Just for a brief moment, lift this fraction of Scripture up out of context and let it roll off your tongue a time or two. Actually, repeat it again once more while you are at it.
Let’s say it one more time.
“…for she loved much…”
Soak it in…
We can go put it back in context now, but since we made it into a brief mantra, it will now standout in a crowded passage of many standouts. In fact, there is so much to observe in this passage, I will overlook several very powerful points just to sit with this one.
SHE LOVED MUCH!
Her much-love (or her abundant love – her freely given love; her reckless love; her expensive, over-the-top, shameless, and self-embarrassing love) is remarkable to Jesus AND is accounted as the reason for her being “forgiven much.”
Oh, yeah. Did I mention she’s a sinner?
Yeah. In fact, she is a SINNER! An ALL CAPS, bold print, party-crashing SINNER! Not a past tense sinner, but a present tense, trashy, tawdry, hussy of a sinner.
And she IS forgiven MUCH because she LOVES MUCH.
“…for she loved much…”
Take a minute and let that roll off the tongue a time or two again.
What does this sinner’s love look like?
Well, in this story, while Jesus is at the fancy banquet with some influential Pharisees and their friends, this sinful woman bursts in and pours her best sinner’s perfume on Jesus’s feet and starts kissing them shamelessly, weeping broken heartedly, and wiping those feet with her tears.
Yeah! She really interrupts that fancy banquet and all the trappings of importance. She makes a scene with her much-love.
That’s what her much-love looks like.
It’s embarrassing, really. It’s so very socially awkward, to say the least!
Have you ever loved Jesus much?
What did it look like when YOU loved him much?
Sit there and think on that a moment.
No… really. I can wait.
Do you recall a time you loved Jesus much?
I had such a warm feeling in my heart one time that I am sure people around me could have seen me almost glow. I was just feeling the love. I think I had just listened to a really good Christian song, and my heart was enraptured with love.
Or there was the time I gave a lot of money to the collection. I’m not supposed to talk about that, so I won’t. Except to say I did. It was a lot of money, way more than usual. I was full of love for Jesus and felt convicted to give it to him. Of course, I insisted that it be used wisely by the ministry I funded, which wasn’t too much of a stretch since their wise use of funds was a large part of why I wanted to love Jesus with my large sum of money that one time. (It had nothing to do with me looking good or telling myself I was doing a good thing – not really.)
It’s right about here it dawns on me how different my much-love was from the love shown by this sinner that was so good it accounted for her much-forgiveness AND was even so good it made it into the Bible!
Her love was so spontaneous, so reckless and shameless. It was, presumably, expensive too since I am sure she didn’t use her bargain-bin perfume, but probably her best money-making stuff with a French name that sounds sexy to say.
And she wasted it too. Just dumped it on Jesus’s feet! Perfumed his feet! Who does that?
I mean, Jesus points out that the party people didn’t wash his feet at all, but I doubt very much they used fancy perfume for most of their guests anyway. If they ever used fancy perfume, it would be reserved only for the very finest of VIP’s, not for Galilean peasants like Jesus. They would sooner give a bum from Galilee a nice pair of socks in a “blessing bag” than to kiss his feet and anoint them with perfume. (And frankly, I get it!)
That would be a waste of valuable resources – poor stewardship. Jesus would absolutely frown on that. Right?
Uh… hmmm… Wait … ummm… I’m confused.
Anyway, she loved much and was forgiven much. Her expression of much love impressed Jesus! And that was my point in posting.
Do you love much?
Do you want to love much?