The story in Luke 7.36-50 of the woman washing Jesus’ feet is ultimately a story of faith, forgiveness, and restoration. Jesus’ final statement to her is, “Your faith has saved you, go in peace” (Luke 7.50). While for the benefit of the woman who had placed her faith in him, the statement was also intended to correct the thinking of the watching Pharisees.
Jesus’ use of the word “saved” was probably a bit confusing for the Jews. They believed they were automatically in right relationship with God because they were God’s chosen people. They believed God blessed and accepted them based on their “cleanliness” and adherence to the Law.
Jesus’ statement here challenges both of these ideas: it’s the woman’s faith that’s saved her and, ironically, he doesn’t declare Simon “saved” even though he’s the model Israelite and as “clean” as a guy could be.
The Apostle Paul reiterates this reality saying, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith—and this is not of yourselves, it is a gift of God” (Ephesians 2.8).
Basically, it doesn’t matter what family you grew up in or how good you’ve been, your salvation comes through placing your faith in Jesus Christ—believing Jesus died on the cross for your sins, rose again defeating death, and is now Lord over all creation.
As you welcome God into your day, memorize Ephesians 2.8-9 as a reminder of God’s gracious gift of salvation to us through Jesus Christ.
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