Love = Repentance

Reading Luke 7 this morning, specifically Jesus’ reaction to the sinful woman at Simon the Pharisee’s house.

No water to wash Jesus’ feet.

No warm greeting welcoming Him to dinner.

No oil or fragrance to refresh Him.

This was more than an oversight. Simon actually showed his disdain for Jesus by denying Him the most common courtesies offered a dinner guest.

By glaring contrast this sinful woman washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, anointed His head with oil and His feet with ointment, all the while kissing His feet.

We are not told, directly in the text, of any previous contact she had with Jesus, but it is very obvious that she came to the dinner party prepared to lavish Him with her attention and affection.

Why else carry oil and ointment around with you?

Jesus tells the dinner guests, concerning this woman, that “her sins, which are many, are forgiven – for she loved much.”

Forgiven because she loved much?

What about repentance?

Now, we know, based on many other Scriptures, that forgiveness of sins is predicated on repentance, right?

But, in this story, Jesus connects forgiveness to love for Him.

Is it possible that we have made repentance more about an intellectual assent to the Truth claims of the Bible, and, in the process, have left the heart out of it completely?

In fact, in most cases we have become suspicious of the role of the heart in anything to do with God and salvation.

Is it possible that Jesus saw the heart of this “sinful woman” melted into repentance by His presence, His mercy and love for her…and forgave her her many sins because love and repentance are one and the same thing?

I think we need more hearts melted by God’s love leading to repentance.

I think that kind of repentance will lead directly to a change of heart and behavior.

I know that’s what I need.