Shadow of Reputation
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner...so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping.
Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. ~
Woman with an Alabaster Jar
I could hardly believe it when heard he was having dinner so nearby. He was traveling from place to place, speaking to the crowds, but I could never get close. There’s no way they would have let me pass through. They mock me for my reputation. They act disgusted by me, but they come knocking in the night to mop up their needs. But I’m not here to tell you about them. It’s him - Jesus - he’s the one I can’t stop talking about.
When I managed to get into the house I just ran to him and fell to the ground at his feet. I couldn’t stop the tears as streamed from my eyes, spilling over my cheeks onto his toes. There was nothing to dry them off, so I picked my hair up out of the dirt and dragged it over the wetness. There are simply no words for the love that radiates from him. It is deeper and wider and warmer than anything I have ever felt or known. Simon, the Pharisee, told him who I was. He didn’t use my name. He just mumbled something under his breath saying, if Jesus were a true prophet, he would know better than to let a “woman like that” touch him.
I didn’t care that he was talking badly about me, but his snarky attempt to discredit Jesus was almost more than I could bear. But Jesus didn’t try to defend himself; instead he defended me. For the first time in my life, someone defended me. “Simon,” he said, “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then he turned to me, looked me right in the eyes, and forgave me. I never knew love could be so powerful and so pure.
Has your reputation ever been damaged due to something you did or were accused of doing?
We all have secrets. If your secrets were all exposed, would there be people who would be shocked by your intentional behavior or mistakes?
Has there ever been someone in your life who has accepted you just the way you are, regardless of your flaws and past mistakes? If so, how did it make you feel? If not, do you wish someone would?
Jesus wants to treat you just like he treated the woman in this story. He already knows all your secrets and he longs to forgive you - completely! You only need to ask.
Jesus, come into my heart today and make your home there. Please accept me as I am, but forgive me for the things I've done wrong and give me a second chance. Help me learn how to live in the light of your forgiveness and love.
If you sincerely prayed this prayer and want to talk more about it, please email Pastor Vicki.