One of the Pharisees asked [Jesus] to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:36-39)
In fact, Jesus knew exactly “what sort of woman” she was.
In her brokenness and desperation, she was the sort of woman who was willing to enter a potentially hostile environment because a moment with Jesus would be worth more than the shame from those who would look down on her.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she was the sort of woman who was willing to make a sacrifice.
She had a reputation, clearly, but she was the sort of woman who was willing to humble herself. Perhaps, as she stood behind Jesus–at his feet–she whispered the words she had heard him say. “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
She was the sort of woman who was willing to weep over the mess she had made and her utter unworthiness to have even a second of his holy attention. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
She was the sort of woman who wanted to honor Jesus. Almost certainly she didn’t have a house like this house that belonged to the Pharisee. But she did have her tears, the hair of her head, and a window of opportunity to kiss his feet and anoint him. “Blessed are the meek.”
She was the sort of woman who had racked up a debt she could never repay. She was a woman of the city. A sinner. And in that moment, Jesus knew exactly “what sort of woman” she was.
She was the sort of woman who loved him, the sort of woman who had faith in him.
So she was the sort of woman who heard him say, to her, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” She was the sort of woman who was able to leave that Pharisee’s house a different sort of woman. Welcomed. Recognized. Valued. Redirected. With hope. Full of joy. At peace.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Be “that sort of woman” today.