7635 - Much Love

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In the life of Jesus, there were many important and wonderful moments, but this is one of the most beautiful.

There is a beautiful picture of Love in Luke 7:36-50.

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and 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.

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."

Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.

"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

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. 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 --for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

This scene of life contrasts a Pharisee and a known sinner.

The Pharisee likely was a very moral person. His sins were rooted in his heart; thus less exposed. Pharisees were very proud people. They did not honor God, but dignified their traditions.

This woman was well known as a sinful person. Her lifestyle broadcast that she had not lived by God’s truths.

The woman was not seeking attention. She stood behind Jesus, at his feet, as they reclined at the table. Out of a heart of love she washed his feet with her tears, then dried them with her hair. She kissed his feet. Then she anointed his feet with expensive perfume.

The host Pharisee thought: “if Jesus was truly who He claimed to be then He would drive her away to keep from being defiled.”

Jesus received the woman’s outpouring as an expression of love for what her new found faith in Jesus had produced in her life. Her outpouring was saying, “Formerly I was a sinner, and everyone knew it. But when you took charge all that changed. Now I am yielded only to you.”

The host Pharisee could only see the surface. He could not see the new life of this woman. He certainly did not comprehend who Jesus was, and why He was here on earth.

Jesus finally calls attention to the difference in respect which the host had shown, and which this woman had expressed. The host had failed to fulfill certain customary acts such as supplying water to wash the dust of the road from a person’s feet.

Jesus asked, “Which will love more, the one who had great debt written off, or the one whose forgiven debt is less?” The Pharisee correctly responded, “the one with the bigger canceled debt will love more.”

Let there be no confusion. In the eyes of people some sinners are worse than others; however, all unbelievers are filthy sinners and in God’s sight equally need his saving mercy.

Jesus then affirmed that the woman’s sin had been forgiven, because her faith had brought saving mercy and grace.