I have to admit that in the past month or so, I have not spent as much time reading the Bible as I have in the past. This said, I woke this morning with a new determination to become more disciplined in this aspect of my relationship with Jesus. As always God is good and led me to a passage that really hit home for me today! In fact I spent most of the time reading it with tear flowing down my cheeks and onto the page I was reading. Ahhh… as usual God cleansed my soul and restored my strength! The passage of which I speak is that of Luke 7:36-50, this passage in the HCSB Version has the heading of:
Much Forgiveness, Much Love
“Then one of the Pharisees invited Him to eat with him. He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And a woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster jar of fragrant oil and stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, and began to wash His feet with her tears. She wiped His feet with the hair of her head, kissing them and anointing them with the fragrant oil.
When the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what kind of woman this is who is touching Him—she’s a sinner!”
Jesus replied to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
“Teacher,” he said, “say it.”
“A creditor had two debtors. One owed 500 denarii, and the other 50. Since they could not pay it back, he graciously forgave them both. So, which of them will love him more?”
Simon answered, “I suppose the one he forgave more.”
“You have judged correctly,” He told him. Turning to 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, with her tears, has washed My feet and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing My feet since I came in. You didn’t anoint My head with olive oil, but she has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why[n] she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Those who were at the table with Him began to say among themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?”
And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
I think the reason that this passage touched me so deeply today is that God was reminding me that even though I had not been living in the discipline of the past, that I was forgiven much. Sometimes in our Christian walk we forget how much Jesus sacrificed on that cross and how much forgiveness He has offered us. In turn He asks us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
We must remember that this not only means going out and sharing the Gospel, but living it! “Teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you…” Sometimes we forget that God has asked us to forgive one another as he has forgive us! This is stated in Colossians 2:12-14 “Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also forgive. Above all, put on love-the perfect bond of unity.” How can we expect the church, the universal church, to be in unity with one another, when we cannot even accomplish this within the four walls of one individual church!!!
Lord, I pray that today we can, I can start to live as a disciple of you, forgiving and showing love to my fellow-man, without condition or expected actions, but just as you have forgiven all that I have done over the years of my life that were not glorifying you, so may I forgive those around me, and thus be an example to teach through my example those who also need you and your grace and mercy and above all else love! In your Sons precious name! Amen!