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Ministry of Jesus

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

Scripture

Luke 7:36-50

Similar Passages

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Jesus Anointed at Bethany Again

Commentary

This is the first time that Jesus is anointed.  Both later anointings Jesus says are in preparation for His burial.  This is simply an act of love and humility.

When a sinful woman discovers that Jesus is going to the house of a Pharisee, she follows Jesus there.  Once she arrives weeps at Jesus' feet, dries them with her hair, and pours alabaster perfume on them.

The Pharisee who had invited Jesus to his house is astounded that Jesus would allow such a sinful woman to even touch him.  He assumes that Jesus does not know of the woman's reputation but Jesus most certainly does.  He responds with a story of two people whose debts were forgiven.  The one who had a greater debt to be forgiven was more grateful than the one who had a smaller debt forgiven.  The woman at Jesus' feet had a great debt to be forgiven and had much reason to love Jesus for forgiving her debt. 

It is interesting to note that the woman weeps at Jesus' feet before He says anything to her.  She came to Jesus in humility and with an attitude of repentance.  She understood that He had the power to forgive her sins before she even asked.  Her tears are both a pleading for forgiveness and relief in finding Jesus because she knew that He could forgive her sins.

Jesus shocks those in the room by telling the woman that her sins were forgiven.  Despite all of the miracles that He had performed, they didn't believe that He was the Son of God.  Therefore they do not understand that He had the power to forgive sins as well as perform other miracles.

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