This devotional was written by Mike DeVries
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. The she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is – that she is a sinner.”
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
In today’s Scripture, we read of two people and their interaction with Jesus: one, the dinner host, and the other who was uninvited. One was called a teacher; the other called a sinner.
Two people, both with access to forgiveness and peace. One a Pharisee, the other a woman.
Jesus tells a story to his host, about two people who owed debts – ones that neither could repay, yet both are forgiven. “Which will love him more?” What the host Simon does not realize is that his answer will expose that he still sees with unforgiven eyes. The issue is not that one is allowed to love less, while the other is required to love more. The issue is that there is only one response to being made whole and free – and the only one who gets it is on her knees.
How will you respond? Will it leave you still living with labels and levels of grace, or will it leave you on your knees?
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
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1. How are you responding to the love and generosity of Jesus? Is it making you more of a person of love and generosity, or more self-righteous?
2. In what ways can your life be lived more in tune to the love of Jesus?
Luke 6:46-49; John 8:31-32
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