My apologies to a former prostitute!
Luke 7:46-47 (New Living Translation)
46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. 47 “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.”
Have you read the story of the prostitute who poured perfume at Jesus’ feet?
I am sure you have. Here is how I read it in the past:
1. Jesus forgave the prostitute because she anointed His feet with her perfume.
2. The prostitute anointed Jesus’ feet because she wanted to be forgiven.
3. After she anointed Jesus’ feet Jesus forgave her.
4. She was forgiven because she loved Jesus much.
I was reading the story in the New International Version. My views changed after reading the New Living Translation. Here is how the NIV reads Luke 7: 47 ‘Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
Read verse 47 again. Spot it? Again in the NLT: I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, SO she has shown me much love. In the NLT the word “SO” is used instead of “FOR”! This tells me I have been reading the whole passage wrongly. She loved Jesus so much because SHE REALIZES HER SINS WERE FORGIVEN and NOT BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO BE FORGIVEN.
1. The wiping of the feet was an expression of her love for Jesus because she was forgiven of her many sins.
2. Jesus had forgiven her many sins EVEN BEFORE His feet were wiped.
3. She was fully aware of that her sins are totally forgiven even before she wiped Jesus feet.
4. Her act of wiping His feet had nothing to do with her acquiring of forgiveness RATHER an expression of her love BECAUSE SHE WAS FORGIVEN!
She is grateful because she is forgiven. This simply means her gratefulness (her perfume, her tears and her hair and of course her wiping of his feet) preceded her wiping of Jesus’ feet. This gratefulness is an expression of her love because her sins are forgiven. Her love for Jesus comes from an understanding of being assured that her MANY sins are forgiven and forgiven once and for all.
What about us? Do we love Jesus to be forgiven or because we have been forgiven?
Thought of the Day
If you know how much you have been forgiven, you would have no trouble to love much, he who is forgiven much loves much.