or you, or anyone whose life has been restored by the love of the Savior.
The fact of the matter is that this woman loved Jesus. And she loved Him so deeply, so extravagantly, that it showed. The expression of her worship was translated for the entire world to see… and read about it two thousand years later.
She makes me wonder…
Jesus showed us extraordinary love… when He healed the sick… rose the dead… when He washed the disciples feet… when He could have called ten thousand angels and did not…
Instead, He was beaten, spat upon, crucified…
All for Me
Shouldn’t His extraordinary love propel us to give Him extravagant love?
Indeed, when ordinary people grasp the measure of God’s extraordinary love, they can’t help but start pouring down extravagant love.
They forgive… Ephesians 4:32
They repent… 1 John 1:9
They obey… John 14:15
They serve… John 13:13-17
They pray… Colossians 4:2
They give…. And give… and give. Matthew 25:34-40
Extraordinary love breeds extravagant worship and it goes beyond the church walls. Extraordinary love propels us to give our all to Jesus…
What is in your alabaster box, my friend?
Past sins? Current sins? Unforgiveness? Traumas? Impossible circumstances?
Stand behind the Savior and pour it out… wash His feet in humble worship with the perfume of your sacrifice of repentance, restoration… and extravagant love.
Then love Him extravagantly… as you forgive those who wrong you, as you love the unlovable, as you serve those who need you.
And as you become His hand and feet to this dying world, in abandoned expression of extravagant, extraordinary love, hear the Savior as He whispers to you:
“Your faith has saved you, go in peace.” (v.50)