February 2012

“Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47

We can learn a lot from this woman who in her brokenness poured out her heart at Jesus’ feet. With tears of gratitude, she humbled herself and lifted Jesus up, anointing His feet with expensive perfume worthy of a king. She showered Him with love and gratitude. It’s not that the reward for love is forgiveness; rather we see this woman’s love as the sign that she has been forgiven many sins – and knows it. She has bared her soul completely, repenting of everything. She knows she is a sinner, and she has brought it all to Jesus and received forgiveness for it all, and her gratitude and joy are infinite. She knows how amazing this is and knows that she doesn’t deserve it. Simon is not so hard on himself, but instead rather reserved in exposing himself. He may at best have repented of the obvious sins in his life (if he can find any!), but he has certainly not realized the fact that he, too, is completely broken and full of sin. He thinks he can go at least almost the whole way by himself, making himself just before God, and would only need help to do the little that is wanting for him to be perfect in keeping the law. And he certainly doesn’t think Jesus has any part to play in this. The woman knows she has nothing in herself that can justify her before God and needs Jesus to do it all for her. And He has. And she knows it. She has heard the wonderful words from His mouth, “Your sins are forgiven.” We also have nothing. We are broken and we need Jesus to do it all for us, to put us right before God. And He has! He has done it all. To us, too, when we come to Him with everything we are, He says, “Your sins are forgiven.” We have been forgiven much, so what can we do except love Jesus who forgave us? But how do we put our love for Jesus into practice today? He’s already told us one of the ways in Matthew 26:40, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” So with Jesus’ help, let us realize just how much we’ve been forgiven and kindle a great love for Him in our hearts, and let us put that love into practice in our relationships with the people around us. When we look into their eyes, let us see Jesus and treat them accordingly.

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