The story of the sinful woman is one of my most treasured accounts in the Scriptures; for we see Jesus, so willing to forgive any who come to Him in humility, recognizing their desperate condition and need of His mercy.
In the eyes of man, the sinful woman was the most undeserving, but in the eyes of our Savior, her outrageous act of humility and self-abasement was the saving act of her faith. And Jesus responded with an even more outrageous declaration.
And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace,” (7:50).
What more need be said? He Has Forgiven Much. Much more than we can imagine, much more than we can explain, much more than we deserve.
Jesus was constantly giving, meeting so many needs, performing the most unimaginable miracles, but the greatest need in all of mankind is to be forgiven our sins separating us from Holy God. And in Jesus Christ all our needs are met, for He Has Forgiven Much.
Consider Him Who Has Forgiven Much
- Much more than healing a dying man, He Has Forgiven Much
- And a centurion’s slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and about to die. 3 When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders asking Him to come and save the life of his slave… 10 When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health, (7:2-3, 10).
- Much more than raising a dead man and giving him back to his mother, He Has Forgiven Much
- Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow… 13 When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 And He came up and touched the coffin… And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother, (7:12-15).
- Much more than coming as the Expected One to heal the blind, the lame, the leper, the deaf, raise the dead and preach the gospel, He Has Forgiven Much
- ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’” 21 At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. 22 And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me,” (7:20-23).
- Much more than accepting the touch of a sinful person, He Has Forgiven Much
- Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner,” (7:39).
- Much more than outward displays of power, by His spoken Word He Has Forgiven Much
- And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace,” (7:50).
How do we respond to Him Who Has Forgiven Much?
We have much to learn from the sinful woman.
And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume, (7:37-38).
- She sought Jesus out.
- …when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume…
- She understood her unworthiness.
- …standing behind Him at His feet…
- She understood her need.
- She expressed her gratitude in extravagant worship.
- …she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.
The sinful woman understood how Much she had been Forgiven, therefore she loved Much.
“A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”…44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? … 47 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.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven,” (7:41-44, 47-48).
We are all in desperate need of the forgiveness only Jesus offers.
The sinful woman did not love much because she had been forgiven more than any other, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23); she loved much because she understood the gravity of her condition apart from Jesus and understood the magnitude of forgiveness she had received from Him Who Has Forgiven Much.
Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” (7:49).
Do you know Him, this Man who even forgives sins, Him Who Has Forgiven Much? If you are not sure, today can be the day of your salvation. Turn to Him in faith for forgiveness of your sins and hear His words of life, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
May we learn from the sinful woman. Let us daily seek Him out, understanding our unworthiness and need, and expressing our gratitude in extravagant worship for His lavish forgiveness so undeserved.
Let us never cease to be amazed, that we would live in unashamed devotion and love for Him Who Has Forgiven Much.