Receiving His Forgiveness
“Then Jesus told him this story: ‘A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?’ Simon answered, ‘I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.’ ‘That’s right,’ Jesus said.” Luke 7:41–43 (nlt)
On a fairly regular basis, the high-school youth group at our church has guest speakers who share a dramatic testimony: they’d been a drug addict, or a gang member, or engaged in some other spectacularly sinful lifestyle. Then they found Jesus, and He turned their life around.
I heard similar stories in my own youth group growing up and felt my own testimony was a little, well, trivial. I grew up in a Christian home, went to church every week, accepted Jesus as my Savior, and now, went to youth group every week in addition to church on Sundays. Boring. What had I been saved from, exactly?
This conversation in Luke occurs when Jesus dines at the house of Simon the Leper, a pharisee. A sinful woman bursts in and anoints Jesus with costly perfume. The whole situation is scandalous, especially Jesus’ reaction—He blesses and forgives her.
Why does Jesus ask this question about debt? Is He saying that Simon only has about a fifty-silver-piece debt toward God, while this repentant prostitute has a five-hundred-silver-piece one? I think Jesus was saying that Simon thought he had a smaller “sin debt”—but that all of us have absolutely no hope of ever repaying the debt of sin that we owe to God, and must throw ourselves on His mercy.
FAITH STEP: Spend some time in self-examination. Even if we’ve been “pretty good” our whole lives and don’t have an exciting testimony, we still have sinned— we’ve been jealous, angry, self-righteous or proud. Ask God to show you what you need to confess and repent of, to receive His forgiveness.
Written by Keri Wyatt Kent
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