The full story is found in Luke 7: 36-50 with the title, ‘Jesus anointed by a sinful woman’. Simon the Pharisee was appalled to see the well-known local sinner, a woman, find her way into his house and behave in such an outrageous manner. With hair unbound (decent women were never seen like that in public), she wept over Jesus’ feet, dried them with her hair and anointed them with precious oil. “So much for being a great prophet!” thought Simon, “This Jesus can’t even spot a sinful woman when she’s right in front of Him!”
Jesus, knowing what Simon was thinking, told him a short story about money owed to two different people. The question He then asked Simon was a simple one. If one debt is much larger than the other, and both are forgiven, who will love the person discharging the debts the most? Simon’s response is an interesting one. “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” It’s as if the response is given grudgingly, cagily, unsure where all this was heading.
Jesus affirms the answer is correct. He then draws Simon’s attention to the woman lying at His feet. Jesus then says, ‘Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little’ (Luke 7:47). Simon had great wealth, status, and power, but lacked the one thing that Jesus was looking for, the one thing that this poor woman had in great abundance, and which she lavished on Jesus, freely, totally and with abandon. It was love. ‘Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins’ (1 Peter 4:8).
Prayer: Dear Lord, please forgive me for the many times I’ve known the price of many things, but the value of none; for the times I’ve forgotten just how much I’ve needed Your forgiveness; for the times I’ve sat and judged others when I should have been on the floor at Your feet. I chose to go there now, and ask You to remind me just how much I’ve been forgiven, and just how much I’m loved. Amen.
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