“One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and took his place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “What is it, Teacher?” “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
The Bible introduces us to several hundred people. Some we only know by their actions, and others are, for us, simply a name. Typically we only see a very brief moment of their lives and they are defining ones: either good or bad. Most people we meet in Scripture are just everyday people, like you and me, whom God wishes to introduce by way of something they did. God felt it important to share their actions with us. Somehow their faith (or lack of it) was important enough for it to be recorded in God’s word for us to take note of. Luke illustrates this through the actions of two nameless people, a Pharisee and a woman. Jesus was invited to dinner at the Pharisee’s home and the woman appeared when she learned that Jesus was going to be there. The Pharisee silently judged both Jesus and the woman of sin. Note that Jesus answered his thoughts, when he had said not a word. Similarly, the woman did not say anything but her actions showed where her heart was. Everything she did spoke loudly of her love for Jesus, her complete humility before him, and her desire only to serve.
What thoughts and/or actions would sum up your life? How would it read? I find it interesting that regardless of how long a person may have lived, their life may be defined by just one event. How do you want your life to be summed up? Does your life’s current course reflect that outcome? If you were to stand before Christ today what event would he call upon to reflect your life’s purpose?
May our lives be summed up by the following words, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21)