Do you think of yourself as a “good person?” Most of us do, and it would be unusual if we didn’t but there is a danger lurking in that perspective.
Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
(Luke 7:44-47 ESV)
Simon knew he was one of the good ones, and he had plenty of evidence to support his conclusion. He kept the feasts, he gave the tithes, he went to the temple, he was dedicated, committed to keeping the Law; he was one of the good guys. And he knew he was a lot better at not doing the wrong things than this disreputable woman fawning over Jesus. But Jesus sees things from such a different point of view than Simon; he sees a man who knows how little he does wrong and is satisfied with himself and a woman who knows her life is a mess and longs for God’s forgiveness. And Jesus sees one more thing very clearly; the woman who knows how much she needs God’s mercy is overwhelmed with love for God because she sees that mercy at work right there in the room when Jesus didn’t kick her out, but the man who knows he’s good doesn’t even recognize God’s love is in the room. So the next time you notice someone else is a bigger mess than you, and you’re glad you are better than that, be careful! Which one would you rather be?
Lord show me my heart, open my eyes to just how much I have been forgiven that I may learn to love you with such passion!