“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
It is important that we realize how great is our sin. Oh, I know, many of us don’t want to think about ourselves as bad people. We do not want to dwell on our sinfulness. We love our new identity in Christ, and we should.
But, if we see what Jesus said in Luke 7:47, we will recognize that there is an issue of contrast here that makes our joy fuller. In context, this verse is part of a conversation between Jesus and a Pharisee about a sinful woman being forgiven. Jesus lets the man know that the one forgiven more loves more.
When a jeweler displays a jewel, he will be wise enough to place it against a background that will make it stand out. White pearls are going to sit on dark velvet. In order for us to understand how great is our forgiveness, we need to place it against the dark backdrop of our sin. We earned the wrath of God. We earned hell for sinning against God. We had no hope. We were not good people who just needed a boost to make it to heaven.
Perhaps it would be good for you to take a moment today and remember not only who you are in Christ but also who you were before Christ. If you came to Christ early, before you did anything you now consider to be truly that bad, consider how far short you still fall when compared to God’s infinite perfection. Remember that you should have been judged were it not for the grace of God, grace you did nothing to earn. Let that dark background make the brilliant glory of your forgiveness stand out. Let the infinite debt that Jesus paid on your behalf make you love him more.