Forgiven Much Love Much

You (Simon the Pharisee) neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head,

but she (the “sinful” woman) has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”  Luke 7:44-47 (NLT)

Lord Jesus, we would do well to meditate on this story with great regularity. Because nothing is more daily than messy relationships and the call to forgive. Nothing is more scandalous than the way you forgive us. And nothing is more important than the way that we love fellow broken sinners.

We see ourselves in this story in many places. We can act like Simon the self-righteous Pharisee. We often see people only through the lens of criticism and judgment—especially if their actions offend, inconvenience, or hurt us. Forgive us, Lord, for thinking anybody needs your mercy and grace more than we do. We have zero stones to throw.

We’re also represented by this broken woman at your feet. Our sins are just as ugly and numerous as hers; they’re just not as public or notorious. Though we believe you’ve forgiven all of our sins—past, present, and future—make it fresh, real, and humbling, Jesus. How is it possible that we ever take our forgiveness for granted?

We truly want to forgive others as you have forgiven us, Jesus. Intensify our love for you in response to your great and unwavering love for us. May the tears of gratitude we offer at your feet become the water of mercy with which we wash the feet of others. Grant us big grace, Lord, especially for the people who have caused us the deepest, longest-lasting pain. So very Amen we pray, in your kind and powerful name.