One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
Comment: This is not a usual scene. Firstly, one of those who had lined themselves up in opposition to him asked Jesus into his house for a meal. One wonders was he beginning to think for himself and not just follow the party line into rejection of this man, Jesus. Secondly, a woman of ill-repute, uninvited, comes with a box of expensive ointment and begins washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, drying them with her hair – no doubt in preparation to rubbing the ointment into his feet and lower legs. It was the custom to wash a visitor’s feet after they came along the dusty way to your house. Had Simon failed to do that? Did the woman have something so heavy on her heart and mind that she jumped in first and in this extravagant way do what someone else had failed to do. Her tears, her whole action, the words used to describe her, all cause me to think that Jesus had had dealings with her and accepted her in spite of her character.
Seeing all this this, with his tendency to condemn and reject ‘sinners’, Simon, the Pharisee came to the conclusion that Jesus couldn’t possibly be a prophet. Simon hadn’t spoken aloud but Jesus knew his heart and is about to use this occasion to teach him a lesson which we all need to learn. Wait until tomorrow’s passage!
Prayer: Help me to be concerned more about my own status than in judging others.