"Seest thou this woman?" One senses a note of sarcasm in the question. "Seest thou this woman?" The man had seen nothing else for the past half hour.
One wonders why the Pharisee invited Jesus to his home in the first place. He offered Jesus none of the normal courtesies incumbent on a host. His behavior was a deliberate insult to his invited guest. A thousand angels would have rushed to wash those feet, to give Him a welcoming embrace, to anoint Him with fragrant oil. The Pharisee, instead, had offered the Lord a gratuitous insult. And the Lord recognized it for what it was, and bided His time, for He loved this mean-minded man as He loved Peter, James and John. When He spoke, it would be as opportunity gave occasion and with a deep desire to save this man's soul.
"Seest thou this woman?" She had set before the haughty self-righteous Pharisee a threefold lesson! The Lord picked it up at once and applied it to the Pharisee in a threefold repetition of the little word "but."
The woman presented a lesson in contrition. "Thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head," Jesus said. "A broken and a contrite heart, Oh God, said the penitent psalmist, "thou wilt not despise" (Ps. 51:17). "She is a sinner!" That was all the Pharisee saw, a woman of the streets who had come into his house uninvited, one whom he despised and would gladly have whipped and thrown back onto the street. The Pharisee curled his lips in a sneer. "This man is no prophet," he confided to himself," or he would have known her for a sinner."
Well, God be praised, that is exactly what He did know. He accepted her tears of contrition as fitting tribute to Himself, the one who came into the world to save sinners.
This woman also provided a lesson in consecration. "Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet," Jesus said. She dared not give Him the customary kiss upon the cheek, so down she went to His feet, taking the place of a conquered captive. All her misdirected love was now channeled aright. She was His slave. She kissed His feet in total surrender, while the Pharisee shuddered in his shriveled soul, thinking not of consecration but of contamination. What would all his friends say, knowing he had a woman like that in his house?
Finally, this woman gave a lesson in coronation. "My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet," Jesus declared. She recognized Him as the Christ, the Lord's Anointed. She poured her ointment over His feet. She crowned Him Lord of all, and Jesus sent her away in peace. Peace means the war is over. From now on, she had a new Lord, a new love, and a new life. As for Simon the Pharisee, it seems, the Lord had no more to say to him.