A Sinful Woman Anoints Jesus Part #3
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
After that, Jesus directed his comments to the woman, who now stood before Him, “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” He said it, to a certain extent, on account of the Pharisee, to let him know that He knew this woman, what she was now and had been; that she had been a great sinner, but she was now forgiven, and therefore she should not be shunned and avoided. He said it partly on the woman’s account, so that she might have a new discovery of the forgiveness of her sins, and so that her faith might be made stronger. And He also said it on his own account, to show that He was not only a prophet, but that He was also God, whose right it is to forgive sin.
The other guests had observed the actions of the woman, and had heard the conversation between Jesus and Simon, therefore we read, “And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?” Their lack of knowledge of Him, who He was and His purpose in coming, made them question Him in their minds and they thought, “This so-called prophet is not content to just defy the traditions of the elders, by permitting a sinful woman to touch him, but now he takes upon Himself, something that only God can do, to forgive sins.” This offended them, and they were filled with indignation toward Him, for what they believed was wicked and blasphemy.
But Jesus knowing their thoughts, refused to answer them, “And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” This intense episode teaches some very great truths:
1. Even though there are different degrees of guilt, one thing that is common to all men and all women is the inability to atone for sin. Jesus has already atoned, or in other wards He has paid for our debt of sin, but the Bible says that we must do something-It says that we must believe in Jesus, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned.” (John 3:16-18)
2. That Christ is the Great Creditor to whom all debt, whether great or small, is owed, and to Him alone belongs the right and power to forgive sin.
3. That there are those who have certain respectability, and so they do not display obvious sins that are condemned by the public, and they are not aware of their sin and need for forgiveness.
4. That those who have wandered far enough from common decency to have received the world’s disapproval, appreciate most fully the goodness of God in forgiving them, and for that reason are moved to greater expressions of thankfulness and love, than are given by the self-righteous.
But we must not draw the conclusion that sin gives rise to love, and that, for that reason, sin is a good thing. The blessing of salvation that we ask for from God is not proportional to the quantity of our sins, but it is proportional to the quantity of how aware we are of our sinfulness. We all have sin enough to destroy our souls, but many of us fail to love God as we should, because we have an insufficient awareness of our sinfulness.
All those who admit that they are sinners, and confess their sin, and turn to Christ in faith and love, are received into the family of God. Those who know that their faith has saved them may go in peace, may go on their way rejoicing, as this woman was to do.