7:36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table.
7:37 And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment.
7:38 She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.
7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him–that she is a sinner.”
7:40 Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “Speak.”
7:41 “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
7:42 When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?”
7:43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
7:44 Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
7:45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet.
7:46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.
7:47 Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
7:48 Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
7:49 But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
7:50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
8:1 Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him,
8:2 as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
8:3 and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
The thing about this verse that is easy to mix up is the relationship between forgiveness and love. It’s a small facet of this passage but it’s important. She was not forgiven many sins because she loved Jesus more than the others, though it appears that she might have. She loved Jesus because she was forgiven, at least this is the point Jesus was making. However, I would also point out that Jesus would have forgiven the women no matter what her level of behavior would have been. I know this because the very next next chapter and many times in the book of Luke Jesus does just that; He heals and forgives great sinners.
I think the inverse warning should be applied with this passage too, which is that we are not the ones who get to judge who the Lord chooses to show mercy on.
God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. (Romans 9:18)
We are not the ones who get to decide who God chooses to bring into the Kingdom. It does not matter what kind of a sinner they appear to be. God sees beyond appearances and we have to remember that we must always try to operate in grace, not judgement, for we are not God.