Weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears.
Jesus was invited by a religious leader, a pharisee named Simon, to eat with him. As they sit down to dine together, in comes a woman. Uninvited and unwelcome, a woman seen as sinful and despised in the city invited herself to a dinner party. Her boldness and desperation create an uneasiness and awkwardness because, initially, the host Simon doesn’t tell her to leave. When our debt of sin becomes so great, no one else’s opinion can stop us from being in the presence of Jesus.
News of the love and freedom that Jesus was bringing must have spread around the city, for this woman wastes no time in showing her gratefulness for Him. She is so overwhelmed with emotion in His presence that she begins to weep. She has most likely been used to having to keep her emotions to herself in the presence of men in order to perform a service for them. She was seen as an object of lust for men. She no longer felt human. But in the presence of Jesus she wept—perhaps the first human emotion she’d felt in many years that was beneficial for her and not pretended for someone else's gratification. She weeps so violently that her tears add up to enough water to wash the feet of Jesus.
Sin has no chance in His presence. His grace is so powerful it turns our sins into water to wash His feet. His feet bring such good news because His feet carry His presence. Like the woman, we find ourselves weeping at His feet, thankful He walked into our life. We find ourselves kissing His feet, thankful that His feet did not run away but stayed. Jesus doesn’t flinch at the entrance of this sinful woman. He too doesn’t turn away when you come boldly before His throne of grace.
Sin causes our hearts to become dry arid lands, cracked and thirsty, but His presence is like a river where once again our hearts become fertile land. He rains upon our hearts as we weep before Him. Our hearts become alive again with our tears of repentance. May we weep many tears for things that we have been done to us and things we have done to others—but most of all for our sin that has disconnected us from God. But may we know that in His presence He has the power to turn our sins into the tears that bring new life again to our dry human hearts. He makes our tears human again.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey