Give Thanks for Mercy
Open Your Bible
Luke 7:36-50, Ephesians 2:4-10, 2 Corinthians 4:7-15
BY Guest Writer
Scripture Reading: Luke 7:36-50, Ephesians 2:4-10, 2 Corinthians 4:7-15
When was the last time you kissed someone’s feet? When was the last time that you had enough tears to wash… anything?
This story in Luke 7 exists to show us a genuine response to God’s overwhelming mercy. I wonder what commotion this woman’s weeping must have made at the Pharisees’ table. Imagine her there on the floor, openly weeping in front of strangers. She disregards their disapproval and makes a radical display of devotion. Jesus bends down, looks her in the eyes and holds her hand. Then He wipes the tears from her face and tells her the truth: Her weeping is not in vain. Her sins are forgiven. She came in weeping, but can go out rejoicing.
Meanwhile, the hosting Pharisee does not ask who she is, what she’s doing, or why she’s doing it. He doesn’t provide her a seat at the table. He assumes that since he knows about her past, he knows everything about her future too. He talks about her, but doesn’t care for her. He judges her by what she’s done, not by what God will do for her. He’s misses the miracle. But when Jesus looks upon this weeping woman, He sees the beauty in her sacrifice and in her heart. When Jesus sees her, He offers her abundant mercy and a new identity.
This is our God! When I humble myself before Him, He forgives everything and puts my feet on a whole new path. When Jesus explains His parable of the creditor with two debtors to the Pharisee, He says, “Her many sins have been forgiven; that is why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47–48).
This woman isn’t a worse sinner—she’s a better seer. Unlike the Pharisee, she sees her sin for what it is. She knows her debts and doesn’t try to minimize them. Rather than trying to hide her mistakes, she grieves openly for how she’s failed. In using the parable, Jesus is inviting the Pharisee to see his sin with a clearer vision, to see that the molehill of sin in his heart is actually a mountain. Right perspective on the magnitude of sin leads to a radical posture of gratitude toward God.
Jesus isn’t saying we need to sin more in order to love Him more. He’s inviting us to see the evil of our sin without mitigation. Only after taking a brutally honest look at ourselves will we be able to appreciate the merciful, caring, forgiving gaze of our Savior. He lovingly looks us in the eyes and gently wipes away our tears. He sets our feet on new paths. May we focus on that change today and, with grateful hearts, thank Him for all He’s done for us.
Claire Gibson is a writer whose work has been featured in publications including The Washington Post and Entrepreneur Magazine among many others. An Army kid who grew up at West Point, New York, Claire is currently growing roots in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Patrick, their son, Sam, and their dog, Winnie. Her debut novel, Beyond the Point, will be published next year.