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The risk was great, the ridicule inevitable. But she went to the Pharisee’s feast anyway because the love in her heart couldn’t be contained. She had to see Jesus, had to express her gratitude.

In her arms, she carried an alabaster jar filled with perfume. She pushed her way through the crowd that had gathered outside the Pharisee’s home to watch the spectacle.


As she moved toward the guests seated at the tables, she heard the whispers: “What is she doing here? She’s unclean. A sinner. How dare she contaminate a Pharisee’s home this way?”


She spotted Jesus and hurried toward him. Before the other guests could stop her, she knelt at Jesus’s feet. The fragrance of the perfume spread through the room as soon as she removed the stopper. More whispers. “What’s she doing? Whaa—?”

Tears flowed down the woman’s cheeks and onto Jesus’s feet. She loosened her hair and bent low, drying his feet with her hair, then pouring perfume on them, kissing them, and wiping them again.


Simon, the host of the dinner party, was incensed. The woman was a sinner. How he despised her!


Jesus was moved with compassion. The woman was a sinner. How he loved her!


Jesus then offered Simon a chance to repent by telling the story of the two debtors. But Simon’s heart was too hard to recognize his debt and receive the forgiveness Jesus offered. The woman, on the other hand, knew all too well the enormity of her sin and her need for forgiveness. Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven … Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:48, 50).


Wholehearted Devotion

This story convicts me. How often am I more like the Pharisee than the unnamed woman? How often do I stand in judgment, thinking only of someone’s past or unconventional worship style? How often do I honor Jesus with a public display of affection like Simon’s dinner party but not with wholehearted devotion like the woman’s humble act?


Jesus told Simon, “He who has been forgiven little loves little.” Do you see yourself as one who has been forgiven much or forgiven little?

“Oh, Lord, help us be more fully aware of our need for your mercy and grace. And may that awareness make us more devoted to you and more compassionate to others. Amen.”


Next Step: Read Luke 7:36–50. Ask the Lord to reveal to you ways that you can be less like Simon and more like the unnamed woman.


For more inspiration and encouragement visit Denise Loock at

Denise Loock

Author Denise Loock

Denise Loock is the author of two devotional books that highlight the scriptural truths of classic hymns and gospel songs, Open Your Hymnal and Open Your Hymnal Again. She is the founder of Dig Deeper Devotions, a website that encourages Christians of all ages to dig deeper into the Word of God. She also speaks at conference centers, luncheons, and retreats.

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