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I am a non-relevant, non-famous, average person, living in this world as a visitor with my real home in Heaven.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are your sins too bad to be forgiven?

Have you ever believed that what you have thought, said or done is so bad that God could not possibly forgive me or love me. I say to you know that is not so. There is nothing you can do that is so bad, that when you call upon the Lord he will deny you forgiveness. This passage in Luke I was reading the other day and it touched me in a profound way. The passage below is about a sinful woman or presumably a prostitute forgiven.

Luke 7:36-50 (New King James Version)

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore 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.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Jesus was invited to a Pharisees house for a meal and sat down to eat. Now its the custom of the day to treat your guests with certain customs like washing their feet and greeting them to welcome them into your home. The Pharisee did none of this, but a prostitute or sinful woman in the area heard that Jesus was going to be at this house and she made it a point to be there. This woman had done many things sinful in her life and Jesus even points out that her sins are many, but first he lets the Pharisee know his error. I find it interesting that the Pharisee treated Jesus so rudely. Could it be that the Pharisee had a hidden agenda in inviting Jesus over for diner? I guess the whole point is that the Pharisee also had sin in his life, but he felt it necessary to point out to Jesus that the woman weeping at his feet was a sinner and he should not be associating with her. But Jesus knows the hearts of men, and knew that this woman had sacrificed much to get to Jesus so she can be forgiven. This woman knew she had sin in her life and knew there was only one way to get forgiveness and that was to get to Jesus. She had faith that if she could just get to Jesus and be allowed to clean his feet, which I think she didn't even feel worthy to do that, she could be cleansed of her sins. She didn't even feel worthy to clean his feet because of her many tears shed at his feet. She did not care how much the alabaster flask cost or that she was getting dirt and filth in her hair, all of that was a small price to pay for the chance to be cleansed by our Lord. Oh how often I have felt so unworthy to even approach Jesus, that if I could only crawl to Him and touch His feet maybe He will have mercy on me. The most powerful verses of this passage, to me, is the last 3 verses. He tells her "Your sins are forgiven", and then in the last verse He says to her,
“Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” We have just seen a salvation, wow. This woman, even though her sins were many, came to Jesus in faith knowing that others would talk about her actions, it did not matter. She showed faith that Jesus could save her, and what anyone else thought it did not matter. What a beautiful picture of repentance, forgiveness, and salvation. Then Jesus said go in peace. There is no other peace like that of having your sins wiped away and trusting in the Lord.