Foundations: He Who Has Been Forgiven Much Loves Much
By Brent Kuhlman
He who has been forgiven much loves much." (Luke 7:47)
And that's precisely the way it was for a sinful woman.
Want to talk about sinful?
She had sinful down pat! Professionally sinful. Perfected sinful. Sinful in the way of prostitution. After all, everyone knows why a woman in the ancient world wears a bottle of perfume around her neck. It scents her bosom and sweetens her breath.
And there she is, sneaking into the dinner party because Jesus the Savior of sinners is there. He is the Savior of all sinners, a whole world full of them. He is even Savior for her.
She is trapped in her sin. Kidnapped. Held against her will. Bound. Powerless to change or save herself. She is certainly not the Savior. But Jesus is. And she believes in Him. She believes what she has heard. Jesus declared that He came to give His life as a "ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). He announced that He came to release the captives. He came to liberate those who sit in darkened dungeons of their sin (Luke 4:18-19). He promised: "Come to me all of you who are weary or burdened and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
Now here Jesus is!
The Savior of sinners dines at Simon's house. He has come to do a Good Friday, even for her. Her enormous sin is His. It doesn't belong to her any more. He has arrived to answer for all her sin by shedding His blood on the Cross. He will die sacrificially in her place. He will take the eternal damnation and hell that she deserves in His sacrificial body at the place called Golgotha. All her sin is forgiven in Jesus. Salvation is hers in Jesus. He has come to die for her. That's how precious she is to Jesus.
Consequently, "he who has been forgiven much loves much," Jesus says. No wonder she weeps and weeps. No wonder she washes His feet with her tears and dries them with her hair. No wonder she kisses his feet and pours the perfume on them. Her actions speak louder than any words. The enormity of her sin and her sinful life is forgiven. There is no sin or sinner too big for Jesus. Jesus doesn't count any of her sin against her, not one bit of it. "Your sins are forgiven."
So, too, with you!
What is your sin? What does your sinful life look like? Jesus has come for you, too. He has given His life into death as a ransom for you. He has come to give you rest and to set you free from your captivity. You are baptized into His death. He invites you to dine in His house. He provides the meal. His gives you His Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Altar for you to eat and drink with the bread and wine with this specific promise attached: "Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins." All is forgiven for you. That is how precious you are to Jesus.
Yes, indeed! What counted for this sinful woman also counts for sinful people like you. Jesus announces the same forgiveness in the Divine Service: "Your sins are forgiven. I died for you! Your faith [in Me] has saved you. Go in peace." His words spoken in the Divine Service by the pastor do what they say. They give what they say. She is forgiven. You are forgiven. She is free. You are free. New creations in Christ you are. The old has passed away. The new has come. Why? Because Jesus says so.
Such complete and total forgiveness from Jesus may just bring you to tears at times. It may just blow you away, leaving you speechless for a while. The reactions will vary depending on each person. Nevertheless, the vastness of Jesus' answering for all your rot, filth, and gunk is really amazing. Faith in Him bears the fruit of love in your life wherever He has put you: sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, students, athletes, congregation members, and citizens. Lives are set free to live for others. The fruit of the Gospel is nothing else than love. Just as Jesus gave Himself for you with His Body and Blood on the Cross to redeem you from your captivity to sin, death, and damnation, so you, too, give yourself to your neighbor who desperately needs your love. After all, "He who has been forgiven much loves much."
Rev. Brent Kuhlman is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Murdock, Nebraska and has served on the board of Higher Things.
This article was originally published in the summer 2010 issue of Higher Things Magazine.
Reflections: January 1, 2021This Just In: The Ultimate ResolutionReflections: January 2, 2021Reflections: January 3, 2021Reflections: January 4, 2021Video Short: January 5, 2021Video Short: January 4, 2021Reflections: January 5, 2021Reflections: January 6, 2021Video Short: January 6, 2021Under the Cross: Don't Look at the ListReflections: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 8, 2021Reflections: January 8, 2021Dean's List: The Catechism Really Is for YouReflections: January 9, 2021Reflections: January 10, 2021Reflections: January 11, 2021Video Short: January 11, 2021Helpful Things: Fundraising Essentials FOR YOUReflections: January 13, 2021Video Short: January 12, 2021Reflections: January 12, 2021Video Short: January 13, 2021Reflections: January 14, 2021Video Short: January 14, 2021Under the Cross: You Don't Belong to This WorldReflections: January 15, 2021Video Short: January 15, 2021Reflections: January 16, 2021Reflections: January 17, 2021Reflections: January 18, 2021Video Short: January 18, 2021This Just In: Martin Luther King, Jr.--The Man Who Had a DreamReflections: January 19, 2021Video Short: January 19, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint SebastianReflections: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 22, 2021Reflections: January 23, 2021Video Short: January 22, 2021Dean's List: Jesus Hits the Spot!Reflections: January 24, 2021Reflections: January 25, 2021Reflections: January 26, 2021Video Short: The Conversion of St. PaulHelpful Things: Effective Fundraising Through Midweek MealsVideo Short: Suffering Doesn't Mean God Doesn't Love YouReflections: January 27, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday: Karma, Karma, KarmaVideo Short: Abortion and the Church's WorkReflections: January 28, 2021Reflections: January 29, 2021Video Short: What Goes On In Your Pastor's Mind About Closed CommunionFoundations: You Need Your Pastor More Than EverReflections: January 30, 2021Reflections: January 31, 2021
Reflections: February 1, 2021Video Short: Stretching Out To RepentVideo Short: Parable of Those Gifted in the VineyardReflections: February 2, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint Blaise of SebasteSpeaking of Faith: The Liturgy Is Tried and True EvangelismReflections: February 3, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday De-platformingReflections: February 4, 2021Video Short: Hearing Law and GospelVideo Short: The Anti-Catholic ParadoxDean's List: Called to ServeReflections: February 5, 2021Reflections: February 6, 2021Reflections: February 7, 2021Reflections: February 8, 2021Video Short: Ears on the Sower... And the SeedReflections: February 9, 2021Helpful Things: Sex, Sexuality, and BaptismVideo Short: The Simple Definition of Faith That Will Rescue You From Your DoubtsReflections: February 10, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday: Wokeism and ChristianityVideo Short: What Your Pastor Thinks When Preaching the LawReflections: February 11, 2021Reflections: February 12, 2021Video Short: Valentines and LoveUnder the Cross: Valentine's Day StinksReflections: February 13, 2021Reflections: February 14, 2021Reflections: February 15, 2021Video Short: Lent is Almost HereVideo Short: Lent For Evangelical ChristiansReflections: February 16, 2021Welcome to Lent - Supplement to the ReflectionsVideo Short: How to Fast in LentReflections: February 17, 2021Reflections: February 18, 2021Video Short: Lutherans Aren't the Cult of LutherReflections: February 19, 2021