Tender Mercy; the Dirty Feet of Jesus

June 10, 2022

Scripture Resource Passage: Luke 7

She never speaks. Not a single word blots the page. Tears flow—her cheeks wetted with passion. Her hair is dirty yet, over her vocal cords no words flow. Her concern appears to be the dirty feet of Jesus. Why is she crying? 

The scene: A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them” (Luke 7:36-37).

The dirty feet of Jesus? We know he had them; for if he walked the streets of Galilee and Judea. His sandals landed where animals wandered. Deep ruts of mud crisscrossed the lanes where hurting-crying-people lived their lives.


Photo by Nishant Aneja on Pexels.com

Jesus seeks out damaged souls. He comes looking and discovering ruined people. She is no exception.

Somewhere at some moment she learned the truth about Jesus. She learned about the tender mercies of God. While the community judged her, Jesus comes for her and all those like her: “A woman [a person]…who lived a sinful life…” (Luke 7:36).

In another town Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). Jesus brings tender mercies for all who weep.

Life Application Questions

After reading the entire account, which part of the story told by Jesus seems most important?

Why is it important to understand Jesus eating in the specific house ?

Why does Jesus tell the story about money and debt being forgiven?

Does the movement from Jesus with dirty feet to forgiveness seem startling?

Thank you for reading. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

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