Martin Luther King Jr. often gave this advice, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” For the woman in today’s narrative, her first step must have seemed like a giant leap. The Pharisees referred to her as a “sinner,” and so it was likely that she was one of the town’s known prostitutes (vv. 37, 39).
While she may have felt unwelcome in this gathering of the religious elites and Jesus, she did not let a lack of an invitation stop her. Nothing could prevent her from worshiping at the feet of Jesus. For most of her life, she had found her value from men who took advantage of her, using and abusing her. But now, perhaps for the first time ever, she found someone who showed her that she was valuable to God. Our text doesn’t record a word she says, but her actions speak volumes (vv. 37, 38).
The appearance and bold actions of this woman frustrated Simon the Pharisee. However, Jesus used the situation as a teaching moment for both Simon and the woman—and for us. He clearly demonstrated that all people are valuable to God. Therefore, our lives ought to be an outpouring of appreciation and service to Jesus (vv. 44–47) because only He is able to forgive us our sins (v. 48).
Regardless of your past, Jesus has the power to forgive you. We are all sinners saved by grace. The apostle Paul even says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (1 Tim. 1:15). We are all in need of forgiveness and to be reminded that we are valuable to God.
>> Where do you put your value and self-worth? Next time you look in the mirror, remind yourself that you are looking at someone who is valuable to God.
Our value is not from ourselves or from anything we do or don’t do. Our worth is from you, O God. Thank you that we are your creation, your children, and the blessed recipients of your unconditional love.