Have you been forgiven? It’s a theological and practical question. Have you ever made a mistake, for which you were sorry, and then experienced the relief of being forgiven? How do you describe the feeling?
The folks who sat down to create the Spark Story Bible for children included a story of forgiveness and how two people responded:
Jesus was invited to dinner at Simon’s house …. Simon led his guest through the dark door to a low table. “Dinner is served.”
Jesus was ready to eat his bread when he heard a woman at the door. When she saw Jesus, she started crying. The woman was known to have done many things wrong.
“Please pass the grapes.” Jesus started to eat. Drip, drip, drip. The woman bent over Jesus’ feet and cleaned them with her tears.
“Please pass the cheese.” Jesus said. Wipe, wipe, wipe. The woman dried the tears on his feet with her long, dark hair.
Jesus put down his bread. The woman was kissing his feet and rubbing them with oil.
Simon was upset! He said, “I didn’t invite that woman. What is she doing?”
Jesus cleared his throat and told a story. ‘One person owed a bank 500 coins. The other person owed 50 coins. The bank canceled the payments for both people. Who was more thankful?’
“The one who owed the most, right?” asked Simon.
Jesus nodded yes. “I am like the bank,” he explained, “I forgive and forget big and little mistakes.”
He put his hand on the woman’s head. “This woman made many big mistakes. She needs a lot of forgiveness so she shows me great love.”
“You’re my host, but you didn’t greet me as a special guest. You have little mistakes for me to forgive, so you give me only a little love.”
“Dry your eyes, my friend. I forgive all you’ve done wrong,” Jesus said to the woman in a kind voice. “You have a strong faith.”
I once heard someone ask — Have you sinned enough, to have repented enough, to have been forgiven enough, to really know God’s love?
God is anxious to forgive. Are we anxious to return as much love as God pours out upon us?
God, thank You for loving even me. Let love fill my life as I accept all that You have done for me through my Lord and Savior Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.