Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | June 14, 2013

Who is she?

Gospel writers Luke and John have something in common; they both tell a story of a sinful woman and neither of these women have names.  Yesterday we met the woman at the well in John’s Gospel. Un-named woman at the well    Today we find Jesus being met at the door by a notoriously “sinful” woman. She may have been a prostitute or adulteress. Rather than defending what was indefensible in her life, she admitted her sin and made a spectacle of herself in a passionate display of love and gratitude, as she anoints Jesus feet with oil and dries his feet with her hair.

There are several things these two women in Luke and John’s Gospel that these women have in common.

  • Their sins seem to be known by all
  • They are women that are “outcasts” in society because of their pasts
  • They are both fairly bold in talking with Jesus. They shouldn’t have been talking to any man.
  • They both recognized Jesus as someone different, as someone who could offer forgiveness and peace in their lives.
  • What strikes me is that they are both un-named women!  Why is that?

Some people have speculated that the woman in Luke’s Gospel is Mary Magdaline, there is no real scholarly evidence to support that theory.  So, we are left with two women and no names.

I am going to speculate that these two women are nameless because they represent everyone. There is not a one of us who is not without sin. There is a not a one of us who doesn’t need forgiveness in our lives, whether it is forgiveness from another individual or  family member or God. Do we have the boldness within ourselves to take the steps of asking for forgiveness of others the same way that the woman with the jar of alabaster oil asked Jesus to forgive her.  Do we have the courage to sit on the edge of the well with God and let Him see into the deepest parts of our heart and offer us forgiveness?

As hard as we may try, we can’t hide who we are or where have made poor choices in our lives.  By not confronting  the error or our ways, we become like every other town person in Samaria or like Simon the Pharisee throwing the party that the woman crashed. We are somehow above needing to ask for forgiveness.

For the un-named woman who was bold enough to wash Jesus feet with her tears and dry them with her hair and anoint Jesus with an expensive perfume all as a way of asking for forgiveness: We honor you with the boldest red-shoes of the week!  May your desire to seek forgiveness be an inspiration to others!

bold shoes for bold actions

Prayer: Lord, when others rejected me, you embraced me. What was untouchable in me you touched. make me a woman who loves much, a woman who is not afraid to fall at your feet, bathing them with tears. 



  1. […] Who Is She? […]

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Gary Neal Hansen

Theology. It's good for you.

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