Wednesday, 11 May 2022
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” -Luke 7:48
How does it feel like to be forgiven of a great debt you could never repay? That’s exactly what the story of the sinful woman who received forgiveness from her Saviour for the multitude of sins she had committed, tells us today. Though she was unwelcome in the house where Jesus was invited, she was welcomed by Jesus who saw in her genuine devotion poured at his feet.
Jesus was invited to the house of Simon, a Pharisee for a meal. We can describe the Pharisee as “Mr. Morally Right”, one who kept all the rules, unwilling to associate with those not like him, one who always knew the right answers and quick to point fingers at the wrongs in others! Hence these men thought they were the closest to God! But it is proved otherwise in our text today.
Most often our perceptions prevent people from coming to God as we distance them by our prejudices. But Jesus teaches what His terms of welcome are. The kind of person He would welcome as seen through the story of the forgiven woman are:
The one who truly worships Him
Though the woman was an uninvited guest, she walks in with her eyes fixed on Jesus and being in His presence, not caring about anything else except to offer her devotion. Her tears wet His feet; she dried His feet with her hair and then she poured the expensive perfume at his feet- it was as if the room was saturated with her worship!
The host, Simon welcomed Jesus into his home, but not into his heart. This woman had welcomed Jesus into her heart -she gave the best welcome in the world to Jesus, giving herself in complete submission at His feet! She was welcomed into His presence!
The one who is “Christ-centred” rather than self-righteous
In his own evaluation, Simon thought of himself better than this woman- a self-righteous attitude! Everyone looked up to him and had looked down at her. She had nothing to claim for her standing before Jesus; the debt of her sin was greater compared to Simon’s. The more we realize the depth of our sin, the more indebted we will be to Christ. And one of the greatest sin of all is, not realizing that you are sinful; a self-righteous attitude! 1 Peter 5:5 says,“…God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.”
The one who loves Him, being grateful for His forgiveness
The woman shows us the picture of one who loved Jesus in deep gratitude for the forgiveness she received. In the final verses, we see Jesus rebuking Simon, not the woman. She received God’s love completely. On the other hand, Simon hadn’t treated Jesus even to the normal customs of welcoming a guest. He didn’t realize the debt he has as he couldn’t even recognize his sins. He couldn’t perceive Jesus as the One who could forgive the debt of sin. Jesus demonstrates to Simon that He is more than just a teacher, more than a prophet- He is God who can forgive sin!
How do we respond?
Are we like Simon the Pharisee or do we understand like the sinful woman the depth of our sin and the need for a Saviour and surrender to Him our lives? Jesus waits with arms open wide to welcome those who realize their sin and the forgiveness He offers. On recognizing the extent of the debt He has forgiven, those who truly worship Him have their hearts overwhelmed with the love flowing from His forgiveness!
To Act on: “…let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.”(Hebrew 10:22 NLT)
Listen: 'Boldly I approach'