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Forgiveness, an Extension of Love

The Pharisees were no friends of Jesus. They stayed close but with evil intentions. Jesus did not shun or avoid them. In His dealings with Pharisees, we have much to learn about how to stand firm when in the presence of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That is perhaps another blog.

In Luke 7, Jesus accepts the dinner invitation from a nameless Pharisee. The scene opens with Jesus reclining at the table. A native of this town, a woman crashes the party, not for herself but for Jesus. With her jar of alabaster, she adorns her Savior’s feet with her tears, wipes them with her hair, and pours the perfume upon them. What a vivid picture of an intimate connection with our Lord!

Has any one of us slowed down enough to worship Him in the presence of enemies?

The Pharisee seizes the opportunity to belittle the woman and Jesus:

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.” (Luke 7:39)

Let this be a reminder not to look at others’ sin. We must take care of our own. The Pharisee not only neglected the customary welcome of Jesus into his home but outright joined with his religious counterparts to deny the Messiah to His holy face.

“You did not pour oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 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 7:46-47)

Jesus here is not suggesting there are gradations of forgiveness. His finished work on the Cross is just that … finished.

However, here we hear our Lord calling to us to pour out love, not just prayers and petitions. Pure love and adoration to our Lord are welcome on an occasion, but especially when we sin. This woman walked unashamed into a place where she was immediately on everyone’s radar. None of us know whether the whimpers of her heart were trepidation or even concealed shame.

If she felt any of the latter, the feelings did not have the victory.

Faith, trust, and worshipful love went before, strengthening her.

Jesus publicly forgave (v.48) and showered her with love.

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

If Jesus had never said a word, this woman would still have left His presence full. Her Lord had received her sacrifice of tears, purchased perfume, and time spent with Him.

Jesus affirmed her and blessed her with peace.

Forgiveness lives in us, we who believe. We shall not take it, or our Lord, for granted.

When we sin, even the slightest stray thought, the overspending on self, the prideful moment in our marriage, we shall fall at His feet and love Him.

Give unto Him who is worthy of the honor, time, and intimacy.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38)

Dear Lord,

Oh, we are in awe of how You revered this sinful woman. Your ways are not ours. Your love is deeper than we could ever imagine. Help us, Lord, to not allow sin to slip by as if it doesn’t matter to You. You, Jesus, took the nails in Your hands and feet, where ours should have been. Lord, together we lift Your name on high. We praise Your holy name. We ask You to reignite our love for You like we had at the beginning—like this woman had with the alabaster jar. We need You now more than we did yesterday or even this morning. In Jesus’ name, we pray. AMEN

Julie Dibble is a servant of her Lord Jesus Christ. Together with her husband Jason, they have two sons, Braedon 17 and Jackson 15, and one rescued pup named Rocko. Julie preaches, writes, hikes, and prays for God to use her daily in this broken world. Currently, she is on staff at Newberrytown Church of God as Director of Outreach and Evangelism.

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