This Week's Story

A tough rejected woman discovers mercy

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

I'm Surviving!

You think that I am an immoral woman.  You’re right! I don’t expect anybody to trust me.  You won’t hear me talk about my past. I’m not stupid.

Two weeks ago I was in Galilee’s hill country.  I saw a crowd of people sitting outdoors on the ground and listening to a man named Jesus.  His voice was easy to hear, better than the voices often in my face.  He said, “God blesses those who realize their need for Him.  He blesses those who are merciful.”

I don’t want anyone messing in my life and calling it blessing.  And, I don’t want to hear about mercy.  Has anyone ever forgiven me?  No.  Around here, it’s an eye for an eye.  Punishment equals justice.  Forget mercy; I have not seen it.

Days passed, and I am again listening to Jesus.  A paralyzed man was just carried to him. I cannot believe the words Jesus is saying, “Take heart, son!  Your sins are forgiven.”  Yes, those were his words!

I wish I could hear him better.  Instead, religious hypocrites near me are madly muttering, “Blasphemy!  This man talks like he is God.”

I wonder, “Is there some way that he could be God?  I know these men wouldn’t know.”

Jesus understands their thoughts and says, “Do you think it is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk.’? I will prove that I have the authority on earth to forgive sins.”

He turns to the paralyzed man and tells him, “Stand up and go home.  You are healed.”

What am I seeing?  The crippled guy is jumping up.  I’m frightened and yet this is wonderful!  It’s quiet.  Nobody knows what to say.  Something’s happening to me.  I feel a wound healing inside of me.  Could it be that I have seen mercy? I have.  This man can heal and forgive my sins.  I will go to him.  I hear that religious phony Simon asking Jesus to come for dinner.  I’m not invited, but I’ll be there.

Later I walk into Simon’s home with a precious gift--an alabaster box with valuable cream.  I can’t stop the tears coming to my eyes as I walk towards Jesus. I kneel beside his bare feet and begin gently applying the cream. Tears keep falling from my eyes.  I try to wipe them away with my long hair, and I kiss his feet over and over.

Ohhh, Simon is angry that I am here.  He thinks that Jesus does not know what kind of woman I have been.  He is sure that if Jesus did know, he would be insulted by my attention.

Jesus asks Simon, “A man loaned money to two other men.  One man received 500 pieces of silver and the other was given fifty pieces of silver.  But they couldn’t repay their donor.  So he cancelled their debts.  Which man do you think appreciated the giver more?”

Simon answered, “The guy who was given more money!”

“You’re right,” Jesus said.  “Simon, look at this woman kneeling by me.  When I came to your home, you did not give me water to wash the dust from my feet. This woman washed my feet with tears and wiped them with her hair.  You did not greet me.  She kissed my feet with love.  You did not give me a touch of olive oil for my head.  She has anointed my feet with perfumed cream.  You have not given me simple courtesy.  She has shown me love.  Her sins, which are many, are forgiven.  A person, who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Jesus turned to me and said, “Your sins are forgiven.”

I replied, “Jesus, I love you.”

This is Barbara Steiner privileged to share another story from the Bible.  Please check out:

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