As a 22-year-old, Brady Singer signed with the Kansas City Royals as a pitcher, and he surprised his parents when he sent them a letter for Christmas, thanking them for all of the time that they had spent taking him to games, buying him food, and raising him to pursue his dream of baseball. At the end of the letter, Brady stated that this time, he wanted to give them a nice Christmas present. He had paid off the mortgage on their house and paid off all of the debt that they owed. Unexpected and complete forgiveness has a powerful connection to unconditional love.
In Luke 7:36-47, Jesus had an encounter with a sinful woman and a supposedly religious man. The woman, who was known around town as a sinner, entered the house where Jesus was eating with the man, and proceeded to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears and to wipe them with the hairs of her head. The religious man immediately began to think harsh, judgmental thoughts within his heart toward both Jesus and the woman.
The lesson that Jesus then taught that religious man is one that we all must be reminded of frequently—that a greater awareness of our sin debt leads us to a deeper understanding and love of our Savior and His forgiveness. The religious man saw himself as good, and therefore, he showed little love to the Savior. He did not offer to wash Jesus’ feet, to greet Him with a kiss, nor to anoint Him with oil. The woman, on the other hand, knew that she was sinful and undeserving to be in the Savior’s presence, and therefore, she ministered to Him and loved Him in a profound way. Jesus’ response was, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”
When we see just how hopeless and enslaved we were in our sin debt, we will appreciate that much more the complete forgiveness we have in Jesus. Our love for Him will grow, and our service toward Him will be with humility and gratitude.