Love Poured Out

Jesus receives an invitation from one of the religious leaders to have dinner at his home. And Jesus accepts the invitation, as you can read in Luke 7:36

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so He went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.


You may wonder why this man asks Jesus to come to his home. Is it perhaps because secretly he wants to become a follower of Jesus? Let’s read Luke 7:37-38 to see what happens during that dinner                                                         

When a woman who had lived a sinful lifestyle in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears.

Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.


The news that Jesus is eating at the home of the religious leader gets spread throughout the town. One of the inhabitants of the town is a woman, who, as Luke describes it, has lived a sinful lifestyle. This very likely means that she has worked as a prostitute. She too learns that Jesus is at the home of the religious leader. No doubt, she has heard of Jesus’ kindness though she, very likely, has never met Him in person as yet. And she decides her moment to meet Him has come. She takes the bold step of going to the home of the religious leader so that she can see Jesus face to face. However, she does not want to go empty-handed so she takes with her an alabaster jar of perfume, which will have been very precious to her. She manages to enter the home of the religious leader and, as soon as she spots Jesus at the table, she goes to His seat. No longer being able to control her deep- felt emotions at the sight of Him, she begins to weep. Her tears fall on His feet. Not having a towel available to dry His feet with, she loosens her hair and uses them to dry His feet with. No respectable Jewish woman will ever loosen her hair in public, but this woman is not interested in her personal dignity. All she wants to do is to show her love to  this Man named Jesus. And Jesus allows her to minister to Him in the way that she desires to. He does not send her away. Perhaps that is because He does not know what kind of woman she is, or does He know..?

The religious leader has that question in his mind as well, as you can read in Luke 7:39

When the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know who is touching Him and what kind of woman she is – that she is a sinner.


Outwardly the religious leader is very polite to Jesus, making no comment what so ever on what the woman is doing. However, inwardly, he is very critical of Jesus and decides that Jesus cannot possibly be a prophet since he does not even recognise what kind of woman touches Him. But Jesus is a Prophet and is, in fact, much more than a Prophet, and knowing what the religious leader thinks, He begins to speak to him, as you can read in Luke 7:40-42

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me teacher,” he said. “Two men owed money to a money-lender. One owed him five hundred dinarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back. So he cancelled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”


Jesus addresses the religious leader by telling him a story about two people who have to pay a debt which neither of them can pay off. Jesus follows His story up by asking Simon, which is the name of the religious leader, a question related to the story. And Simon, having to be polite, reluctantly answers him, as you can read in Luke 7:43                                               Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt cancelled.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.


The time for telling the truth as it really is has come, so Jesus begins to compare the actions of the woman with the actions of the religious leader, as you can read in Luke 7:44-47

Then He turned towards the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give Me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing My feet. You did not put oil on My head, but she has poured perfume on My feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”


Jesus shows the religious leader that he considers himself a person who has little or no sin in his life and therefore does not need to be forgiven much. This causes him to have little or no love for Jesus for he has not shown Him any care or kindness when Jesus entered his home, since he never even bothered to have Jesus’ feet washed when He entered his home, which was a service offered to anyone considered an honoured guest. Neither had he kissed Jesus to welcome Him in his home or poured oil on his head. But the woman knows that she is a great sinner and in need of much forgiveness. This causes her to have a great love for Jesus as is shown in her many kind acts towards Him. For she knows that all the religious leaders, including the religious leader in whose home she is now, have already judged her for her sins. However, she knows as well that Jesus is different. He is her only hope to find forgiveness for her many sins. And her hope is fulfilled, as you can read in Luke 7:48-49

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”


Jesus turns to the woman and speaks to her the words she has been longing to hear: that her sins are forgiven. She understands that she is now able to go in peace, knowing that she has been set free and no longer needs to walk in the bondages of the past. Others around the table are not so sure as to what they have just witnessed. To them Jesus is just a man and how can a man claim to be able to forgive sins? No doubt, many who are present at that table that evening will have gone home with questions on their mind. Will they eventually have discovered the truth about Jesus? Only God knows….

This story reminds me of another story where another woman pours perfume over the feet of Jesus. You can find it in John 12. Let’s begin reading John 12:1-2                                           Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honour. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with Him.


The dinner mentioned in this story is held at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus and takes place a few days before Jesus’ crucifixion.

Martha has been cooking a wonderful meal and she has begun to serve the meal. She is looking for her sister Mary to help her with the serving of the food but Mary is nowhere to be seen. Where has Mary gone? She always seems to be doing other things when she is needed in the kitchen. For instance there was a time when she, Martha, was busy in the kitchen and Mary completely forgot to help her because she was listening to Jesus. Luke tells us this story in Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me.” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”


Remembering that event, Martha decides that perhaps Mary is doing something Jesus has specially asked her to do, so she better not get upset with her. In a way Martha is right for Mary is doing something special for Jesus even though Jesus has not specifically asked her to do so. Let’s read on to see what Mary is doing in John 12:3

Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.


While Martha is busy serving the dinner, Mary goes to her bedroom and goes to her secret shelf to fetch something she has kept all these years; a bottle of special perfume. This perfume represents her life’s savings and may well be all that she has as far as any financial security for herself. But today she has come to the decision that this perfume is not to be saved up for the day that she may be in financial need. No, it is to be used for the One who has met her eternal needs by giving her eternal security. So with the perfume in her hand she returns to the room where the dinner is being held, walks up to Jesus and without saying a word, she opens the bottle and pours the perfume over His feet. She then loosens her hair and wipes His feet with her hair. For a moment everyone around the table will have been in such a shock over what they see happening in front of their eyes that they dare not speak. It is too much to take in for they realise that Mary is throwing away her life’s savings. Such extravagance. It is good to show care and love for Jesus. But to give away her life savings might just be a little too much of a good thing. And then to loosen her hair in public! Mary ought to know that a proper Jewish woman never loosens her hair in public. It is simply not the proper thing to do. One of them expresses this thinking in words, as you can read in John 12:4-8

But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray Him, objected, ”Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. “Leave her alone, “Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of My burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me.”


Judas Iscariot speaks up. He is indignant by what has happened. After all, this perfume is worth a lot of money, which has now been wasted. But Jesus, knowing that he does not really care about the poor anyway, rebukes him for his words. He then discloses Mary’s reason for pouring perfume over His feet. For Mary has sat at the feet of Jesus and has learned from Jesus that the reason for His coming to earth is to be crucified. She knows the time of His death is near and has anointed Him for that moment.

These two stories of two different women pouring perfume over the feet of Jesus help us to see that Jesus cared deeply about both of them by receiving their ministry to Him.

One of the women, as we know, was considered a sinful woman. Yet, Jesus did not reject her. Instead He accepted her and her ministry to Him as a way to express her love for Him. He knew she was repentant of her sinful lifestyle so He forgave her of all her sins and enabled her to begin a new life empowered by Him.

The other woman was Mary. She was a disciple of His and had great understanding of who He was and what He had come to earth for because she had spent much time sitting at His feet. He received her ministry to Him because He knew by pouring perfume over His feet she was not only showing Him her love and devotion, she was in fact preparing Him for His death and burial.

Like these two women, Jesus welcomes your ministry of love and devotion to Him because you matter to Him as much as these two women did. Of course, you cannot physically pour perfume over the feet of Jesus as these two women did because Jesus is not physically with you. But you can show Him your love and devotion by giving Him your time when you read the Word of God or pray as well as when you share your faith with others or when you serve Him in other ways that He has shown you. And you too will sense His love for you and His approval of you as these two women did.

QUESTIONS

Question 1: From whom does Jesus receive an invitation to have dinner at his home?

Question 2: Does Jesus accept the invitation?

Question 3a: According to Luke 7:36, who invited Jesus to have dinner with him?

Question 3b: According to Luke 7:36, where did Jesus go?

Question 4: Why do you think this Pharisee asks Jesus to come to his home?

Question 5a: According to Luke 7:37-38, who learned that Jesus was eating at the                                     Pharisee’s house?

Question 5b: According to Luke 7:37-38, what did the woman who had lived a sinful                       lifestyle bring with her?

Question 5c: According to Luke 7:37-38, who did the woman who had lived a sinful                      lifestyle stand behind?

Question 5d: According to Luke 7:37-38, what did the woman who had lived a sinful                      lifestyle do when she stood behind Jesus?

Question 5e: According to Luke 7:37-38, who began to wet the feet of Jesus?

Question 5f: According to Luke 7:37-38, what did the women who had lived a sinful                     lifestyle use to wipe Jesus’ feet with?

Question 5g: According to Luke 7:37-38, what did the woman who had lived a sinful                      lifestyle do next?

Question 6: What news is spreading throughout the town?

Question 7: Who is one of the inhabitants of the town?

Question 8: What does this very likely mean?

Question 9: What has the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle learned?

Question 10: Has the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle heard of Jesus’ kindness?

Question 11: Has the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle met Jesus in person?

Question 12: What does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle decide?

Question 13: What bold step does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle take?

Question 14: What does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle take with her?

Question 15: Will the alabaster jar of perfume have been precious to the woman who has                            lived a sinful lifestyle?

Question 16: Whose home does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle enter?

Question 17: To which seat does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle go?

Question 18: What does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle do when she sees                      Jesus?

Question 19: Why does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle weep when she sees                                 Jesus?

Question 20: What happens when the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle begins to                                   weep?

Question 21: What does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle use to dry Jesus’ feet                           with?

Question 22: Does any respectable Jewish woman ever loosen her hair in public?

Question 23: Is the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle interested in her personal                      dignity?

Question 24: What does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle do?

Question 25: What does Jesus allow the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle to do?

Question 26: Does Jesus know what kind of woman the woman who has lived a sinful                                   lifestyle is?

Question 27a: According to Luke 7:39, what did the Pharisee who had invited Jesus say                        to himself?

Question 27b: According to Luke 7:39, why did the Pharisee who had invited Jesus                          question within himself if Jesus was a Prophet?

Question 28: Is the religious leader very polite to Jesus?

Question 29: What does the religious leader decide inwardly?

Question 30: Why does the religious leader think that Jesus cannot be a Prophet?

Question 31: Is Jesus a Prophet?

Question 32: Does Jesus know what the religious leader thinks?

Question 33a: According to Luke 7:40-42, what did Jesus say to the Pharisee Simon?

Question 33b: According to Luke 7:40-42, what did the Pharisee Simon call Jesus?

Question 33c: According to Luke 7:40-42, what did Jesus begin to tell the Pharisee                        Simon?

Question 33d: According to Luke 7:40-42, what was the amount of money one of the                        men owe the money lender?

Question 33e: According to Luke 7:40-42, how much money did the other man owe the                        money lender?

Question 33f: According to Luke 7:40-42, were the two men able to pay back the money                        lender?

Question 33g: According to Luke 7:40-42, what did the money lender do?

Question 33h: According to Luke 7:40-42, what question did Jesus ask the Pharisee                        Simon?

Question 34: How does Jesus address the religious leader?

Question 35: What is the story about that Jesus tells the religious leader?

Question 36: What does Jesus do next?

Question 37: Does the religious leader Simon answer Jesus?

Question 38a: According to Luke 7:43, how did the Pharisee Simon answer Jesus?

Question 38b: According to Luke 7:43, what did Jesus reply to the Pharisee Simon?

Question 39: Has the time come for telling the truth as it really is?

Question 40: What does Jesus begin to do?

Question 41a: According to Luke 7:44-47, what did Jesus say to the Pharisee Simon?

Question 41b: According to Luke 7:44-47, what did Jesus say to the Pharisee Simon the                        woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle has done?

Question 41c: According to Luke 7:44-47, what else did Jesus say to the Pharisee Simon?

Question 41d: According to Luke 7:44-47, what did Jesus share with the Pharisee Simon                        the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle has done for Him?

Question 41e: According to Luke 7:44-47, what did Jesus say next to the Pharisee Simon?

Question 41f: According to Luke 7:44-47, what more did Jesus say to the Pharisee Simon                       in relation to the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle?

Question 41g: According to Luke 7:44-47, what final statement did Jesus make to the                        Pharisee Simon?

Question 42: What does Jesus show the religious leader Simon?

Question 43: In what way does the religious leader Simon show that he has little love for                      Jesus?

Question 44: What did the religious leader Simon not bother to do for Jesus?

Question 45: Was foot washing a service offered to anyone who entered a home?

Question 46: What else had the religious leader Simon not done for Jesus when He                      entered his home?

Question 47: Does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle know that she is a great                      sinner?

Question 48: Why does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle have a great love for                      Jesus?

Question 49: How has the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle show her love for                      Jesus?

Question 50: What does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle know about all the                      religious leaders, including the religious leader in whose home she is now?

Question 51: What does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle know about Jesus?

Question 52:  Who is the only hope for the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle to find                       forgiveness for her many sins?

Question 53a: According to Luke 7:48-49, what did Jesus say to the woman who has                        lived a sinful lifestyle?

Question 53b: According to Luke 7:48-49, who began to talk among themselves?

Question 53c: According to Luke 7:48-49, what did the other guests in the house of the                        Pharisee Simon say among themselves?

Question 53d: According to Luke 7:48-49, what were Jesus’ final words to the woman                        who has lived a sinful lifestyle?

Question 54: What does Jesus say to the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle?

Question 55: What are the words the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle hears?

Question 56: What does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle understand?

Question 57: What does the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle know?

Question 58: Are others around the table at the home of the religious leader Simon sure                      what they have just witnessed?

Question 59: Who is Jesus to the others around the table at the home of the religious                       leader Simon?

Question 60: What will the others around the table at the home of the religious leader                       Simon wonder about Jesus?

Question 61: Will many who are present at the table in the home of the religious leader                       Simon have gone home with questions on their mind about Jesus?

Question 62: Who will know if the others who are present at the table in the home of the                       religious leader Simon eventually have discovered the truth about Jesus?

Question 63: What does the story of the woman who has lived a sinful lifestyle remind                       me of?

Question 64a: According to John 12:1-2, where did Jesus arrive?

Question 64b: According to John 12:1-2, when did Jesus arrive at Bethany?

Question 64c: According to John 12:1-2, who lived at Bethany?

Question 64d: According to John 12:1-2, what was given at the home of Lazarus?

Question 64e: According to John 12:1-2, who was serving the food at the dinner given in                     Jesus’ honour?

Question 64f: According to John 12:1-2, who was reclining at the table with Jesus?

Question 65: Where is the dinner mentioned in this story held?

Question 66: When does this dinner that is held at the home of Martha, Mary and                          Lazarus take place?

Question 67: Who has been cooking a wonderful meal for the dinner that takes place at                       the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus?

Question 68: Who is Martha looking for to help her with the serving of the food?

Question 69: Does Martha know where Mary has gone?

Question 70: Does Mary always seem to be doing other things when she is needed in the                      kitchen?

Question 71: Was there a time when Martha was busy in the kitchen and Mary                               completely forgot to help her?

Question 72a: According to Luke 10:38-42, where did Jesus and His disciples come to?

Question 72b: According to Luke 10:38-42, what is the name of Martha sister?

Question 72c: According to Luke 10:38-42, what did Martha’s sister, Mary do?

Question 72d: According to Luke 10:38-42, what happened to Martha?

Question 72e: According to Luke 10:38-42, to whom did Martha turn for help?

Question 72f: According to Luke 10:38-42, what did Martha ask Jesus to do for her?

Question 72g: According to Luke 10:38-42, what did Jesus say to Martha?

Question 72h: According to Luke 10:38-42, has Mary chosen what is better?

Question 73: Does Martha decide that she better not get upset with her sister Mary?

Question 74: Is Martha right in a way?

Question 75a: According to John 12:3, what did Martha’s sister, Mary, take?

Question 75b: According to John 12:3, what did Martha’s sister, Mary, do with the                           perfume?

Question 75c: According to John 12:3, what did Martha’s sister, Mary, wipe Jesus’ feet                        with?

Question 75d: According to John 12:3, what happened to the house of Lazarus, Martha                         and Mary?

Question 76: Who goes to her bedroom while Martha is busy serving dinner?

Question 77: Why does Martha’s sister, Mary, go to her bedroom?

Question 78: What has Martha’s sister, Mary, kept all these years?

Question 79: What does this bottle of special perfume represent for Martha’s sister,                      Mary?

Question 80: Is it possible that this bottle of special perfume is all that Martha’s sister,                      Mary, has, as far as any financial security for herself?

Question 81: What decision has Martha’s sister, Mary, come to?

Question 82: According to Martha’s sister, Mary, who is this perfume to be used for?

Question 83: To which room does Martha’s sister Mary returns?

Question 84: What does Martha’s sister, Mary, hold in her hand when she returns to the                      room where the dinner is being held?

Question 85: Who does Martha’s sister, Mary, walk up to when she returns to the room                       where the dinner is being held?

Question 86: What does Martha’s sister, Mary, do next after having walked up to Jesus?

Question 87: What does Martha’s sister, Mary, then wipe Jesus’ feet with?

Question 88: What will have been the reaction of everyone around the table?

Question 89: What does everyone realise Martha’ sister,Mary, is doing?.

Question 90: What ought Martha’s sister, Mary, to know?

Question 91: Does one of the people around the table express this thinking in words?

Question 92a: According to John 12:4-8, who objected to Martha’s sister, Mary’s                             actions?

Question 92b: According to John 12:4-8,what is known about Judas Iscariot?

Question 92c: According to John 12:4-8, what did Judas Iscariot say about this perfume                        that Martha’s sister, Mary, had poured on Jesus’ feet?

Question 92d: According to John 12:4-8, how much did Judas Iscariot think this perfume                         that Martha’s sister, Mary, had poured on Jesus’ feet was worth?

Question 92e: According to John 12:4-8, did Judas Iscariot say these things because he                        cared about the poor?

Question 92f: According to John 12:4-8, what did Judas Iscariot do as keeper of the                       money bag?

 Question 92g: According to John 12:4-8, how did Jesus respond to Judas Iscariot’s                            words?

Question 92h: According to John 12:4-8, what did Jesus say to Judas Iscariot in relation to                        the poor?

Question 93: Who speaks up?

Question 94: How does Judas Iscariot feel about what has happened?

Question 95: Why is Judas Iscariot indignant about what has happened?

Question 96: Who rebukes Judas Iscariot for his words?

Question 97: Why does Jesus rebuke Judas Iscariot for his words?

Question 98: What does Jesus say next to Judas Iscariot?

Question 99: Who has sat at Jesus’ feet?

Question 100: What has Mary learned when she sat at His feet?

Question 101: What does Mary know?

Question 102: What has Mary done related to Jesus’ death?

Question 103: Who did Jesus care deeply about?

Question 104: How do we know that Jesus cared deeply about both women who had                        poured perfume over His feet?

Question 105: Who was one of the women who had poured perfume over Jesus’ feet?

Question 106: Did Jesus reject the woman who was considered a sinful woman?

Question 107: In was way did Jesus accept this woman who was considered a sinful                         woman?

Question 108: Why did Jesus forgive the woman who was considered a sinful woman?

Question 109: What did Jesus enable the woman who was considered a sinful woman to                         do?

Question 110: Who was the other woman whom Jesus cared about deeply?

Question 111: Who was Martha’s sister, Mary?

Question 112: Why did Martha’s sister, Mary, know who Jesus why and what He had                        come to earth for?

Question 113: Why did Jesus receive the ministry of Martha’s sister, Mary?

Question 114: Besides showing her love and devotion to Jesus, what was Martha’s sister,                        Mary, doing when she poured perfume over the feet of Jesus?

Question 115: Why does Jesus welcome your ministry of love and devotion to Him?

Question 116: Why can you not physically pour your perfume over the feet of Jesus as                        these two women did?

Question 117: How can you show Jesus your love and devotion?

Question 118: How can you give Him your time?

Question 119: In what other ways can you show Jesus your love and devotion?

Question 120: What will you sense when you give Him your time?

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