How Much Is Enough?

January 23, 2012 at 10:13 am | Posted in Luke, Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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The Lord Jesus was well-known during His earthly ministry for spending time with the “wrong crowd:” He was, at times, in the company of prostitutes, publicans, and outcasts. However, in addition to ministering to “open sinners,” there were some occasions when He also fellowshipped with “secret sinners.” One such occasion is recorded in Luke 7, where Jesus had been invited to a meal at the home of Simon the Pharisee.

And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.

Luke 7:36

In those days and in that culture, hosts and guests dined together in somewhat of an “open-air” setting, where passers-by could observe and even barge in unannounced.

And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

Luke 7:37-38

Simon was shocked and offended by this behavior. He was offended that an obviously sinful woman would intrude on his time with the well-known Prophet of Nazareth, and even more shocked that Jesus would not rebuke her. What Simon was willfully ignoring, however, was that this woman was not the only sinner present. Simon – just like the woman, and just like everyone else present except for Jesus, and just like you and me and everyone you ever have known and ever will know – was a sinner, too. Here is how Jesus responded to the woman’s egregious and shameless show of love and worship toward her Savior:

Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

Luke 7:47-48

The key difference between the woman and Simon was not that one was a sinner and one was not. The difference was that one recognized the magnitude of her sin and one did not. Do you realize how great and terrible and inexcusable your sins against your loving and patient and giving God have been? Those who realize how much they have been forgiven will love much. Those who minimize their sin will love the Forgiver of those sins but little. Give yourself a quick test: Going to church is one of the easiest ways to show your love to God for what He has done for you in Christ. How do you feel about doing it? Is going to church something that you do if you don’t have some other obligation, if the weather is nice, and if your back doesn’t hurt too much?

Appreciation for forgiveness = greater love and grateful service.

Minimization of sin, or forgiveness taken for granted = little love and begrudging service.

How much have you been forgiven, and how much did it cost your Forgiver?


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