And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that [he], to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.Luke 7:40-47
We have before us now a teaching in parable form that Jesus uses to show Simon and us the link between our love for Him and our felt forgiveness.
In the parable, both parties owe money. One owes ten times as much as the other. But the most important part is that neither one of them has any way to pay back the debt they owe. Regardless of the depth of the debt, the creditor forgives both debts completely. Jesus then uses this parable to allow Simon to convict himself! He asks the judgmental Pharisee, “Who would love the creditor the most?” Simon, not really realizing what Jesus was doing responds quickly that the one who had the most forgiven would love the creditor the most. He was correct but didn’t realize what he had just said about himself. Jesus then contrasts the actions of the woman at His feet with the actions of Simon.
Simon had invited Jesus in as a guest but had shown Him none of the normal kindnesses a host should show a guest.
Simon offered no common water for Jesus to wash His feet, but this woman had shed tears in abundance sufficient enough to complete the task. Who loved Jesus more?
Simon offered no towel (for he had offered no water) for Jesus to dry His feet, but this woman used her own hair to dry the feet of Jesus. Who loved Him more?
Simon gave no kiss of friendship on the cheek to his guest, but this woman had not ceased to kiss the feet of Jesus the entire time. Who loved Him more?
Simon, a rich ruler of the Jews, had offered no common oil for Jesus to anoint His head, but this woman had anointed the feet of Jesus with precious and expensive oil. Who loved Him more?
Jesus’ point should strike us to our very core. If we are not showing deep love and devotion for Jesus continually in our lives, then do we truly understand or appreciate how much we have been forgiven?