The Unknown Fragrant Worshipper

37 And a woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster jar of fragrant oil 38 and stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, and began to wash His feet with her tears. She wiped His feet with the hair of her head, kissing them and anointing them with the fragrant oil.” Luke 7:37, 38

What kind of loving worship interrupts another’s quiet time to impose itself in the middle of an event? Those who are God seekers could at times appear to be quite rude and intrusive if you really think about it. They seem to throw all decorum out the window. Let me list just a couple in the life of Jesus to show you what I am referring to.

  • Ripping off a roof in the middle of a message to lower a cripple before Jesus. I don’t think the house owner was too thrilled with this arrangement.
  • The woman with the issue of blood hijacks a miracle while Jesus is on his way to meet a desperate need – it was while Jesus attended to the woman that Jarius’ daughter died
  • Blind Bartimeaus crying aloud on the roadside for healing until he got his answer

Each of them speaks to desperation and desire, an absolute need for God to intervene. The majority of these also concern a physical need of one kind or another. The woman before us today though is so extravagant in her worship, not because of a physical miracle but a spiritual miracle. Jesus tells us at the end of the event that those who are forgiven much, love much. This woman was notoriously known and a recognizable sinner. Many attribute her sins to that of a prostitute. Jesus has had an unknown interaction with this sinful woman. In the exchange she has been forgiven and is now free from her former lifestyle. She has been born again, her personal self-image has been healed, she sees herself the way God sees her and her sins are no more. Cleansed, forgiven, justified, and amazed she cannot help but want to worship and praise the one who has set her free. She has lived a life of shame and rejection, fear and intimidation, but now free she is driven by love past decorum and even self-respect to love the Lord who has cleansed her. Jesus readily and gladly accepts her worship. The bible teaches us that the feet of those who bring good news are precious and here we see in living color a demonstration of that truth. She washes and anoints his feet in love and thanksgiving. Though the story highlights the Pharisees failure to discern what truly matters to God, it speaks to you and me and begs the question. Which one are you in the story, are you the Pharisee or the notorious sinner? You have but one choice, when you see someone more extravagant than you in worship, what is your heart response? The radical worshipper that seems overly emotional to you, could it be that they simply love and appreciate their salvation more than you? Have we lost our first love, which is indeed Christ Himself, when we first were saved, was their anything we would not do for Him solely because we loved Him so much for what He had done for us? Has our love waned over the years, are we so well versed in scripture and culture that our heart worship suffers? Would we give a year’s wages to any given ministry? That is virtually in effect what she did in her extravagant gift of love.

It is little wonder that after this has happened three times in the life of Christ that the disciples became somewhat indignant; they saw it as waste and how the money could have benefited their ministry. Jesus saw the heart of worship and thanksgiving and the deeper anointing that was taking place. What are we missing both in the love being given through others and the love that is due our Lord and Savior from us?

 Help me Oh God to listen with my heart and not with my head, loving worship is what You have always desired and that will never change. With all that I am learning and with all the character I learn to walk in, I will never be exempt from worshipful extravagance. Protect me from judging, mentalism and keep my heart in love with You and with everybody, saved and those journeying to salvation. Thank You for the cross, Thank You for Your Blood, Thank You that You came, Thank You for my Salvation, I glory in Your Love for me.