On one occasion, a proud Pharisee, whose name was Simon, invited Jesus to eat with him. But the invitation was a cold one. There was no kiss of welcome, no water to bathe His hot and dusty feet, no perfumed ointment for His head: nothing but a bare admission to a vacant place at the table was granted to Jesus. But there He reclined, His left elbow resting on a cushion, and His feet projecting beyond the edge of the couch.
Now it happened that a poor, sinful woman was passing, who, discovering that Jesus was in the house, timidly entered, and stood behind Him. She had an alabaster box of ointment, and, as she looked on Jesus, she wept. Her tears fell upon His feet; so, stooping down, she tenderly wiped them away with her long hair; then she kissed the Saviour's feet, and anointed them with the fragrant ointment. This was done as a token of respect and love.
But an evil eye had noted the kindly act; and the proud Pharisee thought within himself, if Jesus were the prophet He professes to be, He would certainly have known that the woman was a great sinner, and would not have allowed her to touch Him. But Jesus came to save sinners. He loves them, though He hates their sins. He rebuked the haughty Simon; and showed him how he had neglected the commonest rites of hospitality towards his guest, while this poor woman had treated Jesus with the greatest reverence. Then Jesus said, |Her sins which are many are forgiven, for she loved much|; and He bade her go in peace.
[Illustration: ANOINTING THE FEET OF JESUS.]