There is a wonderful episode in the life of Jesus that is given to us in Luke chapter 7. You will remember it.
A Pharisee named Simon had invited Jesus to come to eat a meal with him. When Jesus sat down to eat, a woman, referred to simply as “a sinner” came to Jesus and began to weep.
It was the custom of the time for a guest in a home to be offered water to wash the dust from the guest’s feet. The weeping woman noticed that Simon had neglected to offer this simple act of hospitality to Jesus.
So, as Jesus sat at the meal, she, shockingly, began to wash the dust off Jesus’ feet with her own tears and dry them with her own hair.
Simon’s reaction was essentially, “Good grief! Doesn’t Jesus know what kind of woman this is who is touching his feet like that? This is embarrassing!”
So Jesus told Simon a story about two debtors. They both owed money to the same guy. But one of the debtors owed him ten times more than the other. Amazingly, the lender forgave both debts.
Then Jesus asked Simon a probing question, “Which of the two debtors do you suppose loved the lender more?” Simon answered reasonably, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”
And Jesus answered and said, “Yup! You got it!”
Then Jesus added, “her sins–and they are many–have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” (v. 47)
That’s why I think I may love Jesus more than you do!
As I look back over my life I feel a great deal of shame! I have been guilty of many highly embarrassing sins. I choose not to go into detail here. (I always had a bit of a problem with the guys who seem to wear the sins of their past as a kind of badge of honor.) But God and I certainly know all about them.
And when I think about how much He has forgiven me, I marvel! How could I not love Him, Who has forgiven me so much?
I really hope that doesn’t sound trite to you. Just think about it. Suppose you had done something to hurt someone really badly. Perhaps you had said something that damaged their reputation. Perhaps you had stolen from them. Perhaps they had loaned you a lot of money and you had made no efforts to pay them back. And suppose you are really sorry and really feeling badly about the whole thing. Now suppose that they say these amazing words, “You know what? I forgive you. I love you and I forgive you.” Wow! You know you don’t deserve that forgiveness! You know that you deserve some angry retaliation! You probably would not have words to express your appreciation and your relief.
But you know, to a certain extent, the person you wronged probably deserved it. I mean, he is a human being. He’s sinned too. Perhaps he himself has wronged you or others in the past. When you wronged him, it’s possible that he really is reaping some of what he’s sowed. Of course, that doesn’t justify what you did, but still…
But… I have sinned against my Heavenly Father! Our good, loving, self-sacrificing God! And not just a trifle here and there. I’m talking ugly devastating sin. And He chooses to forgive me! It’s incredible!
My response? Inexpressible love for Him! How else could I respond?
He who has been forgiven much, loves much.
I think I may love Him more than you do!
Stay in the Battle!