Finding mercy and forgiveness Luke 7:36-8:3
Jesus is open to hurting sinners looking for a fresh start and renewed identity as a child of God. Others might not be open to those in need of mercy, but Jesus is open.
In Jesus the hurting meet mercy. Luke writes of a woman, a known sinner, who sought out Jesus Luke 7:37. She found the teacher at dinner and knelt down. Her tears flowed bathing his feet Luke 7:38. The man hosting the dinner was smug. He though to himself, if Jesus knew who she was, Luke 7:39. It’s dangerous to sit with secret thoughts and judgments—it’s risky because our inner monologues are fully revealed to God. Jesus responded to the man’s thoughts with a question of his own about forgiveness Luke 7:41-42.
As Simon sat smug the woman worshiped Jesus bathing his feet with her tears and anointing them with oil. She, Jesus said, was forgiven Luke 7:48. The others at the table doubted but Jesus gave her a blessing of peace Luke 7:49-50.
A wise teacher, Gerhard Forde, taught that God could do the most for those who needed the most help. Those who sit smug, with no need of a savior don’t receive as much from God as this forgiven woman. She knew what she’d done and what others thought of her. And through forgiveness Jesus reclaimed her as God’s beloved daughter. Those who stay apart from God remaining in sin don’t know the forgiveness and new life that is waiting for them. Those who return like this hurting woman will be likewise blessed as they turn from their old life and walk into a new life in Christ.
Peace and thanks for reading, John