“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” – Luke 7:47
What benefit is there in hearing about our sin? Isn’t this a negative message – a downer in a generation of people that already has so much negativity coming their way? Preachers who talk about sin are sinners themselves so where do they get off pointing their ancient biblical finger at us and decrying our misdeeds? I’m sure we have all pondered whether or not it is fitting for modern day occupants of pulpits to raise the question of our behavior. When there is so much else that the bible addresses it would seem like we would do well to speak more of Heaven and blessing and angels and healings. We could listen all day about walls tumbling, giants falling, paradise being renewed on earth! But sin and judgment and repentance and disciplinary action from the Almighty? Do we really need to address sin and culpability so often?
Only if we are looking for an opportunity to love Jesus more and understand more His love for us.
Jesus lent words above which have a full-Kingdom echo. He’s giving us a principle which moves beyond the woman washing His feet with her tears and hair in Luke 7. On behalf of the misfit lady who has broken decorum and breached protocol by entering a place she wasn’t invited, letting her hair down in public and expressing unfettered worship without a care of what anyone else thought, Jesus gives her a hearty defense. He explains her actions in a context of her love for Jesus which proceeded from His forgiveness of her many sins. Jesus teaches that the person who knows the depth of God’s forgiveness that they have experienced will respond in lavish displays of devotion. He then flips the coin and teaches that those who do not comprehend how sinful they are and/or how much they have been forgiven will find themselves with minimal appreciation of God’s gift of forgiveness and, consequently, love Him only a little. This is a huge principle in our churches today and among those who profess to follow Jesus.
Those who rightly esteem the height of their former debt to God will respond most joyfully when they understand how fully and freely it has been removed from their record. Gratitude, relief, holy surprise, and a sense of joyful indebtedness will come from the heart which understands what God has done. These same lives will bring forth worship, praise, service and sacrifice for the object of their love and all lesser loves will diminish in significance. Bluntly stated, the ones who have rightly understood the gift of God’s forgiveness will not be able to resist living out their lives for Him. If you don’t love Him in a way which is clearly evidenced in your life if it is, in part, because you are ignorant of the enormity of your sin and the magnitude of His forgiveness. May He make both of these a constant reality in your life – great guilt eclipsed by even greater grace!
One of the befits of speaking of sin is that it provides the dark backdrop against which the shining diamond of God’s grace appears. Christ is that diamond and the dark cloth is your guilt. Look at the diamond and know that God has mined it out at a great price. It is brilliant, polished and perfect. He has offered it to you as the only way for your guilt to be removed. It has cost Him all and He gladly paid it in love to save any who will believe Him. Have you believed? Then love Him. I need not tell you to love Him because you cannot help but to do so if you have truly received His gift. Study this gift often and keep it against the dark cloth of your transgression so you will always remember how gloriously it shines.