“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 7:47 (NLT)
Maybe you already know the story that is found in Luke’s Gospel about the woman who was forgiven much and the Pharisee who was really awful when it came to showing Jesus any Middle Eastern hospitality. If you haven’t, then I suggest that you open the Bible, go to Luke 7:36-50, read it, and then come back to today’s Freedom Fighter. If you already have, then you can stay right where you are. With that outta the way, let’s get to the stench of hatred (bet ya didn’t see that coming.)
So, Dr. Charles Zimmerman was at Keswick recently and he gave a pretty good take on what it must have smelled like during the dinner party that was being thrown by Simon the Pharisee. The food smelled good while it was being cooked, and for all intents and purposes it had better been, because – after all – this guy is a religious leader in his community and serving anything that resembles McDonalds was just out of the question. But the one thing that was inescapable was the smell of body odor from all the people that came to this event…especially the odor of unwashed feet. You can read John 13 on the more important reason that we receive a foot washing from time to time. Anyway…
Now, the idea of this get together was to catch Jesus teaching blasphemies, and if that were to be found out, then fire-roasted food would be exchanged for some good ole fashioned sun baked rocks. But it doesn’t work out that way, does it? Au Contraire!! The smell of perfume, being poured on the feet of Jesus, from a woman who knows that everyone at that dinner party hates her, and hates her even being there among them, permeates the entire scene. Aahh…. the sweet smell of being loved and forgiven destroying the stench of hatred. Her sins—that were many—forgiven by The Savior!!
And it’s all because of The 7:47 Principle (as Max Lucado puts it.) This is “just like the jumbo jet, the 7:47 Principle has wide wings. Just like the aircraft, this truth can lift you to another level.” When you go back and reread the last part of today’s verse “But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love” could basically be said in this way, a person can’t give what they never received.
I gotta feel bad for that guy we read about in Matthew 18:23-35, simply because he didn’t feel as if he was truly forgiven of his debt. Even though he pleaded for forgiveness in the physical sense (like not being sold into slavery) his heart wasn’t right to receive it, hence we could say, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Ya see, all that guy wanted was to not be punished, and since this certain king wasn’t Jesus he couldn’t see his servant’s heart, but the woman with the perfume understood something deeper. If the Savior could see His way clear to exonerate her of her moral corruption, she could drop everything that was once hers (like that expensive bottle of perfume for example) and walk worthy as a child of The Most-High God.
Sometimes when we have wronged others, all we see is the punishment that we rightly deserve coming our way. It’s the ‘not getting it’ that vexes us and if we are unwilling to receive the forgiveness that comes from it we’ll become that wicked servant who saw himself in the man that owed a few dollars or like all those people that stunk up a dinner party thinking they were okay with God.
It’s my hope today that I smell like a forgiven person. Now, that may not always be the case. After all, I can also be “human, all too human” at times and fall short of the glory of God, but that doesn’t mean I can’t receive a foot washing. Once again, Au Contraire!! “God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). If I have any reverence for The Most-High God like I say I do, and I allow this simple truth to permeate my life, then I too may change the scent of the rooms I inhabit…and so can you. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “We preachers have been guilty of skipping the first step. “Love each other!” we tell our churches. “Be patient, kind, forgiving,” we urge. But instructing people to love without telling them they are loved is like telling them to write a check without our making a deposit in their accounts. No wonder so many relationships are overdrawn. Hearts have insufficient love.” — Max Lucado
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25