Saturday, October 13, 2012

Loves Little

"A woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that Jesus was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed His feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” Then turning toward the woman Jesus said to Simon:

“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. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (from Luke 7)

This sinful woman’s love for Jesus made her able to face those judging eyes of the Pharisees because she knew the only eyes that mattered were those of her LORD and Savior. To her, He was the only person in that room. And so that's what earned for the forgiveness of her "many sins," right? Because she loved so much? WRONG.

The woman KNEW her many sins were forgiven, thus she loved much. Her love was the RESULT of forgiveness, not the cause. She knew Jesus looked on her with love despite all the things that she'd done, and she also knew that she didn’t deserve it. Although the Pharisees that looked on in disgust needed a Savior every bit as much as that “woman of the city” did, they couldn’t admit it. After all, they didn't need one as badly as she did.

It’s easy for us to believe the criminals of today, like this sinful woman of old, owe Jesus more than we do. To think that Christ died for people who hoard their millions while others starve, for men who steal, for women who kill their own children, for child molesters, for prostitutes, it's repulsive. For liars, for gossipers, for drug addicts, for… me.

Maybe our crimes are simpler than those caught in the headlines. Maybe we're the smoker who keeps falling off the wagon despite our best efforts. Maybe we're the person with the scarlet-letter past that everyone can see. Maybe we're the chronic pain victim who keeps lashing out despite the million promises to do otherwise. Maybe we'll make it to church next week...

Scripture says Satan will point his finger at each one of us on Judgement Day, and he will name every single one of our sins: every mistake, everything we've ever been ashamed of, everything we should have done but didn't, everything we shouldn't have done but did, and everything we weren't even aware we'd done or neglected to do, and he'll say, "She did this, and for that she's mine."

Who will we think needs God’s forgiveness more than ourselves when that finger of judgment is pointed straight at us? 

But Jesus promises to answer for us, "I've paid that debt, and for that she's mine." If we KNOW that we are forgiven, and if we KNOW how badly we need it, how are we going to act? And how will we act if we don't think we really need Jesus, at least not as much as that other guy needs Him? 

Let Jesus be the only person in the room. Don’t worry about the Pharisees watching you and judging you for weeping at His feet, for going to church when you haven't been there for years or forever, for singing hymns and for praying, for being unworthy and knowing it. Think only on Jesus, your salvation, the salvation of the world, and know that you are totally and completely loved by the one person who matters, and let that be enough.

Suggested verse to repeat if it's a difficult day is derived from Luke 7:47a
PRC buddies, remember to breathe!
"You sins, which are many, -------> 5 count inhale
are forgiven." -------> 5 count exhale

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