Thanks, But I’m Good

Luke 7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Have you ever honestly and truly thought about Jesus and what He has done for you?  I mean really really looked at the grace and love that He freely gives and knowing that he is truly this very grace we talk about. Have you looked at what He has delivered you from as well as all that he brings to you? When you look at the world and what it demands of you but when you see Jesus; he makes demand but does it all for you by the Holy Spirit. No one will ever tell you to be perfect and then make you perfect. Looking into scripture it would seem that in order to see Christ in the proper light, we have to see ourselves in the proper light.  We know that Jesus died for our sins and we automatically equate sins to the Ten Commandments.  We are not wrong in that but what’s wrong is that we stop there.  Since we stop there we never really experience freedom, peace, security, joy, love, mercy, grace and the abundantly life.  In other words our joy in God never reaches the level of what is called worship.  Our love of him and our passion never proclaim or bear witness to the gospel.  Thus God is not glorified as He has purposed us to do.  We are left empty and wondering why?  Looking at the passages both parties actually experience the same forgiveness.  So why such different responses? Did one read the bible more?  Did one pray more than the other? Did one of them have an spiritual experience and not the other?  Is one’s faith greater? Maybe it’s education levels, since there is a prostitute and Pharisee present? The answer is no to all of those questions. So what is the difference?

The prostitute was guilty of fornication of course, which is an obvious sin that’s link to adultery; another obvious sin.  Who knows how long she lived in this sinful lifestyle.  But with her sinful lifestyle it carried with it shame amongst the towns people.  It brought with it abuse from men who simply used her.  Also, who knows why she got into prostitution in the first place.  She has lived with this burden her entire life with no hope of relief.  The Pharisee probably obeyed all the laws just like the rich young ruler.   The Pharisee thought himself better than the obvious sinners.  During this dinner he couldn’t believe that Jesus would allow this filthy woman to even touch him.  Yes, the Pharisee like us all thought that he was a good person.

This is the difference but not the crushing blow, not in the least.  Yet, the obvious difference would spark such a comment by Jesus but there is more.  Do you think the prostitute is unaware of how her sin affected families?  Do you think the looks she got from wives didn’t break her heart.  Do you honestly believe that she wasn’t aware of the chaos she caused.  On top of that, her reasons for doing what she did for a living must add even more weight.  Think of how  incredibly lost and hopeless you have to be to turn to prostitution.  What type of mindset must you be in?   When she heard of Jesus and the things he was doing and saying she was compelled to run to him.  Jesus offered something to her that prostitution couldn’t.  This is the difference, the Pharisee didn’t know he was still a filthy sinner.  

Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes our lack of selfawareness:
You will never make yourself feel that you are a sinner, because there is a
mechanism in you as a result of sin that will always be defending you against every accusation. We are all on very good terms with ourselves, and we can always put up a good case for ourselves. Even if we try to make ourselves feel that we are sinners, we will never do it. There is only one way to know that we are sinners, and that is to have some dim, glimmering conception of God.

The Pharisee don’t know that lust and adultery is one in the same to God.  The Pharisee doesn’t know or refuses to admit that good deeds done for approval of men is sin to God (John 5:44). The Pharisee is a prostitute also, he sells himself for the same empty love and acceptance as she did.  They are both consumed with themselves but only one sees all of it as sin and sees themselves in desperate need of a Savoir.

So have you really really thought about what Jesus Christ has done for you?  Jesus didn’t die for our bad actions but our evil hearts.  But first and foremost Christ lived for us.  He lived out his own law, he lived out a God glorifying life and he earned a righteousness for us.  He does for us what no one on earth will ever do for us; whether family, friend or stranger. He loves us unconditionally.  He instructs us out of love and not manipulation.  He accepts your neediness, helplessness, quirks, annoying things we do, our funny ascents, our looks, habits, being nerds or geeks, not being smart, not being athletic, not being the strongest and all the things we sell our souls to cover up.  We deny ourselves to be one with other sinners trying to save our lives in order to gain the world.  We have done unspeakable things and have made others do unspeakable things to be accepted.  The prostitute knew she was broken beyond repair by her own efforts.  Only Jesus Christ can fix what’s wrong with us. When I think of what I have been forgiven of and what I have been given; I can’t help but love much.  Who is like Jesus? No one!  Without knowing yourself and the reasons behind your wrong actions, you will never see the cross correctly.  The cross wouldn’t have happened if we all needed just a little help as if we just need Jesus to lift the other end.  We are helpless to carry ourselves and save ourselves.  We worship little because we have only repented of a few.  We live incomplete because we won’t surrender completely.
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