This week my co-leader taught on Luke 7:36-50 – The woman pours oil on Jesus’ feet.
We assume, possibly incorrectly, that this woman was a prostitute. Based on the verses, however, that is a good educated guess. If this is true, then an expensive alabaster jar of perfume would have been likely a “tool of the trade” for this woman. The perfume would have been used to make herself more desirable to would-be clients.
I asked my guys, “Why would this woman have such an expensive bottle of perfume?” I told them to remember who we think she probably is. It was fun to see the lights go on in their minds.
If this is true, the act of pouring this perfume over Jesus’ feet could have been her way of doing 2 things:
1. Showing her immense thankfulness Jesus for forgiving her and not brushing her aside. (Everybody else in town – even her clients – would have avoided her in public.)
2. It would have been a sign of her being done with her old way of life. This was no small action. This was a “no-turning-back” moment for her. It cost her something she couldn’t go out and easily replace… and had committed not to. She was giving the fruit/tool of her sin, all she had to give in the moment, as a sacrifice to Jesus. It would be the equivalent of a drug dealer pouring out his drugs at Jesus’ feet, a food-addicted person laying out a buffet on his feet, or a teen who struggles with anger laying his character at Jesus’ feet
I had my guys close their eyes as I led them through a prayer of confession and breaking their alabaster jars on Jesus’ feet. It was a pretty powerful moment.