And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Perhaps with timid shame, we could never approach boldly. But with broken hearts desiring mercy, we will still come to Jesus. Perhaps such a strong sense of our own guilt would never allow us to look Him in the eye, but we can still weep at His feet. Maybe we are too overwhelmed by fear or sorrow to even speak, but we can still bring our offering of repentance. Maybe it is just the smallest glimmer of hope that allows us to kiss His feet, not knowing whether we will receive mercy or wrath.
But it is this trembling heart of repentance that Jesus responds to in love. Never could we expect such a thing from other men. The Pharisee had made his judgment and had counted the woman an unworthy and wretched sinner. He perhaps sees a wasted effort, a useless, extravagant display. But Jesus sees in this woman, and in each of us, a broken soul worthy of His time and attention. He sees a weary soul craving for mercy, and He desires to give it. He sees a sinner sorry for her sins, and He longs to grant forgiveness.
The world will treat us with scorn and cast our sins back in our face. It will tell us that we are worthless and that we don’t matter. It will tell us that we are hopeless and unloved. It will magnify our own shame and guilt until it overwhelms us. And it will seek to keep us from Jesus. But He will never cast us away. His heart of love reaches to the most downcast and seeks to restore us and rebuild us. He will share His love with us until we know how beautiful we are to Him, how much we matter to Him, how much He wants us near to Him. He can heal every wound and wash away every speck of dirt and ease every burden.
No matter who we are or where we’ve been or what we’ve done, we can all fall at the feet of Jesus and receive a gift greater than we could ever imagine. No matter what the world thinks of us, He knows our hearts. No matter what overwhelms us, He is more powerful. No matter how shattered we’ve been by sin and its effects, He can make us whole. No matter how unloved or unwanted we feel, we can find acceptance in Him. No matter how we may come to Him, let us only make sure that we do come.