“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:47, NASB)
The more we value something, the higher it rises in our list of what is important.
The woman in today’s scripture valued the forgiveness of God. It wasn’t something she had taken for granted, and this singular act of God’s grace was always clear, near, and present.
Simon, who is also a part of the narrative of this scripture, took a lot of God’s gifts for granted — and it was apparent that he “loves little.”
Who are we: The woman who was filled with gratitude, awe, and love for her Lord because she appreciated the gifts of God; or Simon, who didn’t see the hand from Whom all of his blessings had come? – Luther
“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.” (Proverbs 24:17-18, NIV)
The world maintains a “dance on the ashes of your enemy” approach to human relationships because it is too short-sighted to appreciate the long-term benefit of reconciliation.
As disciples of Jesus, we are His “ambassadors.” As His ambassadors, we represent only His interests and not our own.
His interest, according to scripture, is not the condemnation of the world, but its salvation. (John 3:17) His purpose is not the perpetuation of the world’s estrangement from God, but its reconciliation to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
In all that you do, endeavor to illuminate the path to reconciliation. – Luther
“After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10, NIV)
Praying for our friends (particularly when they have rubbed us the wrong way — as friends are in an excellent position to since they are close to us and know our crimes and inconsistencies) can be a difficult choice.
In Job’s case, his friends began well at the beginning of his afflictions. They came to Job and sat with him for a week, saying nothing, but being present just the same. Then, they began to give advice. It was sincere advice, but it was not intelligent advice. Their advice grieved Job.
At the end of Job’s ordeal, it was time for reconciliation. Job could have borne a grudge but, in obedience to God, Job prayed for his friends.
We can do our friends no greater service than to take what all we know of their crises, burdens, fears, and joys to the Lord in prayer. (We impede the work of God when we choose to gossip, pontificate, and prognosticate about the situations of our friends.)
Pray for your friends, as only true friends can. – Luther