Jesus Revealed

1-17-17
Friday
 
Luke 7:48-50
48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
 
 
The final sequence of events has to do with the forgiveness of sins. The Pharisees ask a very important question: “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”
 
Simon and his friends had a concept of forgiveness that did not involve a personal relationship with God. In their religious system God had set the standard of behavior in the Law of Moses and as long as the conditions were met they considered themselves Gods children. Years of manipulating the laws in a way that provided a series of convenient loopholes allowed them to believe they were actually keeping the law and gave them a false assurance of being right with God. And if they sinned openly there were sacrifices allowed by law to cover the sin.
 
 
So living a good life and making the appropriate sacrifice for sin when necessary was a way of life they could control. No need for personal relationships with God. And they looked down on people like this woman who did not live up to their standards.
 
 
But they were not living a life of love for God. The command to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself was completely ignored. And when they observed this woman’s act of love, worship and reverence for Jesus they couldn’t understand why anyone would do that. She loved Jesus because he had forgiven her sins and there had been lots of sins. But she came to Jesus broken and contrite and desperate for a relationship with God through faith in Jesus. They had no love for God or his son Jesus because they had no need for forgiveness.
 
 
So when they say, “Who is this, who even forgives sins” they are saying, “who do you think you are… God?”
 
 
Only God can forgive sin. The Pharisees knew this. Jesus was saying he was God, and they were all stunned. They called him on it and they waited to see if he would back down.
 
 
And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
 
 
No backing down. Jesus declares to the woman she has been saved by her faith and now has peace with God. This is the deep down desire of all of us. Peace with God. It was the desire of the Pharisees even though they could not admit it.
 
 
As Jesus leaves the dinner party I can’t help but wonder how many men were moved by what they had seen that day. How many came later, looking for Jesus maybe at night like Nicodemus, trying to understand what they saw that day. Can it really be that easy? Salvation through faith in Jesus? Forgiveness and peace and the assurance of hope from the lips of the savior?
 
 
Prayer: Thank you Lord for your peace and assurance of salvation that come through faith in Christ. And thank you for the love that wells up inside us as we remember how much we have been forgiven for.