Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil (Luke 7:36-38). The streets in eastern countries of Jesus’ day were filed with dust and animal dung. It was an act of great respect and honor to a guest to clean their feet when they entered your house. A household servant usually took care of this for the homeowner. This was a cultural norm. The Pharisees paid no attention to Jesus’ personal need when he entered their home. Even the customary kindness was ignored. Seeing the disrespect shown to Jesus, this lady began to weep. Washing His feel with her tears, she began to wipe His feet off with her hair. The Pharisees didn’t even offer a towel. A lady usually kept her hair wrapped on top of her head. Her hair was her glory and self-respect. This lady gave up her personal pride to minister to her Lord. She gave what personally meant a lot to her. It was an act of utter personal humiliation for a lady to let her hair down in public.
In an act of great honor to Jesus she cleansed His dirty feet with her person. She wasted herself on Him. She no longer cared what others thought of her. Jesus was more important.
After cleansing Jesus’ feet she emptied the box of perfume on His feet and kissed them. This box of perfume cost one year’s salary for the average person in Jesus’ day. The carnal religiously motivated minds of the Pharisees thought she wasted so much that day. Giving up her personal dignity and wasting one year’s salary was ridiculous to them. This lady gave Jesus the most costly possessions she owned. He had forgiven her sin and removed her shame. She gave to Him her grateful heart.
Are we willing to give up our personal pride in honor of Jesus today? Are we willing to give Him what to us is of great personal value? All He asks for is our personal obedience. This lady went the extra mile to show her love. Let’s follow her example!