Joanna carefully brushed her long, coarse hair before she put the covering over her head. She was scared, yes, but she was so excited! Her hands were trembling as she tucked the vial of perfume into the sleeve of her heavy garment. She was actually going to see Him, maybe even touch Him. And deep within her heart was the hope that He might see her– might notice her in some way. If I can just get into the portico of Simon’s house, surely I can find where they are eating.
She stayed in the shadows as she walked down the street, fully aware of the people staring and moving away from her as she approached. No one cares to recognize a harlot. But she was used to that. Not that being used to it had taken away the hurt, but she understood. And yet, maybe that humiliating life of sin and degradation was over? Maybe it was behind her? Maybe He will set me free!
She had first heard Him the day He taught the multitudes, and had followed Him ever since, sometimes losing herself in the crowds or crouching behind the trees and rocks. There were days when there wasn’t anyone around who knew her and she was able to help prepare the meals and serve Him and His disciples.
There’s his house. I know people can hear my heart pounding! Wait, there’s the entrance to the servant’s quarters. I’ll go in there.
She walked quickly into the dark doorway and then moved toward the sounds of the kitchen.
I hear Him talking! Oh, please let me be close to Him just this once. I long so to show Him how much I love Him. . . .
She crept quietly to an open door just behind Jesus. Then, with one deep breath, she stepped into the room, knelt beside Him, and kissed His feet. It was almost funny the way everyone stopped talking and eating. They were shocked — of that there was no doubt — and their silence condemned her.
Joanna wept as she poured the perfume, her tears mingling with the sweet-smelling oil. Then she loosed her hair and began drying those dear, blessed feet.
* * *
Jesus talked to Simon and to the others lounging around the table that day. He talked to Joanna, too. She left, clean and forgiven, knowing that He returned her love and that she was special to Him. We don’t hear any more about her, but I want to believe she held steadfastly to her new life.
She made quite a spectacle of herself that day. I can imagine that it took her a long while to make her plans and then to carry them out.
I’m prone to say, “What courage.” But no. It wasn’t courage that drove Joanna to Simon’s house. It was love.
And so the unnamed harlot lives on through biblical history . . . while princes and procurators and scribes and Pharisees, mighty men and strong men and wise men and rich men, are all long since forgotten. Her only claim to fame? She loved much.
Lord, may I love You as much as Joanna loved You.
(Culled from Lifetime Daily Devotions)