Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Luke 7:48 (NIV)
The story in Luke 7:36-50 is highly interesting as we look at the three individuals involved. First we look at the Saviour Who knew the hearts of the other two people. He knew the woman who previously had a sinful occupation and was now His follower. Jesus knew she had already repented and confessed her sins and was, therefore, forgiven (1 John 1:9). Jesus knew she loved Him greatly.
What is so beautiful about this story is that Jesus allowed the woman to wash His feet and anoint them with perfume. He permitted her this humble intimacy in public. Also He praised her and told all the people present that she was a saint. He claimed that her sins—which He acknowledged had been many—were now gone. He also stated that she loved Him greatly. In other words she was now a saint—according to Jesus.
The saint who thought she was a sinner proved her sainthood because she was now living a holy life of devotion to Jesus. She willingly identified herself with Him in public. She was so grateful for forgiveness she would let anyone know she was His follower.
The Pharisee thought he was a saint and, in fact, he was a sinner. He was rude to Jesus when the Lord entered his house for a meal because he did not observe the customs of that time for welcoming someone into your home. He judged the Lord a fake and an imposter because Jesus did not recoil from the woman touching His feet. He assumed that if Jesus was truly from God He would never allow such a familiar act on the part of such a “sinner”.
What he did not understand was that God loves sinners of every sort. He loves women who have sordid pasts. He loves repentant thieves. He even loves boastful followers who claim they would follow Jesus to the death but do not, and God loves liars like Peter who denied he knew Jesus three times.
The sinner—who thought himself a saint—lost his opportunity to become a real saint. The saint—who thought herself a sinner—found peace of heart, forgiveness, and public recognition by the One Who knew all people’s hearts and knew she truly loved Him. May you and I be like Jesus, Who loves the unlovable and turns sinners into saints.
Go out today and find a sinner to love into the kingdom of God, and watch as the Lord turns them into saints through your Christ-like behaviour.