A few years ago, I started ministering to a young woman who was once part of the porn industry. My conversations with this young woman changed me forever. My heart broke as I realized what she had been through, and the “choice” that she had to remain there didn’t really seem like such a choice. She was trapped and didn’t know how to get out. She was manipulated, abused, and got high just to participate in the films she was in.
Society often looks at these women as if they are worthless and dirty. Many of them were sexually and/or physically abused throughout their childhood. Many got into the industry at a young age and never found a way out. They are hurt and broken. The shame they feel is almost unbearable. How else could they do what they do?
How does Jesus feel about women who work in the sex industry?
Jesus showed us in Luke 7:36-38 how He reacted to a woman who was a prostitute:
“Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them”.
Jesus knew who this woman was. He knew how sinful her lifestyle had been. She was a prostitute. She expressed such love and intimacy towards Him with what she did. Jesus then told her that her faith had saved her. Although so many people misunderstood her actions, Jesus knew it came from a heart of love towards Him.
This is a very intimate picture illustrated for us. Can you see yourself doing this with Jesus? I know that was in a different culture, but can you imagine the intimate moment this was? What she did put her in such a vulnerable position, especially with her sinful reputation. She could have been afraid that Jesus would reject her or cast her away. She could have let unworthiness or shame keep her from anointing his feet with her perfume. She could have talked herself right out of approaching Him, simply out of fear or shame.
How difficult would it have been for a prostitute to make herself vulnerable to a man?
She was used to men paying for her. Men used her. Men saw her as good for one thing only. That was her experience with men. Yet, she approached Jesus with this act of worship towards Him. She approached Him with a vulnerability that she was probably never able to use. Maybe she was petrified, but Jesus loved her and accepted her act of love towards Him, despite what others in the room were accusing her of.
Luke 7:39 “…..If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Jesus knew her heart….Just like He knows my heart and yours.
I don’t know what you have done in your life. Jesus loves these women, and He loves you! If you feel like Jesus can’t love you because of your past (or even something you did this morning), just remember the scripture you read above. No, He doesn’t want anyone to continue sinning, but He doesn’t want shame to keep them from coming to Him, either.
When we finally do come to Him, we can repent, our hearts can be made clean and then we can be healed.
I don’t know what your view of God is, but let me challenge you to believe that you can trust Jesus enough to be as vulnerable with Him as this woman did. He won’t scorn you. He won’t reject you. He won’t ridicule you. Instead, He will embrace you. He loves you and wants nothing more than for you to be able to vulnerably approach Him so He can heal your heart and set you free. Jesus can heal any heart that’s brought to Him. There is no heart that is beyond healing. There is no heart that is just too damaged for Him to make it new.