The Larger the Debt



This is a fantastic illustration of the grace, mercy and forgiveness that can only come through faith in Jesus Christ.  Simon here is a Pharisee – very knowledgeable of all things religious and prideful of his own righteousness.  The woman here is simply described as  “a woman of the city, who was a sinner.”   Jesus starts right in, asking Simon – “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”   First – While the debts may have been different amounts, both the woman an Simon (the objects of this parable) owe debts, which NEITHER of them could pay.  While one may have felt he owed a small debt in relation to the other, he also offered no attempt to reconcile with his creditor – 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.”   

From the time Jesus arrived at his house, Simon had not even offered water for Jesus’ feet (which would have been standard for guests), a simple kiss, nor oil to anoint his head.  In other words, Simon had failed to love his guest and creditor.  He feels secure in his own righteousness, and is lukewarm to Jesus.  The worst place to be as a good Christian, neither hot nor cold, simply lukewarm.  The sinful woman, on the other hand, has discovered Jesus and is doing all she can to reconcile her debt. She is going above even what is expected for an honored guest.  She is LOVING on Jesus.  She knows her debt is large and she is focused on doing all she can, even though she can never fully repay what is owed.  And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”   

As in so many of Jesus’ examples, the sinner who fully acknowledges her desperate situation jumps ahead of someone who, in his own mind, is not so bad.  We are all sinners and owe a debt we cannot pay.  When our judgement day comes, we will be no more capable of settling that debt than the worst mass murderer we can think of.  It doesn’t matter how we see it – it is all sin the judges eyes.   Nothing we give can possibly settle that debt, so we who believe give what we can – our obedience to Him.  As he says to us – “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John‬ ‭14:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬.  What are his commandments?  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and live your neighbors yourself.  Simple enough, right?

““A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 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.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:41-50‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

http://bible.com/59/luk.7.41-50.esv

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