Jesus said,”A person who has been forgiven little, shows only little love.” This statement takes place during a story in Luke 7:36-49, as Jesus is at the home of a pharisee named Simon. While Jesus was reclining at the table, an “immoral woman,” knelt before him washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair.

The religious people in the room were appalled that Jesus, who claimed to be from God, would allow such a horrible sinner to come close to him, let alone touch him. Her scars were evident for all to see.

However, she was not ashamed to approach Jesus. She, like everyone else in the room, knew who/what she was. She was drawn to Jesus and as an act of worship, she humbled herself before him. Jesus graciously received her in spite of her scars.

Simon and his religious cronies were taken to task by Jesus for their hypocrisy and lack of hospitality for such a special guest as himself. “You did not offer me water to was my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.”

Can you imagine how these religious rulers felt as Jesus put them in their place? Simon must have been beside himself with fury. After all, he had invited Jesus to come hang out with his friends. Well, Jesus adds insults to injury. He forgives the woman of her sins, a transaction that can only be accomplished by God. He told her to go in peace because her sins had already been forgiven.

Did you catch that? Jesus, God incarnated was sitting among those who pretended to know and follow God, and they had been snarkily pronouncing, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman was touching him. She is a sinner.” They had judged the woman as unworthy because of her scars.

Jesus, the one who created her, received her worship. He knew her from before she was born. He knew every hurt, pain, shame, and scar she endured without him. He lavished his grace and mercy and love on her because she was willing to humble herself before him.

The proud religious people did not receive his forgiveness. They denied their scars and their sins. They were incensed to anger that he would presume to act in God’s place.

If you acknowledge your scars, humble yourself, and approach Jesus with a repentant heart, he will forgive you and pour his grace, mercy, and love into your life. Don’t allow religion or religious people to shame you into not coming to Jesus. Their religion and pride will not save them, just as it did not save Simon and his friends.