The day had been long and hot. Jesus and his followers were feeling weary. Dust covered their feet and clothing. Simon the Pharisee had invited them to his house for a meal. He had also invited several other guests.
Layla was feeling pretty awful. The previous evening had been busy. She hated her lifestyle, but what else could she do. Money was short, food was scarce and she needed to eat. She had heard talk that Jesus was in town. Her situation was pretty desperate!
Looking into her cupboard she saw the jar of her favourite perfume. She opened it allowing the fragrance to fill the room.
Looking into the mirror she knew she had to do something drastic. Her once beautiful face was lined; eyes that once sparkled with mischief dull and lifeless.
"How did I allow this to happen?" she questioned. "Would Jesus reject me too?" She wondered as tears fell.
Arriving at Simon's house Jesus and his disciples were rather surprised at the casual greeting. No one offered to wash their tired, dirty feet. Simon already seated called them over waving a jug of his best wine.
"Come sit here alongside me. We are waiting for a few others then we shall begin our feast." Pushing one or two out of the way he made place for Jesus alongside himself.
"Thank you" Jesus smiled as he sat down. Peter, John and the others sat where they could. Simon was proud of the position he held in the town. He had given orders that only the best meal be served with good quality wine.
He stood up to pour Jesus a drink when there was a terrible commotion. He looked up in disbelief as Layla made her way into the room. For a moment he was quite speechless!
"What do you think you are doing? Can you not see that I have guests?" he shouted.
His servants tried to push her out, but with a strength she even was unaware she had, she pushed them aside.
Seeing Jesus she threw herself at his feet. Sobbing she washed his feet with her tears, gently she dried them with her hair. They all watched in disbelief as she took a jar of fragrance out her pocket, opening it she poured it over his feet, the fragrance filled the room.
Lovingly she massaged them.
"I wonder what Jesus would do if he knew who she was?" Simon and his cronies were thinking, he was about to enlighten Jesus, when Jesus bent forward. He lifted up her face, as she gazed into his compassionate eyes, she was filled with joy.
"Turning to Simon, Jesus said, "Simon I have something to say to you." So he said, "Teacher, say it"
"There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii', and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell me therefore which of them will love him more?"
Simon answered, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more."
"You have rightly judged," Jesus said.
He turned to the woman saying to Simon. "See this woman? I entered you house; you gave Me no water for my feet, but she washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say unto you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to who little is given, the same loves little."
Lifting her gently to her feet, He said "Go in peace your sins are forgiven." Luke 7 vs 36-38 slightly paraphrased.
"Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature's night:
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light:
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee."
And can it Be. Charles Wesley.
I live in East London, South Africa. Have three grown-up daughters. I love to write. Have been involved in christian couselling. My other intersts are my animals,my garden, reading and I look after those in our body who need help. I plan to publish a devotional this year.
(c) Norma Hough 2008