09 October 2013

The Depth of Forgiveness

I love this time of year! It brings on a refreshing new season, a breath of fresh air, and chilly mornings to sit back with a cup of coffee and chat with Jesus.
What better way to start this new season off then with a story of forgiveness?
Our story begins in Luke 7:36-50 KJV. 

Jesus has been invited to the Pharisee's house and dines with him. Something interesting always happens when Jesus is in town. In verse 37 our desperation becomes real, "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." The woman was a sinner and did you catch that she was nameless? Side-note: She was known for her sins, not by her name, not by her family. She was called by her sinful actions. When the world labeled her by her shortcomings, Jesus said your sins are forgiven. How great is our God!

When she knew Jesus was in town, she came to Him. She pursued Him because she was desperate for forgiveness. Sometimes WE need to make the first move to Jesus.
Continuing in verse 38, "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." I never noticed that the woman stood behind Jesus to wash his feet. Not until verse 44 does Jesus actually turn to the woman. Nowhere from verse 38 until verse 44 does anyone acknowledge that she's there. 

What if fear or embarrassment would've scared her away? She would have never received her blessing, her forgiveness.

In verse 39, the Pharisee is having his moment of judgment "if He only knew what this woman has done." But funny thing, Jesus knows every single one of our thoughts! In verses 40-43 NLT Jesus speaks this parable:
"Then Jesus answered his thoughts. 'Simon,' he said to the Pharisee, 'I have something to say to you.' 'Go ahead, Teacher,' Simon replied. Then Jesus told him this story: 'A man loaned money to two people - 500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?' Simon answered, 'I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.' 'That's right,' Jesus said." In relation to the story of forgiveness, who will love the most? The one who has been forgiven of the most.
Back to verse 44-46 where Jesus turns to the woman and says to Simon, "Seest though this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. Mine head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment." He was showing Simon her desperation and love for Himself. The woman gave everything that Simon didn't, she loved much and she was forgiven! 
"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." Luke 7:47 KJV

What would you do to encounter the forgiveness of Jesus?

 Jesus knows all of our faults even when we don't realize them. In Psalm 19:12 it says, "How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults." He knows every part of our heart just as He knew the heart of the woman when the world only saw her sins. This is such a simple yet, recognizable story. When you read it do you place yourself in the steps of the woman or do you feel that God cannot forgive what you've done? 
What limits do you place on your BIG God? 
If you haven't experienced forgiveness, what are you waiting for? 

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