Do you recall Luke’s story of Jesus eating with Simon the Pharisee, no doubt a wealthy, respected, and morally upright man (7:36 ff)? During dinner, which was likely observed by an envious cadre of who’s who and religious leaders, a prostitute entered the room. The atmosphere was heavy anticipating what would happen next. Would Simon throw the woman out? What would Christ do?
Humiliated by her shame and many failures, this woman of the night anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume and her own tears. In a normally sensuous act, she let her hair down and used it as a towel to dry Christ’s feet. Her humiliation left her vulnerable.
In this dining room surrounded by the powerful and the religious, the abject humiliation of this woman’s immorality is contrasted against the noteworthy morality of Simon and the absolute morality of Christ. Simon reclines coolly waiting and thinking, If Jesus is really the Christ, he will recognize this woman is a whore and distance himself.
As the woman continues, Jesus says, “Simon, there were two debtors. One owed a vast sum and one a pittance, but neither was able to repay their lender. So the lender forgave both men of their debt. Which of the two men will love the lender more?”