Forgiven Much, love Much

To whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.
– Luke 7:47 –

Jesus was dining at a Pharisee’s house when a sinful woman came and washed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and then anointed them with fragrant oil. The Pharisee was upset. If Jesus were truly a prophet, then surely He would know the woman’s character and forbid her to touch Him. Why become ceremonially unclean for the likes of her?

Jesus, knowing both the woman’s character and the Pharisee’s, asked His host a question.

“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?” (Luke 7:41–42)

When the Pharisee answered, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more,” Jesus replied, “You have rightly judged” (Luke 7:43). The woman loved Jesus more than the Pharisee because she was more aware of her own sinfulness and therefore more appreciative of Jesus’ forgiveness.

The question is not, “Are we forgiven much?” but, “Do we realize how much we’ve been forgiven?” We owed God an immense debt we could never repay, yet Christ freely paid it fully.

So, we should love Him much more than we do and show our love for Him by loving other believers, because He loves them, too. If we think little of our sins, we will love little. But when we appreciate the greatness of our debt, we will appreciate the greatness of our God in forgiving it.

To love more, reflect more on God’s love. To feel more gratitude to Christ, meditate more on Christ’s sacrifice for you. To feel more compassionate toward other sinners, consider how great a sinner you were and are. Come to Christ like the woman, and imitate our Lord’s love for her. Don’t be the Pharisee.

The love that results from this increased awareness of your forgiveness in Christ helps to strengthen Christian unity. When you love your fellow believers the way Christ loves you, you grow in true, love-based unity!