FORGIVEN MUCH, LOVE MUCH
With my whole heart, heavenly Father, I praise you. You are the God of my salvation.
Read LUKE 7:36-50
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 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.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “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.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
- Luke 7:41 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectStories can be told to entertain or intrigue. Sometimes a story can ‘undo’ a person. Pray that God will give you a heart that is ready to be undone by Jesus’ words today.
In this passage Jesus tells a little story that is within the larger gospel story about him. Jesus was at the home of a Pharisee (v 36). They were interrupted by a sinful woman who anointed Jesus with perfume. The Pharisee judged the woman (v 39), and so Jesus told a story—possibly the shortest story Jesus would tell.
The story is about two men who owed money; both were forgiven (vs 41,42). That was it. But it was the follow-up question that did the work here. Which man loved the forgiving creditor more (v 42)? The answer was obvious: it was the one who had been forgiven the greater debt. So, Jesus drew out the parallels. The Pharisee’s hospitality and kindness were limited. In contrast, the woman had been lavish in her devotion to Jesus (vs 44-47).
We celebrate that Jesus came to forgive sinners. But do we feel the personal power of that forgiveness in our own lives? The more we allow God to convict us of our sin, the more our hearts will swell with love for Jesus.
Ask God to help you see your sin the way he sees it. Now, thank him for his forgiveness. Because of Jesus, we are fully forgiven—more than we often dare to dream. ‘Go in peace’ (v 50).
God, thank you that, because of Christ, I can be forgiven. With the psalmist I pray that you will create a pure heart in me and give me a new spirit that is faithful to you.
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