A fresh look at a familiar story <3

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Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day <3

Like you, I have been seeing posts with quotes from Dr. King over the weekend. Knowing Scripture, I can see the influence of the teachings of Christ in his words and one of my personal favorites is:

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. 

Martin Luther King
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Learning along with character development. 

If only. 

And now for a quick thought from my morning devotions and then it is off to gather groceries and get some tasks done around here that were neglected this weekend. 

One of my devotions this morning was based on the story of the anointing of Jesus’ feet at the home of Simon the Pharisee found in Luke 7:36-50. 

I happen to be reading from The Message this year. Grab your Bible and refresh yourself on the passages.

I will wait for you. 

A couple of things jumped out at me when I was reading it this time. First of all, this Pharisee did at least invite Jesus into his home to hear what he had to say. So there is something to that. 

But my thought that was a fresh view of this familiar story has to do with Jesus’ direct comment spoken out loud to answer the question that was just forming inside Simon’s head. 

Simon is assessing the fact that Jesus is allowing a woman who apparently is well known to live a sinful life. He thinks to himself that Jesus can’t be much of a prophet if He hasn’t discerned she has no business doing what she is doing. 

Jesus poses a story question to Simon.

If one man owes a huge sum of money and one man owes a small debt to someone and both are excused from paying, who will be more grateful. 

Simon answers logically that the one who is released from a huge amount owed will most likely feel the greatest relief and gratitude.

Jesus affirms he has answered correctly and then points out the woman’s actions were reflecting the depth of her gratitude to Him for His grace and mercy on her life. 

She was acknowledging His power to completely release her from the guilt and condemnation of her sins. 

Eugene Peterson translates Jesus words like this:

If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.

Luke 7:47

As I read that, I penned in my margin:

It’s not that Simon didn’t need much forgiveness, but that he was not very much aware of his vast need for it, nor the ability of Jesus to forgive all of it.

The woman’s sin. Simon’s sin. My sin. Your sin.

All of it is sin. 

The measurement is not how much sin we have, but how great our need for forgiveness and our gratitude for the ability of Jesus to forgive every last mark of it.  

I have to ask myself if I am exhibiting with my life the vast measure of His undeserved and complete forgiveness for me and for others. 

A life poured out in excessive gratitude to God for the gift of grace through Jesus Christ should mark the measure of my days. 

Our gratitude should be immense because His forgiveness is complete.

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