How Much Do You Owe?

A devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb

Have you ever had trouble forgiving someone? You probably already have someone in mind and are rehearsing your reasons for why they don’t deserve your forgiveness. If there was ever a person who didn’t merit forgiveness, it was the woman who interrupted a private dinner party to wash Jesus’ feet. In Luke chapter 7, the woman is described as “…a woman in the city who was a sinner.” The word sinner places specific emphasis on the guilt of the individual. The unidentified woman enters the room and goes immediately over to Jesus, not the Pharisee who is hosting the event. She then begins to wash the feet of Jesus with her tears, to the consternation of the religious leaders.

Jesus turns this into a teaching opportunity by giving a brief parable of two money lenders whose different debts have been canceled. Jesus asks the question, “Now which of them will love him more?” The answer is obvious, the one who had the larger debt and has been forgiven more, will have a greater love. Jesus then turns to the teary eyed woman and says “Your sins have been forgiven.”

If you are having difficult forgiving someone, perhaps it’s time to think seriously about what Christ has done with the debt that you and I owed Him. Knowing that Jesus paid our penalty in full, we do not have the right to demand payment or execute punishment on others for personal offenses committed against us.

Let’s demonstrate the grace and mercy of our Lord this week by responding to personal insults and injuries in keeping with how God has responded to us!