Jesus makes the point very clearly. When a person is forgiven, the result will be love. And the greater the forgiveness, the greater the love.
Simon, a Pharisee, had invited Jesus into his home. But being a Pharisee, he naturally believed that he had his act together. Not much forgiveness was really needed for him. At least, that’s how Simon looked at it. And his love matched that. When Jesus came to his house, Simon was completely unwelcoming.
An unnamed (and apparently uninvited) woman, however, came into Simon’s house while Jesus was there. She broke open a very valuable jar of perfume and poured the perfume onto Jesus’ feet. She washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, and with her hair.
The only difference? The woman was “a woman who had lived a sinful life in the town” (Luke 7:37, NIV).
She was sinful. She knew it. But she trusted that Jesus had great forgiveness for her. Which, in fact, he did. So, as a result of being forgiven, she showed great love to Jesus.
When forgiveness overflows, love overflows.
“Two people 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 forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“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—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:41-47, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Sunday, March 29, is Numbers 26:12 – 27:11, Luke 7:36-50 and Proverbs 8:12-21.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your forgiveness. You have forgiven me much. Now help me to love you as much as you have first loved me–and forgiven me.
Header image based on "snow whites tears" by L. Whittaker, CC By 2.0