What Jesus Did! 'Extravagant Love' — Luke 7:37-38

Thursday, May 4, 2023

When a certain immoral woman from that city heard [Jesus] was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.
— Luke 7:37-38 NLT

Key Thought

This event occurred in the house of a certain Pharisee. [1] This woman was the antithesis of the Pharisee. He was a man. She was a woman. He was scrupulously and legalistically religious in his behavior. She was an immoral woman from the city. He would have been very conservative and formal in his demeanor. She was extravagant and bold in showing her love and appreciation for Jesus. The key message, however, is that Jesus was open to both types of people and longed to show love and share God's grace. Are we? As this story unfolds, however, the woman was clearly the hero because of her extravagant love. How do we respond to the presence of Jesus among us? Isn't his presence with us when we are with other believers [2] — and even with each of us individually? [3] Hmm... I wonder about the extravagance of our display of love knowing that Jesus is with us. Equally revealing, how do we respond to the presence of someone like the immoral woman among us knowing that Jesus told us our treatment of others is also our treatment of him? [4]

[1] Luke 7:36.
[2] 1 Corinthians 3:16.
[3] Romans 8:9-11 NIV, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.
[4] Matthew 25:34-45.

Today's Prayer

Holy and Almighty God, my Abba Father, thank you for your overwhelming display of grace in Jesus. Jesus, thank you for being the sacrifice for my sins. While I have nothing that compares in value to the gifts you have given me, please receive my heartfelt praise, appreciation, adoration, and service. I offer them freely with all of my heart in thanks for all that you have done to save me, to give me your Spirit, to bless me with a spiritual gift to serve your people, to work in me according to your will, and to make my character more like yours. Please remove from my heart anything that keeps me from appropriately displaying my love for you in the way I live and the way I interact with other people. In the name of Jesus, I offer my praise and eternal thanks. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Peter 1:8-9
  • Romans 7:24-25
  • Revelation 4:9-11


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Illustration of Luke 7:37-38 NLT —  Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.