Love: Fruit of Forgiveness

Luc 7.36-50

Paul Arsac

Love for Jesus …

  1. v. 36: Jesus invited to the home of a Pharisee named Simon
    1. The Pharisees are trying to kill him…
    2. …and yet he goes. Jesus responds to the Pharisee’s invitation just like he would for anyone else.
  2. v. 37-38: The woman, “a sinner,” enters.
    1. Weeping, wetting his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair; anointing his feet with perfume…
    2. This woman is extremely demonstrative!
      1. Weeping: deep regret for the life she has lived. 
      2. Kissing Jesus’s feet: a request (forgiveness), submission, affection, obedience and reverence.
      3. Perfume: ordinarily kept for her wedding day—she is turning her entire life over to him.
  3. v. 39: Simon’s state of mind the same as his peers’.
    1. More clearly seen in v. 44-46: Simon didn’t do even the things which customarily accompanied welcoming a visitor into one’s home.

…depends on seeing our sin clearly.

  1. v. 41-42: Jesus’s story question: the greater the debt, the greater the debtor’s love when forgiven his debt.
    1. Simon’s problem: he does not see his own debt, so imagines he has nothing to be forgiven.
    2. Only God’s grace can cancel our debt of sin against him in Christ—we must see we are entirely unable to pay it.
  1. In Jesus’s story, the cancellation of the debt produces love in the debtor.
    1. The love we have for Jesus is a direct consequence of God’s grace to us.
    2. The woman does not have more sin than the Pharisees; rather, she sees her sin and they do not. She sees Jesus’s grace toward her.
    3. Simon does not see his sin, so does he see Jesus as the gracious forgiver…so he has no love for him.
  2. v. 47-48: The context shows the woman was not forgiven because she loved, but rather that she loved because she is forgiven.
    1. Cf. second half of the verse, Jesus’s story in v. 41-42.
    2. Cf. v. 50: “Your faith has saved you.”

Application:

  1. These two characters could be one and the same person at two different moments in their life. 
    1. Even as Christians, our love can wane if we do not always keep the knowledge of our sin in full view.
    2. This is why we confess our sins. Confession after conversion does not serve our salvation but our sanctification.
    3. Love is the fruit of the forgiveness we receive from God. The more we see the gravity of our sin, the magnitude of this stalemate that is sin, the more we will become aware of the greatness of the forgiveness we have received, and therefore the more we will love this Jesus who took upon himself all our sins.
  1. True love for Jesus always produces ordinary, human, emotional responses.
    1. We need go no further than the Psalms if we want proof.
    2. How cold are we compared to this woman? 
    3. Emotion doesn’t produce intimacy with God; but how abnormal is it to feel nothing when forgiven such a debt?
  2. Possible responses
    1. Disgust at our sin and joy at his forgiveness (the woman).
    2. Overwhelmed by the weight of our sin and therefore not daring to come to Jesus (many of us)
      1. Of all the places where people should feel okay to be broken, messed up, and imperfect, the church should be number one.
    3. “I’m not that bad” (Simon).
      1. …But Jesus still comes to his house.
      2. In the same way that he has come to his enemy's home, he will answer your invitation, and will clearly show you who he is, will show you your sin, and will show you his grace.
      3. All you need to do is ask.