The image of the woman with the alabaster jar is well known. To many, it's so familiar that we can play the scene out in our minds. We see Jesus lovingly looking down at the woman weeping at his feet. We can smell the scent of her perfume filling the room. We can also see the onlookers assessing her character, her morals, her worth as she expresses her love for her Saviour.
We hear Simon's words:
"If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She's a sinner!"
Jesus knew exactly who was touching him, but he also knew exactly who was challenging him as well. He knew Simon's heart of superiority. There was no denying the women's awareness that she needed a Saviour. Simon watched on, the Pharisee, the ruler keeper, and could not see his need for forgiveness. Simon's actions prompted Jesus to tell the parable that forms the basis for session three of Storyline.
41 Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”
43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”
“That’s right,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”
50 And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Jesus pointed out the discrepancy in the way he had been treated by the woman compared to his host. The woman wept over the mistakes she had made, she owned them and brought them to the feet of Jesus. She experienced the freedom of God's grace by fully acknowledging her need for forgiveness. Simon was too focused on the failures of others to recognise his own need for a Saviour.
Blot challenges us to dig deeper into the themes of grace and forgiveness.
"And you know, when you've experienced grace and you feel like you've been forgiven, you're a lot more forgiving of other people. You're a lot more gracious to others."