Marveling at Forgiveness

Sunday Afternoon Musings

It’s one of my favorite passages of Scripture. And for me, it’s hard to read it and not be awed by its truth. In fact, EVERY time I read it I feel like I am on the edge of cliff face looking up, and complete understanding is waiting for me only if I scale the face to see what’s at the top.

Power of ForgivenessI have read this text and thought of this text so often and dozens of times been brought to tears. Even now as I write about it I am near tears thinking about how indebted I am to Jesus and gospel and the undeserved privilege of being a child of God.

Read it with me again. Slow down and read it again. Luke 7:36–50 (ESV)

One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he 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.”

And Jesus answering said to him,
.             “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

And he answered,
.             “Say it, Teacher.”

Forgiveness in Chinese“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both.

Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon answered,
.             “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.”

And he said to him,
.            “You have judged rightly.”

Then turning toward the woman he 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.”

Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”

And he said to the woman,
.           “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

When we know how much we have been forgiven, we become great lovers. When we know how much we have been forgiven, we delight in being near the one who forgives us.

When my passion for Christ grows cold, or weak, or unresponsive, or unmotivated, or unwilling to learn, or unwilling to study, or unwilling to obey the will of God—the problem is that I have forgotten how much I have been forgiven.

“Oh God, help me to remember, don’t let me forget the wonder of how much I have been forgiven. Don’t let my love for Christ grow cold. Keep me ever in the white-hot love of being forgiven by the lamb of God.”

2 thoughts on “Marveling at Forgiveness

  1. Marty, thanks for all the things you post. They challenge, convict, and encourage me. This story is so powerful. The Gospel is incomprehensible. What a wonderful God we have.


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