INTRO: This poem tells the story of the unnamed woman’s extravagant action in pouring a whole jar of expensive perfumed oil over Jesus’ head dripping down to His feet found in Luke 7:36-50. Some commentaries say it was Mary Magdalene, some say, Mary, sister of Martha and Lazareth. I am leaving her nameless because the Bible does for a reason. The significance of what this woman does is the focus of the story. In Mark 14:1-11, this story of loving devotion to Jesus appears between two stories of hatred toward Jesus. This story tells of her love and devotion to Jesus and Jesus showing mercy and grace toward her. And again, Jesus stands up and protects a woman from the scoffs and criticism of the men. Beverley Joy
Simon, a church leader invited Jesus for dinner
Several men and Jesus sat down to eat
A woman of ill repute came into the house
Braving the scoffing, the whispers, and the risk of being thrown out.
She held a beautiful jar of expensive perfume
She poured some over Jesus’ head
Then she knelt behind him at his feet and wept
Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair
Then she kept kissing his feet and smoothing on perfume.
When the church leader saw this, he thought to himself
“A prophet would know this woman was a sinner.
And He would not allow her to disturb us or touch him.
Though poor, Jesus didn’t live in a world of scarcity
For he lived in his heavenly Father’s abundance and love
To pour expensive balming oil over him was not a waste
Though the men present thought so, Jesus did not think so.
“Simon, Jesus said “A man loaned money to two people
$500 to one and $50 to the other
Neither of them could repay him
So he cancelled their debts and forgave them.”
Jesus asked, “Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”
Simon replied, “The one who owed him the larger debt.”
“That’s right,” Jesus said. “Look at this woman kneeling here.”
“You didn’t wash the dust from my feet or greet me with a welcome kiss
But with her tears, she has washed and kissed and wiped my feet with her hair
You didn’t show me hospitality by anointing my head with oil
But she has anointed my head and feet with rare expensive perfume.”
The dinner guests criticised the monetary value
And her choice of how to use the perfume
The men missed the simple beauty of her gesture
“Leave her alone, Jesus said “She’s done a beautiful thing.”
“Her many sins have been forgiven
So she has shown me a lot of love
But a person who is forgiven for but a few sins
Will show me only a little love.”
A gift may be considered a waste of money
But they are never a waste of affection
Jesus responded to his follower’s love and devotion
By calling these people his friends.
Beverley Joy © 2021 of Simply Story Poetry. All Rights Reserved.
References: Power and Passion Six characters in search of resurrection © 2007 Samuel Wells. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Women of the Bible 2007 Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan
All the women of the Bible Herbert Lockyer 1967 Zondervan