If you enjoy binge watching shows on Netflix, then you will see how Hollywood screenwriters reveal a character’s past. As a film or series unfold, bad, evil or troubled souls have a flashback which unveil secret scars. Whether someone was abused, beaten, criticized, teased or verbally assaulted, behind the tears explains why someone has turned out to be the person that they have become. Although this new information provides some insight into behavior patterns, it doesn’t justify wrong actions.
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. 38 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 7:37-38.
In the passage above, a first centurion woman had chosen to become a prostitute. Although Luke doesn’t share the details of why she chose this lifestyle, she doesn’t seem very happy or fulfilled. Based upon her tears, this erotic expression of love left a void in this woman’s heart. Perhaps, Jesus’ message of being saved from sin led this woman to crash a social party. While the whole room was judging her due to her tarnished reputation, Jesus enabled himself to be anointed by a well known harlot.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little,” Luke 7:44-47.
In 1992, an alternate praise group called the Violet Burning released the Song of the Harlot. Appearing on the Strength album, this song illuminates this passage in the Bible. The author places an interesting stanza within the lyrics “I’ve cried a million tears maybe more so many times I have been the whore.” Behind the tears, individuals try to grasp why sinful tendencies have become too overwhelming to control. While most do not choose the path of a harlot, other addictions often steal the joy for life. The only consolation for sinners enslaved by addiction is the promise of forgiveness proclaimed by Jesus.
by Jay Mankus