Sunday, February 22, 2009

The forgiven-much loves much

I recently read again the story of Jesus, Simon the Pharisee and the "sinful woman" in Luke 7:36-50.

At first it seems to be all about the woman. Simon certainly thought it was. 

But its really all about Simon.  He's the one who needs the teaching, not the woman. He's the one with the wrong attitude, not the woman. He's the one who doesn't appreciate the company he's in, not the woman.

Simon "loved little" not because he needed to be "forgiven little". He "loved little" because he didn't appreciate that perhaps he too needed to be "forgiven much". 

The extent to which we appreciate our own sinfulness determines the extent that we will be drawn, overflowing with gratitude, to Christ.

"'Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ' God I thank You that I am not like other people - swindlers, unjust, adulterers - or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I pay tithes of all that I get'

But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast saying 'God be merciful to me the sinner!"  
(Luke 18:10-13)