Faith Only Comes When There are No Other Choices

How did I get here? She was a little nervous. Her eyes were focused on Jesus. He won’t throw me out. He’ll be happy I’m here. She walked toward Him as everyone realized she was in the room. No one invited her. She was the last person you’d expect to be in an upstanding member of society’s house, let alone an authority of righteousness, such as the Pharisees.

Even to this day she doesn’t remember making some sort of plan or carefully decision to barge into the Pharisees’ party and pour her perfume on Jesus. There was no deciding about it. She had watched him eat with tax collectors. She had seen him touch the leper. She heard him tell a divorced woman she was forgiven. She knew He loved her. She wasn’t allowed in the synagogue. She could never offer enough at the temple to make up for her public past. She had given up. She was scared of God. She pretended to not care about what God thought. But deep down she did. Everyone does.

She didn’t think about it. She didn’t contemplate various claims of Jesus. She really had nowhere else to turn. There were no “options.” She had no choice. She knew Jesus would be happy to see her. She knew that she was safe with Him. She knew He would forgive her and wouldn’t call her “whore,” but her name.

She followed Him into the dinner party. She wasn’t courageous or bold. This was the only option. 

She cried. She had not cried in years. She learned to be numb. Don’t think about what you’ve done or what has been done to you. Go forward. Tears don’t pay the rent. Yet, she cried. No choice in the matter. They fell upon His feet. She dried His feet with her hair.

She poured out her weapon upon this man. A weapon that usually rent a man helpless and awakened his animal lust. Some of the men at the party had smelled that perfume before. Some of them had seen this woman and fell for her. They looked away.

She poured out her sin. She had no choice in the matter.  She finally had a reason to be done. She hid from society. She hid from these men. She hid from God. She hid because she was frightened. But Jesus. He wouldn’t slap her across the face like her stepdad. Surprisingly, unlike any other Rabbi, He looked at her like a human being.

Choice. She had no choice. There was no choice. She didn’t choose to follow Him. She didn’t choose to love Him. She didn’t choose to believe in Him. She had come to a place in her life where she had run out of choices.

No one else forgives her. 

The Pharisees were shocked by the woman. They still thought they had a choice. They still lived in the fantasy that death was far off, that perhaps they were not that bad. Some said Jesus was the Messiah. They contemplated the possibility – as if they had a choice. As if they didn’t need a savior. As if they had options.

That’s the joke. No one who believes in Jesus does so out of a choice. Faith in Christ is only born when all other choices are removed from us. Because that is reality. There is no real choice. 

Sometimes, like this woman, you need to have all the other choices taken away from you until you see there is only One. And there is only One who actually has a choice. And He chose to die and rise. And He chose to give His inheritance to YOU.