Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
44 Then turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, Do you see this woman? When I came into your house, you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
Jesus was eating with the Pharisee, Simon, who had been mentally questioning Jesus' prophet status because a prophet "would surely know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching Him" (Luke 7:39) This woman had a past tainted with sinful activities. Simon knew, Jesus knew it.
The difference was the reaction of the two men. Simon was focusing of what he knew of the woman. Jesus was focusing of what He knows of the woman.
Do you see it?
One man's focus was on the past. The other man's focus is on the present.
I have a new understanding of Simon after rereading this Scripture. In Luke 7:40, Simon refers to Jesus as "Teacher" and seems willing to hear what He has to say. This attitude is different than I had imagined.
In my mind, I had imagined Simon as attempting to find a fault in Jesus. Right now, I see a man who was seeking to understand Jesus' radical behavior. Think about it. In the culture of that time,
"this was a service which the wife was expected to render her husband(Yer. Ket. v. 30a); according to Rab Huna, it was one of the personal attentions to which her husband was entitled, no matter how many maids she may have had; likewise, according to the Babylonian Talmud (Ket. 61a), besides preparing his drink and bed,the wife had to wash her husband's face and feet"(Hirsch, Nowack, Schechter 2011)
What's awesome about Jesus attitude is that although He is aware of the woman's past, He doesn't hold it against her. He knows how grateful the woman is for being set free from the torment of wrong choices. Simon doesn't see her gratitude, because he doesn't know the woman's heart. He judges her actions based upon what he knows, her past. Jesus judges the woman's actions upon what He knows, her heart in the present.
I think what we have to learn in this passage is profoundly simple. Don't focus on someone's past like Simon did. Be like Jesus and focus on the present; focus on a person's heart.
We are not Jesus. We can't read another person's heart. The only way we can get to know a person's heart is by building a relationship, which takes a time commitment. If we want to be like Jesus then we need to stop and talk to "the woman" see her in the here and now. Hear her heart, and see the gratitude that flows from it. Don't assume you know what she does or does not do (for the bad or for the good).
Lord, I ask that we would see each other in the Light of Your Presence (the present). Convict us if we are tempted to see each other by their past. We ALL have a past, but if we have submitted ourselves to You, in faith then we can "go (enter) into peace [freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin]" (Luke 7:50).
Jesus, I am filled with gratitude that You have forgiven my past. I thank You that Your Peace fills my soul. I thank You for Your Spirit, which guides my path. I thank You for Your intervention in my life. You are my Perfect Friend and the Lover of my soul. I thank You for loving "the woman" right out of me! In the great and holy Name of Jesus, AMEN!!!
Hirsch, E. G., Nowack, W., & Schechter, S. (2011). Feet,
Washing Of. Retrieved July 11, 2016, from