To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Hopeth All Things”
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.
(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)
As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In this devotional, Christ’s great love is shown to us as He sees beyond a woman’s sin and saw her repentant heart of submission and love…
The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Thinks And Sees The Best In Others
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that [Jesus] sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,And stood at his feet behind [him] weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe [them] with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed [them] with the ointment.
Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw [it], he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman [this is] that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?Simon answered and said, I suppose that [he], to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped [them] with the hairs of her head.Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth little.
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. (Luke 7:36-50)
In this event in the life of Christ, we have clearly displayed a tale of two opposites…
First of all, on the one extreme, we see the attitude of the Pharisee. It was a fault-finding critical attitude that centered on the past sinful acts of this woman… “This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman [this is] that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.”
On the other hand, we find Christ who, looking beyond her past failures, responds to her heart that was filled with love for Him. Notice what He says… “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much:”
Christ, being God, could see the contents of her heart. We can see the depth of her submission and love to Christ through her outward actions…
1. brought an alabaster box of ointment,– she willingly gave to Him what she valued greatly
2. stood at his feet behind [him] weeping, – she was sorry for the sins she had committed against Him
3. began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe [them] with the hairs of her head,– she humbly served Him
4. and kissed his feet,– she loved Him and would do anything for Him
5. and anointed [them] with the ointment– she actively worked for His benefit
These all point to this woman’s possession of a true, deep love for her Lord and Savior.
Our Lesson To Be Learned:
The apostle Paul helps us to understand the great need for us to show our love for the Lord and others by having tender hearts of forgiveness, looking past the sins of others and showing kindness to them instead.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
This is another way that we can love others and follow the example Christ has set for us…
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.
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