The Woman Who Was a Sinner
Charles H. Spurgeon
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
This is the woman who has been confounded with Mary Magdalene. How the error originated it would not be easy to imagine, but error it certainly is. There is not the slightest shadow of evidence that this woman, who was a sinner, had even the remotest connection with her out of whom Jesus cast seven devils. In delivering you a sermon a few Sunday ago upon the life of Mary Magdala, I think I showed you that it was hardly possible, and most improbable, that she could have been a sinner in the sense here intended, and now I venture to affirm that there is as much evidence to prove that the woman, in the narrative now before us, was the Queen of Sheba, or the mother of Sisera, as that she was Mary Magdalene: there is not a figment or fraction of evidence to be found. The fact is, there is no connection between the two.
Further, the sinner before us is not Mary of Bethany, with whom so many have confounded her. Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, did anoint our Savior, but this is a previous anointing, by quite a different person, and the two narratives are altogether distinct. There is a great likeness, certainly, between the two. The principal persons were both women, full of ardent love to Christ; they both anointed the Lord with ointment; the name of Simon is connected with both, and they both wiped the Savior's feet with their hair.
But it ought not to astonish you that there were two persons whose intense affection thus displayed itself; the astonishment should rather be that there were not two hundred who did so, for the anointing of the feet of an honor ...
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