There is a beautiful story told in Luke chapter 7 of a woman whose life was deeply touched by Jesus. She was a sinner. Everyone knew it. When this woman heard that Jesus was visiting the home of Simon the Pharisee, she came to meet him there. She brought with her a jar of expensive perfume, so expensive in fact, that it probably cost an entire year’s wages. She came into the house, kneeled down at Jesus’ feet, and began to weep. She wept so profusely that Jesus’ feet became wet with her tears, which she dried with her hair as she anointed his feet with the perfume. What an outpouring of love and adoration! What a sight this must have been to those reclining at the table! Simon was disgusted with this whole scene and said to himself, “Doesn’t Jesus know what a sinner this woman is?”
Jesus used this moment to teach Simon a powerful lesson about forgiveness and love. Jesus said to him, “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:47 NAS95) This is a lesson that we need to take to heart. Love is the fruit of forgiveness. This woman’s outpouring of love for Jesus was a direct result of the forgiveness she had received. She knew what a sinner she was. She knew her great need for forgiveness, and she knew what a tremendous debt had been canceled. This deeply touched her heart. Her lavish acts of adoration and service for Jesus—the One who brought her such grace and forgiveness—flowed freely from her innermost being.
On the other hand, the one who is forgiven little loves little. We see this truth played out in Simon’s heart, and it can play out in our hearts, too. When we don’t realize our great need for forgiveness, or haven’t received it, or haven’t come to realize or appreciate the forgiveness we have, there will be little love for God or for others.
What about you and me? When is the last time you fell down at Jesus’ feet and wept with joy? When is the last time your heart has been touched by His forgiveness? Shouldn’t His grace cause us to worship, adore, and serve Him? But when there is little desire to worship Him or serve Him, what has gone wrong? Perhaps we, like Simon, haven’t realized our great need for forgiveness. Perhaps we have forgotten the great debt that God has canceled forever through the cross of Christ.
Love is the fruit of forgiveness. Let us express the depth of our love to God and Christ Jesus on this Lord’s Day.