• Lent Devotional – Day 32


    God’s Compassion: Expect the Unexpected

    “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.”- Luke 7:47

    Simon did not realize that Jesus, God’s Son, must act in God’s way, with compassion, tenderness, and mercy. Simon’s way was to ignore Mary’s repentant service. The act of kissing Christ’s feet and pouring on them the ointment was annoying to his cold-heartedness. He thought to himself that Christ ought to recognize sinners and rebuke them.

    In Luke 7, to Simon’s unverbalized thought, Jesus answered, “‘Simon, I have something to say to you. … There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more. And He said to him, ‘You have rightly judged.’”

    Jesus gave Mary the burden of pronouncing the sentence on herself.

    By the two debtors of the parable, Jesus meant Simon and the woman. Jesus did not expect to teach that the two of them should feel different degrees of obligation, for each owed a debt of gratitude that they could never repay. But Jesus wanted to demonstrate to Simon that his sin was as much greater than hers as a debt of five hundred denarii exceeds a debt of fifty.

    Simon now started to see himself in a new light. He saw how Jesus, who was more than a prophet, regarded Mary and realized that he had deeply wronged Mary too by despising her. . . Shame overcame him.

    “I entered your house,” Christ continued, “you gave Me no water for My feet, [but with tears of repentance Mary has washed My feet and wiped them with the hair of her head.] You gave Me no kiss, but this woman, [whom you despise,] has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in.” Christ indicated the opportunities Simon had to show his appreciation for what his Lord had done for him.

    The Heart Searcher read the motive that led to Mary’s action; He also saw the spirit that triggered Simon’s words. “Do you see this woman?” He said to him. “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.”

    Simon had thought he honored Jesus by inviting Him to his house. But now he could see himself as he really was. He saw how his religious conviction had just been a robe of Pharisaism. He had despised the compassion of Jesus. He had still not recognized Him as God’s representative. Mary was forgiven, but he was not.

    Our Lord’s gentle approach did not expose Simon to his guests, but through the parable, Jesus touched his heart. What a wonderful workman Jesus was! Having won the heart of Simon, Jesus then drew His attention to Mary and said: “Your sins are forgiven. . .. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” 

    Mr. Surender Pokhal

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