Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
To Accept the Unacceptable
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” (47)
In his address “On Forgiveness,” C.S. Lewis wrote, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
Acceptance should be extended to all, not the elite few
Throughout the Gospels, the resentment that Pharisees had towards Jesus is as clear as day to anyone who reads the Bible. In this passage, we see a Pharisee extending out a warm welcome to Jesus, or so it seemed.Although, he invited Jesus for a meal, he did not do the three things Jesus pointed out that is a typical social custom which were: washing feet, anoint His head with oil, and give the kiss of greeting.Simon could not even bring himself to touch Jesus. Yet, when this woman who is described as one who lived a sinful life was just pouring out her love towards Jesus, Jesus allows the sinful woman to touch him, so Simon criticizes Jesus. We see Simon’s real intention of inviting Jesus. He wanted to debunk the theory that Jesus was a prophet. In Simon’s eyes, this woman was so sinful and unacceptable; that he couldn’t understand why Jesus would even let her come near Him, much less touch Him.
Overflowing love is the natural response to being accepted
Jesus allowed the sinful woman to wash His feet with her tears, wiped His feet with her hair, ceaselessly kiss His feet, and poured perfume on His feet. He could have told her to stop bothering Him, and pushed her away, but by allowing her to do all these things to Him, He was giving the woman the two things she needed most: acceptance and forgiveness. Since He forgave and accepted her, she could not stop crying, and she expressed her love in an overflowing manner. As Christians, many times, we have gotten to be like the Pharisee. We feel that our lives are in a great condition, and since we are Christians, our love for Christ has gotten to be minimal, but the people that convert to Christianity end up developing a passion, because they realize just how much Christ has forgiven and accepted them. We also begin to treat the homeless, downtrodden people as sinners that we would be hesitant to draw near to, but as Christ teaches, we are to accept the unacceptable.
Prayer: Father, for far too many times, we have become like the Pharisee by not accepting the people who have made mistakes in their lives. We shun them away, because we do not want our social status to be affected. Forgive us O Lord, and enable us to love like You love and accept those we deem unacceptable. Amen.
Thought for the Day: “And they’ll know we are Christians, by our love.”
Mat Stan Samuel, St. Paul’s MTC, Dallas