Parable of the Moneylender

Today’s reading:  Luke 7:41-43, Psalm 97

In Luke 7, Jesus is having dinner at the house of Simon the Pharisee.  A sinful woman from the town comes to Jesus, washes his feet with her tears, pours perfume on them, kisses them, and wipes them with her hair.  Simon is disgusted.  He uses the situation to challenge Jesus’ authority, saying if he was really a prophet he would know who the woman was and would distance himself from her.  Jesus, in turn, uses the parable of the moneylender to teach Simon a lesson.

“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said (Luke 7:41-43).

The sinful woman knew she desperately needed Jesus, showing her great love for him by washing his feet.  Simon, on the other hand, saw himself as a righteous man who dutifully followed the law of Moses.  Simon didn’t feel like he really needed Jesus, or any other Savior for that matter.

The main point of Jesus’ parable about the moneylender is this – your love for your Savior is directly proportional to your understanding of how badly you need Him.  See verse 47 – Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little (Luke 7:47).”  My question for you today is – how bad do you think you need Jesus? Have you ever looked at your neighbor, compared your sins to his, and walked away thinking you are a pretty good person or at least not as bad as other guy?  I have.  This parable is a good reminder –

All sins separate us from God, not just the really big stuff.  Accordingly, Romans 6:23 applies to all sins when it tells us “the wages of sin is death”.  In God’s economy, none of us measure up to his perfect standards on our own.  We all need Jesus.  It is only through his sacrifice on the cross for our sins that we can be acceptable to God.

And this is the testimony that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:11-12).