Summary: Do we have a heart of forgiveness or fault finding? How we answer this question reveals if our heart is fully committed to God.
A lawyer was reading the will of a rich man. All of the people who were mentioned in the will were required to attend:
“To you, my loving wife Rose, who stood by me in rough times, as well as good, I leave her the house and $2 million.”
“To my daughter Jessica, who looked after me in sickness and kept the business going, I leave her the yacht, the business and $1 million.
The Lawyer concluded, “And, to my cousin Dan, who hated me, argued with me, and thought that I would never mention him in my will - well you were wrong. Hi Dan!”
We’re continuing our series “Discovering the Heart of God.” We’re looking at ways that the love of God will flow through us to the people around us. Our theme verse is 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” God isn’t looking for perfection He’s looking for commitment. But if we are really committed to Him, then the love of God is going to flow into us, it’s going to transform us, and then it is going to flow out to other people.
So for six week we’re looking at characteristics that will be in our lives if our hearts are really after God’s heart. Last week we looked at faith. We said that faith is not just the belief in the existence of God, but belief in the ability of God and the promises of God. If you have faith then it is going to show up in your life. Real faith is active. If you have faith then there are going to be things in your life that you are doing, dreams that you are pursuing that can only happen if God helps to make them happen. Because faith is when we believe in God, follow where He is leading and have confidence to see as if the promise has already been fulfilled.
Today we are going to be looking at forgiveness. Our key passage is Luke 7:36-50, “Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is-that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Sion, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, form the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have ben forgiven-for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Today we are looking at a story that demonstrates not just forgiveness but of people’s response. If you’re familiar with the gospels then this is the story of an unlikely dinner party. Jesus gets invited to have dinner at the home of a Pharisee. Generally when Jesus is dealing with a Pharisee it’s because they are around trying to trip Him up or trying to find fault with Him so that they can accuse Him. But here in this chapter not only is Jesus eating with a Pharisee but they are eating at the home of the Pharisee by the invitation of the Pharisee. This is an unexpected setting and on unusual event. That’s something that I think we need to realize about many of the stories that we see in the Bible, they are there because they are unusual, because they were unexpected.