The Woman Who Lived a Sinful Life: Deep Grace

by | Jan 24, 2020 | Church Values, Women of the Bible | 0 comments


Today’s article is another installment in Sister Alena X. Ricci’s series on the women of the Bible.

I wonder how many people reading this blog article right now have heard this story in the context of feet washing — that some sinful woman from off the street washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. 

And that is such an amazing and important part of the story, but I want to focus on a couple of different things here in this story.

In researching this story, and in reading it over and over again, I realized that the theme of this woman’s life was dealing with deep grace.

This is not a casual story of grace, of bumping into someone and mumbling a quick apology, but of an absolute surrender and absolute forgiveness.

This is deep grace.

In Luke 7:47, Jesus says, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven…”

Guess what? This woman was a mess. 

She had made a lot of mistakes; she had made a lot of bad choices; her life was in some sort of downward spiral.

She had a lot of sins following behind her. 

She was far from perfect, and God used her.

God established great things through her. God used her broken heart and willingness to be bold to show how powerful grace is, and how redemptive love is.

And guess what? We’re all sinful too.

But God already knows that I’ll make a mess. He already knows that I’m not perfect and that, half the time, my life is some sort of poorly put together broken glass vase, but His plan for each and every one of us is astoundingly great.

The Scripture doesn’t tell what became of this woman, but I suspect that her community, her family, her neighbors — they all saw the difference.

I suspect this woman changed something somewhere.

I suspect this woman showcased her deep grace everywhere.

Sometimes, we assume that being a good Christian in one area of our life excuses us from being a good Christian somewhere else.

For instance, it’s easy to say that I am a good Christian at work, but I complain when Sunday morning rolls around and I have to go to church.

God didn’t give us deep grace so that we can pick and choose when to follow Him.

He gave us deep grace so that we can go and feed His sheep.

So let’s go.

And feed His sheep.

Image credit: Detail from “The Ointment of the Magdalene” by James Tissot, c. 1900

Bio Alena

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This article has undergone ministry review and approval.


  • Sister Alena spends her days traveling around PA advocating for good public policy and attends the McKees Rocks Branch in Pittsburgh, the greatest city in the world.


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