The Hooker, The Hypocrite, and the Holy One
The Holy of holies, Jesus Christ Himself, has been invited to a feast at a prominent Pharisee’s place. The Pharisee doesn’t truly love God; he only invited Him to prove Him a fraud. Together they take their seats and ready themselves to eat. Their eyes are locked. The Pharisee is trying to test God’s thoughts while God already knows his.
In walks a woman, a wanton woman, the kind of woman one pays for pleasure, a woman who prostitutes to put potatoes on her plate. She seems weary, this woman, and her tear-stained cheeks show what a woeful state she is in. She approaches Jesus and drops to her knees. She thinks this is the Messiah—I am sure of it…maybe He will forgive me…maybe there is still hope…maybe…just maybe… Then she begins to sob…baby tears at first that turn into outright bawling. Her mascara is running. She wipes her face; now her makeup is a mess, too. The truth of her tears washes over God’s tender toes, and the dirt and grime of God’s doings that day smear as much as that hooker’s makeup.
God doesn’t seem to mind. He looks touched by her tenderness. He gulps, as if choking back a tear. He sits astride in his chair as she takes her well-coiffed hair and begins wiping his dirty, dingy feet with it, kissing them, cuddling them, as though they are highly coveted and jewel-encrusted. Yes, those same lips she uses to kiss passionately with lustful customers for cash, she is now using to kiss compassionately the Man she knew in her heart was her Maker—the Messiah.
The dirt of God’s filthy feet clung to her delicate hair until it became dishevelled, matted, stringy. Until it became as unkempt as her makeup now was. And still she kept kissing those precious feet of His as if she was in the limbo of a desert and they were life-giving water. She whispered. She wept. She repented at His feet.
And what she did next was nearly unbelievable. She broke open an expensive alabaster jar of pricey perfume and poured the lot of it over those precious feet of His until the whole room reeked like the bathroom of a brothel. By this time, the Pharisee was fuming, but his manner belied the fact. He kept silent, thinking, if this so-called holy man knew what kind of woman this is who was kissing his feet, he’d have slapped her silly, so to speak.
Yes, this wanton woman anointed God’s feet with oil. No strings attached. No recompense required. Just a show of repentance for her many, many sins. She may have earned the pennies to purchase that pricey perfume by plying her trade as a prostitute, but Christ didn’t seem to mind. What came to His mind was that here was a sinner, who knew she was a sinner, and who was sorry she was a sinner. What also came to our Maker’s mind was appreciation for her gesture of goodwill, her gesture of good tidings, her gesture of gratitude. Overwhelming gratitude. Now His eyes were brimming over, too. No, this heavy-hearted harlot did not go unnoticed, unappreciated, or unreciprocated by the King of kings who was garbed in carpenter’s clothing.
By this time, the Pharisee was livid.
So, Jesus said to the him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
“Oh, and what’s that?” said Simon as if he cared.
“There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed 500 denarii, and the other 50. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more" (Luke 7:41,42)? Jesus waited with baited breath, although He already knew what Simon would say.
“I suppose the one whom he forgave more,” Simon said in a world-weary way (v. 43).
Then Jesus said, “When I entered your home, you offered me no water to wash my feet. Yet this sobbing sinner hasn’t ceased to wash my feet with her tears and her hair. “Moreover,” Jesus informed him, “You avoided anointing my head with oil, yet this hooker…this harlot has poured the proceeds of her profession, probably every penny she’s earned this month upon my poor, aching feet” (vv. 44-46)
“So…?” Simon sighed as he examined his fingernails.
I can picture Jesus patting the hooker’s hair, perhaps lovingly twining a few unkempt strands between His holy fingers. She arises, stands before Him, eyes downcast, too ashamed of herself to dare to look face to face upon the Messiah. She is still gently weeping, her breath still hitching. Jesus is now weeping with her.
And to Simon, He says, “Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little” (v. 47).
And I can almost hear our Savior say to that soulful, sad, and sin-sick girl, His voice trembling, “Your sins are forgiven…Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (v. 50). After that, I can just imagine...
Jesus told the hypocritical hooligan in so many words, “I’ll take a rain check on dinner, dude. My soul is already satisfied with meat you refuse to eat.”
With that, the Holy One and the hooker, hand in hand, strode out of the Pharisee’s home, crossed the threshold and entered back into the land of the living, leaving the spiritually dead behind, buried in his coffin of self-righteousness and pride. He’d blown it. Big time. He had been given the chance to get right with God, but he took his chances and chose his own self-righteousness. All he gave to God was an insincere nod.
And the hooker?
Well, she felt real swell. Instead of Jesus condemning her, He’d befriended her instead. And she never got over the day she was saved. Never stopped telling people about the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Never forgot the day she met the Savior and got the chance to say she was sorry.
Jesus never forgot about it either. For He had the whole episode recorded in His diary—the Bible.
All Scriptural references taken from the NKJV Bible, 1985.