Look at this woman at the feet of Jesus, for Jesus bids you look, and gather instruction. Behold how she wept, how she washed the feet of Jesus, and anointed them with ointment. These were sweet tokens of her love and adoration. But were these the causes for which she obtained forgiveness? Oh, no. Read what the Lord said to her: “Thy faith hath saved thee” (verse 50). Learn, then, my soul, in what salvation lies. Love may bring ointment to Jesus. Sorrow for sin, when grace is in the heart, will cause tears to fall. But faith brings nothing, for it has nothing: it casts itself wholly upon Jesus.
Amidst all its guilt, and fears, and tears, it is Jesus only to whom faith looks; it is Jesus upon whom alone it depends. It has nothing to do with self; neither our own feelings, nor the exercise of our graces. These are blessed evidences of the work of the Lord upon the heart; but they are not salvation. It is Jesus, all precious, all glorious, all-sufficient Jesus. He is the One blessed object of faith’s joy and hope, and pursuit and desire.
God is more pleased and more honored by this simple faith in Jesus’ glorious person and righteousness, than by all the tears in the world—when those tears lead us to place an emphasis on the effects of faith, instead of hanging wholly on the cause, and the object of our faith, Jesus Christ.
Not the labor of my hands Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.”