The story of the sinful woman has always caught my attention, to go and seek Jesus like so many others because of the stories she had heard about him, her willingness to move in a room full of men where she was not allowed to be near him. I find it striking that unlike people who have approached him previously she comes to pour out her worship on this Rabbi before he has done anything for her; she goes further than Zacchaeus who climbs a tree to investigate, and she doesn’t come with any request or plea.
It has been suggested that Luke’s gospel account is in chronological order to a degree, so it can be suggested that this lady had heard of the healing of the paralytic, or of Levi the tax collector changing his whole life around and Jesus dining with him and other sinner’s like him, or maybe it was the teaching on not judging others that caused this woman to do this outrageous thing. As she let down her hair which was considered an immoral thing to do in the company of men, she washed his feet that were likely covered in mud and dirt from walking. It is a provoking scene that compels the question if she did all this just because of what she had heard and possibly hoped for in Jesus, what is our response to the Messiah who died for our sins and has forever tied us to the Father and to heaven. I wonder if in this story is a key to deconstructing the fear of man. It is likely that as the men dining at the table knew that she was an immoral woman that she had nothing to lose, no pride or self-preservation to hold on too, how freeing that must have been in strange way. I wonder what it is that stops us from outrageously loving him.
I think this story presents us with a challenge but also an answer to breaking off the fear of man and it lies in remembering and surrounding ourselves with who Jesus is and what he has done. Arguably Easter serves as such a power reminder of love in action and as he gave his all to us, how much more should we give our all back to him; to adore him with out of tune singing, with flags or with praying for people struggling, caring for the poor, loving our kids, or giving that prophetic word. Maybe it’s time to stop holding back.