I was reading about the pardoning of the sinful woman (Luke 7:36 +) recently.
Are you familiar with it?
This story attributed to Jesus is so applicable to us today. Jesus describes a situation where there are two people who were in debt; one owed $500 and the other $50. The creditor to whom they were indebted forgave both of their debts; then Jesus asked Simon a question:
“Which of them will love him [the creditor] more?” Meaning, “Which will be most grateful?”
Simon responds, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven” and Jesus tells him, “You have judged rightly.”
How is this story meaningful for us today?
Well, don’t think of it as a story about paying a financial debt, but a story that refers to the degree of gratitude one has for a kindness extended.
In our case, in particular, it raises the question, “How grateful am I that Jesus died so that my sins can be forgiven?”
If you do not realize that you sin, it is very likely that you are not especially grateful, but if you have considerable self-awareness and recognize your sins, it will change your life.
Have you ever done anything that you know you shouldn’t have? Maybe treated someone badly, or criticized or insulted someone? Have you ever intentionally acted in a way you knew you shouldn’t?
In this story, Jesus points out that the Pharisee who invited him to eat with him didn’t even provide water for his feet (those roads Jesus walked were probably very dusty!), but the sinful woman bathed his feet with her tears, kissed them, and anointed them with ointment.
In other words, she showed great love and her great sins were forgiven. He told her, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
That’s something we would all love to hear!
But, she would have missed that altogether had she not come to Jesus in humility. Think about it. If she wasn’t aware of her need for forgiveness and if she had just continued on in her life, doing the same things she had always done, she would have missed a tremendous opportunity.
When Jesus died on the cross, he bore our sins. They were offered up to the Father in his personal sacrifice.
Our sins are redeemed by his great love.
Are you the Pharisee or the sinful woman? Keep that in mind as you ask yourself, “How grateful am I?” or, maybe more importantly, “How grateful might I become?”