I’ve always known that what I was doing was wrong, but I loved the way Jesus accepted me. He didn’t push me away or condemn. It seemed the most natural thing in the world for me to kneel before Him and tell Him how sorry I was for all my sin. He put a finger beneath my chin and lifted my head. ‘I forgive you Keziah,’ He said, looking into my eyes. A weight rolled off me.
I decided not to go back to prostitution. Jesus teaches that if we put God first in our lives, then He will provide what we need. So I’m going to stake everything on that.
Shortly afterward, Jesus was invited for a meal by Simon, one of the local religious leaders. I made up my mind to go along too. Jesus has been so kind to me that I wanted to give Him a gift; the most precious thing in my possession was an alabaster jar of perfume. It was a family heirloom that I’d somehow managed to keep when my parents threw me out.
I was already at Simon’s house when Jesus arrived, along with some of the other ‘town riff-raff’ as Simon calls us. It’s common in our culture to do this.
I couldn’t believe how Simon snubbed Him. It’s common courtesy in our culture to give your guest a kiss on the cheek when they arrive, wash their feet, and to give them olive oil to cleanse their hands. There was none of that. Absolutely no manners. Simon was going out of his way to be rude.
I was horrified that they would treat Jesus in this way. He should have been an honoured guest, as a well-known travelling teacher. More than that, I believe Jesus is God come to earth.
What could I do? I know the shame and embarrassment of being insulted in public.
Jesus didn’t appear to be bothered. But I was bothered for Him.
Tears formed in my eyes. This was so wrong! They spilled down my cheeks, and then it came to me. I had no water but I could wash His feet with my tears. I knelt beside His reclining chair and let my tears drop onto His dusty toes. I’d brought no towel with me, so I let down my hair and dried His feet with that. Gratitude for Jesus’ complete acceptance and forgiveness of me, a sinful woman, almost overwhelmed me. I leaned down and kissed His feet again and again.
Then I stood and broke open my alabaster jar, and anointed His head with the perfume. The fragrant scent filled the room.
Simon and his other guests were looking on and nudging each other, clearly disapproving of my actions. They muttered at one another and gave both Jesus and me dirty looks. But through it all, Jesus sat peacefully, accepting my worship. If He’d pushed me away or even said quietly, ‘Okay Keziah, that’s enough now,’ I’d have been devastated. But He didn’t. Jesus accepted me and my sacrifice of worship for Him.