Much Love and Peace Follows Forgiveness— Luke 7:36-50

“Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace’” (Luke 7:48, 50).

Many Pharisees condemned Jesus for blasphemy because He forgave people’s sins. They argued that only God could forgive sins, but they did not know all the facts. Since no one but God can forgive the sins of someone who has wronged others as well as themselves or has disobeyed and neglected God, the Pharisees seemed to be right. Except for the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, and when He came into the world as the Son of Man, God the Father had given Him authority to forgive sins. When Jesus healed a sick man, He wanted people to know that the Son of Man had authority on earth to forgive sins; so, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home” (Luke 5:24).

Radically changed lives prove that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins. After Jesus forgave a sinful woman for her sins, she loved Jesus so much that she was not ashamed to wash His feet in the home of a Pharisee who would condemn her very presence. She wept and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and anointed them with perfume. Jesus explained to the Pharisees that she showed so much love because He had forgiven her for all her sins. Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, throughout subsequent history Jesus has demonstrated His ability and authority to forgive sins, radically change people, and give them eternal life. After Jesus forgives them, the worse of sinners sometimes become the greatest of saints, certainly better than they were as practitioners of sin. Those who have turned in faith to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, have turned from a life of sin, and have confessed their sins to Him, receive and truly experience His lovingkindness and peace. Subsequently, they have expressed much love to Him and have told others about Him and His lovingkindness and mercy toward sinners.

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by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.