Good morning! Shortly, I’m meeting a friend for a workout in the great outdoors, but before I go I wanted to clue y’all in on something I read this a.m. in my Bible study.
We start with the Book of Luke. “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” “ Luke 7:47
Let’s get the backstory here. Jesus was at the home of a Pharisee, awaiting dinner. When He got there, two things weren’t done. The first is that the host did not offer Jesus water to clean His feet. The second is that the host did not offer a kiss of greeting.
It’s hard for us to imagine the world in which Christ lived, but in ancient times – and I dare say at the present time – hospitality in the Middle East-area was quite different from our Americanized version. When someone in Jesus’ day entered a home as a guest, water was offered for foot washing because people (like Jesus) in that day primarily walked – on dusty roads – and therefore had very dirty feet! Also, a kiss of greeting was just part of inviting someone into your home or perhaps even meeting them outside the home.
So, Jesus is seated at table and in comes this woman. We don’t know her name, although there is speculation that it was Mary (the prostitute, not the mother of Christ). At any rate, she washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and dries them with her long hair.
Why is she weeping? Because she is accepted by Christ despite her “many sins.” The going theory is that she is a prostitute. Even in today’s culture, if a hooker walked into church and sat down beside you, there’d be some uncomfortable silences and side-long looks going on. Imagine if she walked into a dinner party and sat down beside your husband. How many daggers could you shoot out of your eyes towards her?
But if the pew you sat down on contained Christ, would He have done those things? No, my friends – He would have smiled and opened His arms!
Pay attention to the last part of this verse: ” he who is forgiven little, loves little.” It is when Christ has to forgive us of deep sins that we come to grasp how fully He loves us, and we are then able to more fully love others.
It’s so easy to judge others who are different from us. Especially if our sins are easier to hide from the outside world. Jesus isn’t giving us permission to go and sin to a great extent. But what He is saying is that for those of us who have done it, His open arms are rock-solid, and He’s ready to embrace us.
And then what? The great news is that it’s not over! Just having His forgiveness and love would be more than enough, right? But it’s not! We are then to be used as a vessel through which we love others with the love of Christ!
It sounds good. But in reality, it’s tough. The people who know us well are not so quick to forgive and love again. They’re not quick to trust us. Who could blame them? We haven’t been what we should have been.
Y’all, don’t give up, and don’t let satan win. Oh yes. He’s playing his games through people who won’t give us another chance. And there are only two things you can do. The first is to always show God’s love to those people regardless of whether they welcome you back into their lives or not. The second is to mentally shake the dust from your feet while in their presence, if they are not welcoming, and to remember that you have the love of God and your other brothers and sisters in Christ to fall back on.
Blessings today, you who have sinned much!