Forgiven much. Loved much.

    One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. —Luke 7:36-38 ESV

J.C. Ryle on Luke 7:36-50

Her many tears, her deep affection, her public reverence, her action in anointing His feet, were all traceable to one cause. She had been much forgiven, and so she loved much.

Her love was

  • the effect of her forgiveness–not the cause–
  • the consequence of her forgiveness, not the condition,
  • the result of her forgiveness, not the reason–
  • the fruit of her forgiveness, not the root.

Would the Pharisee know why this woman showed so much love? It was because she felt much forgiven. Would he know why he himself had shown his guest so little love? It was because he felt under no obligation–had no consciousness of having obtained forgiveness–had no sense of debt to Christ.


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