Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Motivation

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. 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." (Luke 7:43-47 NASB)

Jesus had just told Simon the story of the two debtors who were forgiven their debt. "Which one will love more?" He asked. Today, we begin to look at Jesus's reply to Simon, who had answered "The one forgiven more."  

What Jesus said to Simon must have been hard to hear. Simon considered himself much better than the woman, who was well known as a sinner. Jesus drew a sharp contrast between Simon and the woman that did not support Simon's opinion of himself at all. 

He began by telling Simon what he had gotten right. The one forgiven more will love more. He then moved to what Simon had not gotten right. Simon apparently was proud that he had invited Jesus to his house, and was not at all happy about the woman crashing his party. He had invited Jesus, but he had not done any of the things that would have been usual for a host with an honored guest. He had not greeted Jesus with a welcoming kiss, given Him water to wash his feet with after a dusty walk, or put oil on his head. The woman, however, had done all that with sincerity, heartfelt love, and tender emotion. 

Jesus must have surprised Simon when he said,  "For this reason I say to you, her sins are forgiven." Simon was a Pharisee. He obeyed the law down to the most obscure detail. If anyone's sins were forgiven, it should have been his, or so he thought. Jesus was telling Simon that, though she had a mountain of sin in need of forgiveness, her love was so great that it counted for more than all the sacrifices Simon had given out of a sense of duty. 

Motivation. Jesus clearly took it seriously and He indicated here that wrong motivation can render all the rule-following of less consequence than that motivated by love for Christ. 

What motivates our actions and obedience? Appearances or love for Christ?

Pray today that we and our loved ones will have the kind of love that comes from an understanding of the great gift of our forgiveness and brings forth actions filled with compassion and tenderness
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Link to last night's post: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-problem-of-stealing.html