- Matt. 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10
- Luke 7:11-23
- Matt. 11:7-15; Luke 7:24-50
- Luke 8:1-3
- Matt. 12:22-30; Mark 3:20, 22-27
- Matt. 12:31-37; Mark 3:21, 28-30
- Matt. 12:38-45; Luke 11:24-28
- Matt. 12:46-50
- Luke 11:33-36
Consider the following events from today's Bible reading:
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 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?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 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. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
(Luke 7:36-50 NIV)
As Jesus spoke to Simon the Pharisee, He contrasted this sinful woman with Simon. The sinful woman had approached Jesus broken-hearted, weeping because of her sin, recognizing Jesus as LORD. Simon the Pharisee had Jesus into his home, but had treated Jesus with far less honor than the sinful woman, and was in fact cold-hearted towards the woman. When the sinful woman came to Jesus, she was still in her sins—she was guilty. Simon the Pharisee had also been guilty of sin.
I believe that the point of Jesus' question to Simon, as to which forgiven person loved the moneylender more, is that all of us are guilty before (that is, indebted towards) GOD. The person who has been forgiven of more sin will love GOD more deeply because of their recognition of how great a debt they owed. But here's the catch: even the person who has sinned the least owes GOD a tremendous debt! The amount of love I feel towards GOD depends on my perception of how much GOD has forgiven me.
Every single person, regardless of how much sin they've been forgiven of, should feel a tremendous love towards GOD. Simon, though he may have received little forgiveness, was in tremendous debt. Apparently he didn't realize it, though, and therefore loved GOD little.