“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown…” ~Luke 7:47
In Luke Chapter 7:36, we find the story of the sinful woman who enters the house where Jesus is dining with friends and acquaintances. Then, enters a woman carrying an alabaster jar of perfume and beelines it straight for Jesus. When she gets to him, she does not say a word. But begins to wet his feet with her tears and wash them with her hair. Jesus was greatly moved by this gesture and tells her that her sins have been forgiven and her faith has saved her.
When deciding to enter the house where Jesus was dining, I am sure this woman had plenty of internal doubts and questions. Doubts like, “I should not be doing this. My past may be too much for him. I am sure he has perfume more expensive than this.” Or maybe questions like, “What will others say when I enter the room carrying this jar? Will they recognize me and tell me to leave? How will my personal offering be received by him?”
No matter what her internal doubts and questions may have been, the truth is that Jesus met this woman with love and compassion. He also defended her, forgave her, acknowledged her faith, and sent her away in peace.
In Luke 7:40, Jesus begins to explain why he chose to receive this woman's gifts. In essence, he generously receives this woman’s gifts, because she chose to generously give them to him. Jesus says to Simon in Luke 7:47, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown…” A love that persuaded her to generously give.
Through this woman’s example, I am reminded that what I bring to Christ will be generously received in love when I also decide to generously give them out of love. I can bring him my own alabaster jar of perfume with a heartfelt desire to pour them at his feet.
For some of us, our alabaster jar of perfume may be our tears, fears, problems, or pain. And for others, the jar may be our hopes, dreams, or future plans. Whatever they are, I want to encourage you to pour them out at his feet.
Do not allow your internal doubts or questions keep you from offering your jar to Christ.
In this story from scripture, I have always been made aware of the cost of this woman to bring her jar to Christ –the fear, humiliation, and shame she must have endured on her way to Jesus’s feet. But today, I am also reminded of her reward when she got there. Just like in scripture, bringing our personal alabaster jars to Jesus also provides us with the opportunity to be met with the truth of his love, compassion, faith, forgiveness, protection, and peace.