“I tell you, 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.” - Luke 7:47
Love can be quite illogical. It has its own set of rules that are more emotional than rational. And logic can be decidedly unloving. Built on major and minor premises and arriving at incontrovertible conclusions, logic can easily lose sight of human beings and their needs.
Take as an example the dinner party at Simon the Pharisee’s house where Jesus was the guest of honor. A woman of unsavory reputation (an “immoral woman,” Luke 7:37), unwelcome in such company, joined the party (as custom allowed) and embarrassed the guests by weeping over Jesus’ feet as he reclined at the table, anointing his feet with expensive perfume, and kissing and drying them with her hair.
This was where Simon’s logic took over.
- Major premise—Real prophets have nothing to do with sinful women.
- Minor premise— Jesus is allowing this woman to touch—and caress!—him.
- Conclusion—“This proves that Jesus is no prophet” (7:39).
The obvious passion in the woman’s behavior, her unrestrained expression of adoration and respect, and her heartfelt tears of sorrow and joy—all these left Simon the Pharisee cold. Logic triumphed over love in his heart.
Jesus, with the benefit of laser insight, read Simon’s mind and “answered his thoughts” (7:40)—much to Simon’s chagrin. Subtly and masterfully, Jesus got Simon to agree that, in a case where one person is forgiven much and another little, it is not unusual to find that the one forgiven most is most appreciative. Simon’s logical mind could handle that with ease! But what he couldn’t handle was the application Jesus made. Jesus pointed out to Simon that the woman’s behavior, which Simon found so distasteful, was in fact much more appropriate than the cold, heartless “welcome”—lacking even common courtesies—that Jesus had received from Simon (7:43-46).
But Jesus was not commenting on social graces—or even on their lack. He was speaking about the issue of love. Jesus saw the difference between Simon’s behavior and the woman’s as a matter of love, and a special kind of love at that! It is the love that comes from the knowledge of forgiveness. Simon knew nothing of this—because he recognized nothing of his own need. His logic no doubt kept him insulated from guilt and, therefore, isolated from grace. But the woman, who was neither insulated from guilt nor isolated from grace, relied only on her experience of forgiveness. Overwhelmed with gratitude, she showed her love. Extravagantly, beautifully, and illogically!
Men don’t need to “get in touch with their feminine side” to experience and express Christ’s love. They just need to think logically about Jesus and his grace and let their reciprocal love show. To their surprise, they might find their expressions of love defying their masculine logic!
For Further Study: Luke 7:36-50
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Stuart Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.