A Pharisee invited Jesus to have dinner with him, and Jesus went to his house and sat down to eat. In that town was a woman who lived a sinful life. She heard that Jesus was eating in the Pharisee's house, so she brought an alabaster jar full of perfume and stood behind Jesus, by his feet, crying and wetting his feet with her tears. Then she dried his feet with her hair, kissed them, and poured the perfume on them. When the Pharisee saw this, he said to himself, “If this man really were a prophet, he would know who this woman is who is touching him; he would know what kind of sinful life she lives!”
Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Yes, Teacher,” he said, “tell me.”
“There were two men who owed money to a moneylender,” Jesus began. “One owed him five hundred silver coins, and the other owed him fifty. Neither of them could pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Which one, then, will love him more?”
“I suppose,” answered Simon, “that it would be the one who was forgiven more.”
“You are right,” said Jesus. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your home, and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You did not welcome me with a kiss, but she has not stopped kissing my feet since I came. You provided no olive oil for my head, but she has covered my feet with perfume. I tell you, then, the great love she has shown proves that her many sins have been forgiven. But whoever has been forgiven little shows only a little love.”
Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Quote of the Day from Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn:
“In truth Jesus asks whether Simon has insight – eyes in his heart, so to speak – whether he can look with compassion. Compassion minimizes fault and magnifies need, and such was Jesus’ customary lens: Jesus saw beneath the obvious, beyond the woman's sin, status, or situation.
We might well ask ourselves: do we see others as other, or as Jesus sees them?” (Steagald, 69)
No matter what stories we read of Jesus, I believe this concept comes across in all of his encounters with people. Jesus sees with the eyes of his heart, a heart filled with God's love and determined to see people for who they are. Not that Jesus would never have anyone to change, but that he would have them become most fully who they are and who they are called to be.
We tend to not have such compassionate site and insight when we look at others. We tend to see on the outside, on the surface, and make all of our judgments and assumptions from that. But when we truly try to see as Jesus sees, through the same lens, we will find that there is so much more to people than our first impressions.