LUKE 7:47-48: “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
OBSERVATION: Do I love greatly? This is both an important question and a humbling question. It calls me to look in the mirror at my life and compels me to be brutally honest. In all honesty, I am afraid to do this, for I do not know if I will like what I see.
I think this is true for all of us. There are times when we would glance in the mirror and see the reflection of the Lord Jesus Christ loving through us. There are other times when we would glance in the mirror and see our selfishness and hardness of heart. What causes this difference? I believe the story of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, and anointed them with costly oil, gives us the key to answer this question.
Simon the Pharisee, was secure in his position as a Jew, thinking himself to be a cut above the Gentiles and the sinners. He even questioned how Jesus could allow a sinner such as this woman to wash His feet. Simon did not recognize his own sin and he did not see his need for forgiveness. This led him to a critical spirit and fostered a selfish attitude toward life and others.
The woman was a known sinner. We do not know who she was from this text, but the Pharisees knew who she was. They knew her lifestyle and her reputation and marveled that Jesus appeared to know neither. Yet, this woman understood her sin, she desperately needed forgiveness and cleansing, and risking her own life – entered into the home of the very ones who could judge her – to come before Jesus. Her hunger for forgiveness, her sorrow for her sin, her repentant heart, was manifested in her tears and act of love and kindness.
When Jesus confronted Simon he said – “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.” The woman who was forgiven much – also loved much. Simon who did not see his need for forgiveness – loved little. Our recognition of our own condition and need for forgiveness and cleansing will be directly proportionate to our desire and capacity to love.
If we think we are better than others – we will love little. Instead of love we will constantly be criticizing and judging others. If we see our brokenness and need for Jesus’ forgiveness and cleansing – we will love much. We will be considerate, long-suffering, and generous. Our gratitude for the “great grace” we have received from the Lord Jesus Christ will motivate us to show “great grace” to others. We will be compelled by the Love of God. We will become His ambassadors imploring others to come to the same fountain of grace and forgiveness. When we remember His Grace – we are compelled to love!
Lord, help me today to remember the fulness of Your Grace in my life. Help me never to take Your Grace for granted and begin to think that I have accomplished this new place of strength and wholeness through my own efforts or abilities. May I be ever mindful, as was this woman, that I am simply the recipient of Your Great Love! And, understanding this truth, may I be compelled to love You and others greatly! In Jesus Name!