I think alot about the story I read today in Luke, the one where the woman “who lived a sinful life” washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and then rubbed them with expensive perfume.
The Pharisee who invited Jesus to the dinner where this happened thought, “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.” (Luke 7: 39 NIV)
Remember that movie about a man who could hear women’s thoughts – and used that info to his advantage (“What Women Want”)?
Imagine if other people started to know your negative thoughts about them. That puts you squarely in the Pharisee Simon’s shoes when Jesus, “answering ” Simon’s thoughts, tells him a story about two men who had been forgiven a debt by a money lender. Simon correctly concludes that the man who had been forgiven more felt more love toward the moneylender.
Luke tells how Jesus drives the point home:
Then [Jesus] 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. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”(Luke 7: 44-48)
Maybe Simon got Jesus’ point. But the other guests just didn’t get it. At all. They must not have been very aware of their own sin, because they showed no love toward Jesus. In fact they attacked him because he forgave the woman.
I think about that story a lot. I think about how little I love Jesus and how little I know His love. And for some time, I have asked God to show me just how great a sinner I am, so that I can understand just how forgiven and loved I am, so that I can love Him more.
The other day a friend shared a Scripture with me that was on her mind. And it fits here perfectly:
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 17b-19
It takes power to know God’s love. And maybe it takes power to reveal the sin that lets me know His forgiveness and love.
Dear Lord: Please give me the power to see with my heart’s eyes why you went to the Cross on my behalf, how much you love me, how much you’ve forgiven. And help me to love more greatly in return. Amen
Today’s Readings: Deuteronomy 31:1-32:52, Psalm 40:1-5, Proverbs 13:11-12, Luke 7:36-50. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing.