“But a person who is forgiven little shows only a little love…”
When Jesus said this to Simon in Luke 7:36-50, Simon was criticizing the woman who poured the expensive perfume over Jesus’ head. Simon demonstrated the coldblooded hypocrisy (and blindness) lurking in his heart.
Jesus cut to the hypocrisy in Simon’s heart of thinking he was above the woman in question, just because he hadn’t committed the same kinds of sins she had. What Jesus was trying to say to him is that there is no person on this earth who only needs a little forgiveness–only people who think they do.
The fact is, God says in James 2:10 that if a person breaks only one of His laws, that person is guilty of breaking all of His laws! In other words, we are all as guilty as you can possibly get before a Holy God. Not one person is worse than any other no matter how grave or heaping their sins.
The only way we will ever have the love, devotion, and gratitude for Jesus like the woman in this passage is to see ourselves just as she did before Jesus changed her heart: lost, guilty, and broken. It is only then we come to experience the full extent of the mercy and forgiveness of Christ. It is only through His blood that we have been made right with God.
If, before we came to Christ, we think any higher of ourselves than the most vile person, we still do not understand the condition of our hearts or the price Jesus paid for us. In that case we, like Simon, have only been “forgiven little,” when what we truly need is to be forgiven much.
Do you feel the same deep love and devotion as the woman did for Jesus, or do you feel only forgiven little? Ask God to begin to reveal to you the extent of what He has saved you from. It is truly a beautiful thing to grasp the mercy He has lavished upon your life when you first realize the depth of your sins. When you become aware of your many offenses against God, like the woman, you will be forever grateful for such a merciful gift.
Awhile back I received a scathing letter from a random internet reader. I’d like to refer to their letter now, in case you ever find yourself dealing with a spirit of horrible condemnation from spiteful, insecure, and hypocritical Christians, of which there are probably quite a few out there. Here is an excerpt from a perfect stranger who knows nothing about my life, my suffering as a result of my sin (that took place in my first marriage almost 15 years ago), the work of God in my life since, and who didn’t even have the decency to sign their name:
“I read your article on CBN about your “affair.” You do know that the word “affair” occurs nowhere in the Bible. Your adulterous relationship is nothing to parade in public but something to be hidden. Jesus never said to seek counseling for your sin, but to forsake it. While the Lord wants us to repent of our sin and forsake it, he never intends for us to expose it (only in the church) for the world to see or read about. You said you your fleshly feeding frenzy was fueled by romantic novels and movies. Have you forsaken them both? I mean, honestly, by looking at your website it sure appears that your adultery hasn’t impinged upon your lifestyle at all (Authors comment: HUH?). Have you tried to reconcile with your husband? Who initiated the divorce? Well I am glad that you have sensed God’s grace throughout your “ordeal,” it sure appears that you aren’t suffering much.”
If this person’s letter has any credibility, then I guess we need to take all those “sinners” out of the Bible, because all their worst sins are out there for all the world to hear about, too. We need to get rid of David for sure for having and “affair”…yes, an affair. Next we’ll wipe out Moses for murder. And don’t forget Jacob the cheat, Abraham the liar, and Peter the deny-er. Oh, and this perfume-wasting woman, as well as Jesus’ great-granny, Rahab, the prostitute. And so many more. At this rate, we’re running out of Bible, which appears that it is full of…well…sinners just like me! But then again, Jesus said He came for those who realized their need for Him…those sinners who aren’t afraid to admit it. Not those who think they are good enough already–the ones He referred to as “white-washed tombs.” I’d like to try to fall into the first category.
Revelation says that we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Our testimony is the verbal or written message we give to others near and far, to tell them what total losers/sinners/bad people we were BEFORE Jesus got a hold of our lives and how we’re different now so that others can find hope.
I’m sorry, but this person is totally out of touch with real life and actually has quite set themselves up for massive failure. Just remember the perfume. The woman was forgiven much and because of it, she loved much—she lavished her gratefulness on her Savior with beautiful aroma. LOVE is what covers a multitude of sins, not self-righteous judgment. Don’t let the condemning few steal your joy with words of condemnation, because Romans 8:1 says there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ. Let their words be like water off a ducks back!
Thank you, o person who wrote in, so I could teach my hundreds of weekly devoted readers something important from you. Just know, if you ever find yourself in need of grace after a big fall, I’d be happy to be the first one to give it because that’s what Jesus would do. That’s real love.