Forgiven More ?
Aug 28, 2016 // By:Dave // No Comment
This morning, in the message from my pastor, one of the supportive parables quoted was from Luke 7:41-42, (about a woman so overwhelmed by her sin, being forgiven by the Lord).
It is contained in the narrative of the woman who came and cryed on Jesus’ feet, dried them with her hair, then anoited his feet with costly perfume (contained in an alabaster jar).
The story proceeds with the house owner, a pharisee, watching this unfold and saying to himself, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:39)
His statement does numerous things:
- reveals his attitude about the “sinful” woman
- reveals his perception of himself “apparently sinless”
- reveals his real attitude towards the Messiah sitting in front of him (basically if He WERE a prophet, he would not be allowing this woman to touch Him)
Jesus, knowing his thoughts and self-righteousness, tells a quick story to the pharisee about forgiveness, then takes the time to explain how this “sinful” woman gave Jesus all the traditional elements of a Jewish house welcoming while the pharisee had failed on all counts (washing feet, no kiss of greeting, no anoiting oil on the head)
The focal point of the parable is the following: “He who has been forgiven much, loves the forgiver much, and he who has been forgiven little, loves the forgiver little”.
Is this all that Jesus is trying to show to the pharisee?
Was the pharisee really forgiven less than the woman?
While human accounting may logically expect to count more sins on the woman’s account with God, more than the law-conscious pharisee, scripture offers a perspective both disturbing and comforting.
Rom 3:10 tells us that there is not one of us who can be counted righteous
Rom 3:23 tells us that ALL have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
Rom 3:9-20 paints the complete bleak picture of mankind’s stance with God apart from the cross …
lets go back to the old testament.
Isaiah 64:6 tells us that our best works are as filthy (unclean) rags before the Lord.
back to the new testament,
Eph 2:1-5 explains our “walk” aside from Christ, placed us as enemies of God, but then after all the bad news, gives the good news …
God, being rich in mercy, while we were dead in our sins, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.
You see, all of us, prostitutes, thieves, liars, murders, even those of us dressed as pharisees (enjoying how sinless we appear), are all in the same boat, a sinking boat called S.S. Mankind. (S.S. for Sinking in Sin of)
Everyone one of us falls so far short to the perfect God requires (since He is perfect) that is really does not make much difference at all between 250,000 sins or 500,000 sins, or even if by some human miracle you only sin once in your entire lifetime.
Let me explain.
Rom 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death (death=eternal separation from God) meaning that our sins pay back an earned reward of death. We worked for it and we will get it.
Think you are not so bad ? Let’s try this common sense line of questions:
- Ever lie, ever ? (by definition, you are a liar)
- Ever cheat or steal ? (by definition, you are a thief)
- Ever commit adultery?
- Ever murder anyone?
the last two you might think can be easily jumped over by most reading this post. hmmm are the really? Jesus said (Matt 5:28) That even looking at a woman with lust in your heart is the same thing as adultery since you have already committed it in your heart. Well at least you haven’t murdered anyone ! hmmm Matt 5:22 quotes Jesus as saying that anger in our heart towards a brother or sister is the same thing. WOW !!
James 2:10 tells us that breaking one of God’s laws is like breaking them all.
Everyone one of us stands guilty of breaking everyone one of God’s laws and none of us can pay for a single crime, let alone the sum of them.
This is why Jesus died on the cross for us. John 3:16-17.
It’s why we see verses like Eph 2:8-9 reminding us that our faith in Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, to pay for our sins allows us to receive the covering of His blood, His very life, given freely for us to redeem us back into a relationship with the Father. (one we could not restore on our own)
There is nothing we can do to earn it, He did it all
John 19:30 is a legal term meaning “Paid in Full” There is nothing you can add to what Jesus did on the cross for you. He paid for your crimes against the Father. He experienced the full weight of the judgement that should have fallen upon our shoulders which we honestly deserved.
So I ask you, how much are you forgiven? Do you feel like the woman willing to give all she had as an expression of gratitude?
OR do you still feel like the pharisee, dressed nicely and still feeling smug in your self accomplished righteousness, thinking God got a bargain when He found you?
Take off your pharisee robes, burn them! Go find someone you would normally look down your nose at and realize that God sees both of you the same way. Needing forgiveness. (they only difference between the pharisee and the woman, in Jesus’ eyes, was a big measure of humility and a willingness to recognize the value of a mirror) LOL
All of us need the same measure of forgiveness, Christ’s life poured out for us on the cross. Nothing less would have done and none of us would be save by a “half-dose” of the cross. Let’s stop and show some real appreciation for the level of forgiveness extended to us from the Creator of the universe and stop acting like some of us are better than others.
εν διακονια τω θεω, Dave Cadieux