December 2, 2020
“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.”
This week we’re considering the difficulties we often have in comprehending two things: the depth of our need for God, and the magnitude of what He’s done for us. Here’s the best metaphor on this topic I’ve ever heard (paraphrased from Tim Keller):
Let’s say you are going away on a trip and a friend agrees to house-sit for you. When you return, your friend tells you, “Hey, a letter came postage due for you for $0.50. So I paid it for you.” How would you react? You’d probably simply say, “Oh, okay, thanks.” No big deal, nice gesture, that’s about it, right?
But what if when you return your friend tells you, “Hey, the IRS came looking for you about that $500,000 delinquent tax bill you owe. So I paid it for you.” Now how would you react? Would you simply say, “Oh, okay, thanks?”
Absolutely not! You’d be speechless! You’d be floored, flabbergasted, astounded and whatever other adjective we could come up with! You’d fall to your knees, throw your arms around your friend, pour out your gratefulness and exclaim, “I can never repay such generosity! I do not deserve it! How can you be so good to me?”
In other words, you’d sound a lot like the woman in our passage. This “sinner”, this shunned and outcast prostitute, she kissed Jesus’ feet, she poured ointment on them, and she used her hair to wipe them clean. This was her reaction in her stupefied gratefulness. She understood the magnitude of her sin. She understood her separation from God. And most importantly, she understood the forgiveness offered in Jesus Christ. She knew all of this was not just a concept, it was life-changing reality!
Is the work of Christ a life-changing reality for you? How does it influence your actions? How well do you grasp the enormity of sin and separation from God in our world, and the payment Jesus has made on your behalf? Do you feel like Jesus has saved you from a half-million dollar tax bill, or more like just the cost of a postage stamp?