Luke 7:47 has a beautiful ring of truth to it. Jesus says to those who wonder at His allowing a sinful woman to wash His feet, “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Those who recognize their own sin and embrace the forgiveness Jesus offers love much. Those, like the Pharisees, who recognize and keep a count of the sins of others love little. Jesus isn’t encouraging sin by any means, but He is pointing out that reconciling our own sin is much more powerful when it comes to loving than judging the sins of others.
Jesus tells the story of two debtors in verses 41-46.“A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 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 she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.”
Anyone who has ever loved knows the deep connection between love and forgiveness. True forgiveness begets love that manifests itself in loving acts of gratitude. The woman who washed and kissed the feet of Jesus understood the connection perfectly, and I pray that I will also come to the same level of understanding as I find the courage to open my heart in honest communion with Christ and others. It very easy to be a pious judge pointing out the sins of others, but it is best to be a humble sinner filled with gratitude at the feet of Christ.
Acknowledging sin and opening my heart allows me to love with an abandon that doesn’t care about what others think and to appreciate the true depth of the love offered to me by one who has every right to point His fingers and judge me. He chooses to open His arms and love me, and that changes the way I look at myself, others, and Him. When I understand the debt Christ cleared for me, my gratitude spills over into my life and allows me to love as He does with a forgiving heart.