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October 18 Today’s Reading: Luke 6-7
“A Woman which was a Sinner”
The great mainspring and driving force of service to Christ is that love and gratitude which arises from a sense of great forgiveness. How I wish I could drive this point home to the hearts of all who attempt to rouse men and women up to live for and serve Christ. The mainspring and driving force of true Christianity, the motive and inspiration for all devotion and service to Christ, that which compels and constrains believers to live in this world for the glory of God is grace experienced, forgiveness known and felt in the very soul of a man, and the deep gratitude to and love for Christ which arises from the experience of God’s free, sovereign, saving grace in our Savior. — Believers are motivated by grace, gratitude, and love, not by the threat of law, the promise of reward, or the hope of recognition (2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 8:9).
Who was this woman?
This woman, who was a sinner, is here held before us in the Book of God as an example for all who would honor Christ to follow. Yet, wisely and graciously, the Holy Spirit tells us absolutely nothing about this woman except these things. — She was a sinner. — She was a sinner who trusted Christ. — She was a forgiven sinner, forgiven of all her sins. — She was a grateful sinner. — She was a sinner who loved Christ much.
What did this woman do?
This saved sinner made it her business to know where the Savior was, and came to Him there. She brought with her an alabaster box of ointment. She came with a sacrifice of faith, with which she sought to honor her Redeemer. She stood in humiliation at the Savior’s feet, behind Him. She wept because she was full of sorrow, knowing that the Lord Jesus must suffer and die upon the cursed tree to put away her sin. She wept with loving gratitude because of His great love for her soul. She washed His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. She tenderly kissed the Savior’s feet, with lips of love, devotion, and adoration. She anointed His feet in faith in anticipation of His death. In a word, as the Lord Jesus Himself put it, she did what she could (Mark 14:3-9). Blessed are they to whom God the Holy Spirit gives such grace!
What was her motive?
Why did this woman do what she did? How can such an act be explained? What would inspire a poor person to make such a great, extravagant (in the eyes of men) sacrifice? She had owed much. She had been forgiven much. And she loved much.
What was the result?
What was the result of this woman’s love for Christ and her devotion and service to Him? She was scorned by Simon the Pharisee, ridiculed by Judas, and misunderstood by her fellow disciples. Few there are who understand devotion, whole-hearted devotion to Christ. But she had not come to Simon’s house to be honored. She had come there to honor God her Savior; and honoring Him, she was honored by Him (1 Samuel 2:30).
This one who honored her Lord was highly honored by her Lord. When she was ridiculed and scorned, the Son of God came to her defense (v. 47). He said, “Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me” (Mark 14:6). The Master assured her, before her judges and slanderers, that He had forgiven her of all her sins. — “Thy sins are forgiven” (v. 48). Then her Savior assured her of her faith and spoke peace to her heart (v. 50).
The only way to inspire consecration and devotion to Christ is to preach Christ. The only way to promote good works is to preach free grace (Titus 3:4-9). The soul that has experienced redemption, forgiveness, and saving grace is inspired by the knowledge of God’s mercy, love, and grace in Christ to love Him and seek His glory. — “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Let all who read this portion of Holy Scripture be reminded and tell sinners everywhere that the Lord Jesus Christ is a great Savior, merciful, gracious, compassionate, and able and ready to save the very chief of sinners.
“Sinners Jesus will receive! — Sound this word of grace to all,
Who the heavenly pathway leave, all who linger all who fall!”
Come, and He will give you rest; trust Him, for His Word is plain;
He will take the sinfulest; Christ receiveth sinful men!