Reflections 3: The Test of Love

“47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little” (Luke 7:47, NKJV, Pp.1000).

Last week, and in many other posts, I have said that there is one requirement that we Christians have before God. This requirement is to have absolute faith in Jesus Christ no matter where he should lead us. In fact my exact words where, “To follow Jesus we must commit our souls to Him completely, lay down our own wants and desires and follow Him with absolute faith, without question of where He is leading us.” In addition to making this point, I also gave many examples of how some people just can’t come to grips with this, and in fact one of my readers commented to me personally, “God also wants us to question and not follow along like a blinded sheep.” Admittedly, after reading this comment I was somewhat taken aback. I wondered where I had gone wrong, so after a full week of contemplation I want to bring all of you full circle on this point.

40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” 41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty, 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” (Luke 7:40-42, NKJV, Pp.1000).

I ask, “Did this forgiving of debt have anything to do with mercy, with love?” Simon is being given a test that it took Apostle Paul half a lifetime to learn. Paul prosecuted Christians in the beginning. He was actively hunting them down watching them die at his own hand. His heart was filled with anger and violence, so much so his life was overflowing with such torment. His love was little, thus he loved little. What did it take to bring Paul from this pit of darkness, and give him a new lease on life? It took a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. It took Paul the very breath of Jesus in his ear, the blinding of his eyes, in order to instill and wipe away his old habit of hatred and persecution of others, and allow himself to be persecuted in order for him to truly find faith in God. Paul’s conversion was a new found unquestionable, unshakable faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  What a radical transformation from the old angry Christian hater to the new Christ follower. Like Paul, Simon is faced with the one true test of love.

43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then he turned to the women and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this women has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this women has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore, I say to you, her sins are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little” (Luke 7:43 – 47, NKJV, Pp.1000).

This woman had a choice, she had free will, and she could have chosen not to accept Jesus in this manner. As the story unfolds we find not only did she completely surrender to Jesus, but she sought Him out, and she faced the many men of so-called faith who accused and cursed her. The word forgiven could have been replaced by accepted, but then the granting of forgiveness would have been mute. The table was prepared, the house filled with Pharisees, Jesus could have said you are accepted, and avoided criticism, but his purpose would have been unfilled. What a shame all that would have been, what a great opportunity would have slipped by unnoticed? The question, the criticism, which sparked this great test of love was one filled with scorn.

“39 This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of women this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39, NKJV, Pp.1000).

But I ask, “Are we all not sinners?”

Yes, we are all sinners, yes; we all have free will, and yes; God wants us to question why we believe what we believe. If our God was not such a forgiving God, He would not have forgiven us our many indiscretions. If our God was not a loving God he would not have given us free will, coupled by an inquisitive nature that often times gets us into trouble. If our God wanted us to be blind automatons He would not have sent His only son Jesus to open our eyes so wide to His most perfect grace, His most perfect unconditional love.

It is because we are sinners we need God’s forgiveness, His divine mercy. No matter how hard we try, we cannot save ourselves. Without being tested by love, we love little. Without God showing us love, we would never know God. Apostle Paul would have forever been blinded by his hatred of people of different faiths, Simon would have never seen the light of day, the Pharisees would have never been moved to question God in the manner they did, and our daily struggle would be unbearable, as we would truly be forsaken. Historically speaking, Rome would never been converted to Christianity, and if that didn’t happen, you and I would not be having this conversation.  Without questioning our faith, our journey with and too God would be meaningless, for we would cease to seek, and we would never find. The only right answer is to do what the sinful women did before Jesus; the only action we need to show is our gratitude. The daily walk through our lives is filled with meaning when we surrender completely, and demonstrate with every breath in our bodies’ absolute faith in Jesus. Only then are we truly set free of our earthy shackles and begin to live the many blessings God had in store for us all along, but first we must pick up our cross and follow Him.

48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Then He said to the women. “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (Luke 7:48 – 50, NKJV, Pp.1000).

Challenge question: Where would we be if we did not have Gods love, if we were never tested by that most perfect love? Then without Gods love wouldn’t we be even more lost than we currently find ourselves?

Amen

If you have been moved by this blog I humbly invite you to leave a message telling me your thoughts and how this reflection has touched you. May peace and love be with you all the days of your life.  May God keep you and bless you.

Leave a Reply