Jesus commands us to love God and love people. Every connection He makes during His time on earth serves to emphasize this point. By invitation, He forgives, redeems, and introduces His Kingdom in real-time.
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. (Luke 7:36, NIV)
Jesus loves and leverages the power of story. Keenly aware of those listening in, He resets cultural boundaries, slams the status quo, and accentuates a love beyond the law few listening fully understand.
His stories and actions demonstrate unprecedented compassion. The brand of forgiveness He communicates relocates hearts to unexplored places. A holy agenda permeates what He says and all He does.
And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears; and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with fragrant oil. (Luke 7:37-39)
Jesus, a broken alabaster flask, fragrant oil mixed with tears, and a woman who is not confused about who she is, command center stage. Jesus embraces everything about this moment, delivering profoundly the big idea of sin, grace, forgiveness, and repentance.
On this evening, those attending the dinner party witness an exchange of fierce love, mercy, and grace, without the ability to comprehend it. The whole point of His coming is being illustrated in an epic way before them and they miss it.
Instead of bringing them to their knees, the scene before them becomes acutely uncomfortable and disturbing.
Simon the Pharisee, the host for the evening, murmurs and fusses. Jesus distracts him and the others with a story. He speaks of a creditor and two debtors and then challenges them with a question.
Who will love the creditor more, the one with the largest debt forgiven or the smallest debt forgiven? (Luke 7:42)
Simon, now fully engaged in the story, correlates quickly the direct relationship between the degree of sin and the depth of gratitude. He responds.
I suppose the one whom he forgave more. (Luke 7:43)
Jesus smiles. Now Simon gets it. But Jesus knows He must break it down even more for those still confused about the woman, what He has already told them, and the authority He has to forgive this woman’s sin. Jesus presses on.
Those who have eyes to see – see. Those who have ears to hear – hear.
What about you? Are you there yet? You can be.
- Open your heart. Pray for wisdom to feel deeply what He feels when He looks at you and those around you.
- See the eternal possibility in people. Keep looking until you see the holy potential in others, regardless of where they are right now, you will find it.
- Go where He leads. Be willing to become comfortable with the uncomfortable things He is asking you to do.
- Speak the Truth. Use every word you speak to deposit truth wrapped in grace.
- Trust the Holy Spirit. Be faithful do to your part and then stand in awe as he does His.
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. (Luke 7:47)
What does His lavish love and forgiveness compel you to do today? In His Name and through His power, I urge you, go and do it.
Living to serve,