48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”....
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
In Jesus' day, everybody walked everywhere. Roads were dusty, days were hot. It was common courtesy upon receiving guests, to offer them water for their feet, oil for their heads, a place to rest.
Simon, a Pharisee, knows this. And yet, according to the conversation Jesus has with Simon, it wasn't offered.
Jesus was invited into Simon's home, and yet wasn't given any of the common social courtesies.
And then, a sinful woman shows up.
I often read this and wonder how she got in, why she was allowed to approach the table. Obviously, Simon knew she was a "sinful" woman, though we do not know what her sin was. I would assume others knew her life situation. And yet, nobody stopped her when she approached Jesus' feet.
And there, at Jesus' feet, she wept. For she knew who she was, and she knew who HE was. And when her tears fell on His feet, she dried them, and then poured perfume on them. She honored Jesus, even though He wasn't in her home, even though she wasn't worthy.
And Jesus forgives her, she is saved through her faith, her belief that Jesus would honor what she was offering.
Simon, the Pharisee, knew the rules, lived by them. And yet he offered Jesus very little compared to what he had. And, at least in this story, he didn't come to Jesus for forgiveness. We really don't know what his motivation was in inviting Jesus to his home. Maybe it was to learn more, maybe it was to show off, who knows.
There is a mini-parable in here about the one who is forgiven more will love more. According to the laws of their day, the woman definitely had more to forgive than Simon. But what I hear when I read this, is that we should all approach Jesus as this woman. Tearfully, bowing at his feet, for no matter what our life situation, we all need saving. We all need to be forgiven.
And our faith, our belief that Jesus can erase all our mistakes, all our sins, our belief that He does love us, and that He does offer life to those who will accept it, can set us free. Our faith, and our repentance, can let us go in peace.