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Measuring Your Forgiveness and Love
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But he who has been forgiven little, loves little (Luke 7:47B NIV)
In the 1970’s Boeing Aircraft Company produced a jumbo jet that became the biggest civilian production aircraft of the 20th Century. The 747 was so big that it really had no competition. Luke 7:47 is a jumbo jet of a scripture. Jesus’ words challenge the mind, as forgiveness and love are essential in any type of relationship.
Jesus is a guest in the house of a Pharisee called Simon, an uninvited woman of ill reputed character entered the house and washed Jesus feet with her tears, he was not given any water to wash his feet, as it was a customary thing to do in that culture. Simon haughtily questioned Jesus’ ability to judge a person and to be associated with them based on righteousness and sinful character.
In a teaching parable to Simon, Jesus said, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven---for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” In another encounter a rich young man acknowledged Jesus as “Good Teacher” and asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life (Mark 10:17 NIV)?” Jesus questioned the man’s heart about who is good in which the young man indicated that he has kept all the commandments of God since he was a boy.
The woman who washed and the rich young man both sought out Jesus for salvation. The woman was aware of her sins and was drawn to the compassion of Jesus, the young man was aware of how he kept all the commandments and he was hoping that this will be enough to inherit eternal life. He left sad, the women left redeemed having her sins forgiven and most likely became a disciple of Jesus.
There is a co-relation between how much someone loves God and others based on how they view their sins before and after baptism into Christ. Sometimes we hold to an unconscious standard that says, “I am a sinner” but I did not do a lot of bad things as others or my sins are worse than others. This is where we have been forgiven little, not by God but by our own measurement.
“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross“ (Colossians 2:13a-14 NIV). “Those most conscious of forgiveness will bear the most fruit in godly love” (quote by Jon Ritenbaugh).
On the cross Jesus looked up and said, “Father forgive them” in contrast to sincere Simon looking down at the woman as a sinner. God’s forgiveness for one, two or how many of our sins is the source we draw from that causes us to love. The extent and evidence of our love will reveal the value we have placed in God’s forgiveness through Jesus.
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29 Aug 2007
There is a freedom in forgiving others and in receiving forgiveness for our failures. Great lesson.
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