From the Gospel of Luke (17:11-19): “Giving Thanks to the Lord”
Website Link: www.AWordFromTheLord.org/.
Luke 7:36-50 describes the compassion of God revealed to those who come to Him in humility and faith. In unpacking Luke’s Gospel reference, Luke is relating a dinner party taking place in the home of a Pharisee. The Pharisees’ thought that their attempts at righteousness would earn them more favor with God, but their focus was outward not inward and in their hearts. The Pharisees were always in Jesus face attacking Jesus and trying to dismiss His teachings.
In the Scripture references from Luke and Matthew below, Jesus gave strong words of description and condemnation regarding the Pharisees’ hearts and behaviors. However, there were many Pharisees that were Godly and spiritual men. We need to be careful that we do not become twenty-first century Pharisees identified by Jesus in Luke 7. Like the Pharisees, many of us know the Word of God; but we need to be careful that we do not become judgmental and self-surviving, thereby missing the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit and forgetting to apply the love and Justice of God in our lives and relationships.
Jesus is at this dinner party, in Luke 7, given by a Pharisee, and we are told that a sinful woman comes into the party. The woman comes up behind Jesus and weeps with such intensity that her tears fall on Jesus’ feet. The woman, after her earlier conversion, is probably overcome with the conviction of her sinful life and remorse, thereby becoming a servant to her Lord. In these actions of conviction and love toward Jesus, Jesus explains, to Simon the Pharisee in Luke 7:47, that: “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”.
Simon the Pharisee represents many modern day “church people”. We can get caught up in our personal righteousness. We get used to the presence of God and His peace in our lives, but then we encounter a new follower of Jesus. They, before their conversion, were living in the ways of the world without God’s peace. Now, these new believers are so excited with their new life; and their outward manifestation of their conversion may not “fit” with our personal Christian behavioral norms. Sadly, too many modern Christians judge and condemn these new believers rather than loving, encouraging, and embracing these new believers. After all, none of us deserve the forgiveness of God: “I am who I am by the Grace of God through Jesus.“.
God wants to have a heart-to-heart talk with us. Therefore, if there is anything in our lives blocking this talk with God, we must remove it – we need to open ourselves to what God will do for us if we will just let go of our life impediments. We must pray for God’s guidance that He keeps us from becoming judgmental, self-righteous, self-centered Christians like the Pharisees in Luke 7.
Today’s Affirmation: Today, I affirm that because of what God has done for me in His Son, Jesus, I AM FORGIVEN. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).