Summary: “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. And He said to her ‘your sins are forgiven” Luke 7:47-48.
Theme: The Lord forgives
Text: 2 Sam. 12:7-13; Gal. 2:16, 19-21; Lk. 7:36-50
Man’s greatest need is the need for forgiveness whether he realises it or not. It is the only way to restore a broken relationship and all humanity needs to be restored to a relationship with God that was broken through sin. Many saints throughout the ages have realised their need for forgiveness. David realised his need for forgiveness after his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah in an attempt to cover up his crime. He acknowledged and repented from his sin without making any excuses opening the way for God’s forgiveness. His repentance, forgiveness, and restoration serves as an example to us that no matter how terrible our sin is or how miserable and guilty we feel, we can pour out our heart to God and seek His forgiveness as David did. God is always ready to forgive us when we acknowledge and repent of our sin. This is the reason why God sent the prophet Nathan to David and this is the reason why the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. They point us to our need for forgiveness and to the Lord who forgives.
Unlike David there are many people who will not acknowledge sin in their lives. Simon, the Pharisee and the woman in today’s Scripture reading were both sinners. The difference between the two of them was that the woman acknowledged her need for forgiveness whereas Simon did not. The woman was aware of her sin and she acknowledged it. We cannot acknowledge a sin that we are not aware of. Simon was not aware he was a sinner because of his pride, neither was he aware that he had done anything wrong by the way he had treated his guest, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Each person falls into one of these two categories, either that of Simon, the Pharisee or that of the woman. Like the two of them we are all sinners and need God’s forgiveness. Some people, like the woman, are aware of their sin, acknowledge them, seek forgiveness from Christ and are forgiven. They are forgiven not because of anything that they had done but because of faith in Christ Jesus as happened to the woman in Simon’s house. Jesus did not reject either the woman’s tears or her gift of ointment because her works were the evidence of her faith. She was saved by her faith alone for no amount of good works could pay for her salvation. Her faith was demonstrated by the way she overcame every obstacle in her path to come to Jesus. It was her faith that made her go into the house of a Pharisee where she knew she was not welcome. Indeed, Simon’s behaviour was not only that of someone who wanted nothing to do with her but also of someone who expected no one to have anything to do with her either. It was again by faith that she came to Jesus, as she knew that Jewish Rabbis did not speak to women in public how much more to one with a bad reputation. Forgiveness is a gift that Christ has made available to all people. Throughout the Bible we encounter a God who keeps on forgiving and loving in the face of our rejection and disobedience. All we need to do is to acknowledge and confess our sins and He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.