Loved #likeJesus

Do you and I understand the depths of God’s grace and the forgiveness we’ve received through Jesus Christ?  How has that understanding shaped our relationship with God?

In Luke 7, we read the beautiful story of a woman finding Jesus at Simon’s house.   Simon, a Pharisee, has invited Jesus to dinner and is put off by Jesus allowing “this kind of woman” to kiss his feet.  What kind of woman was she?   Could she have been a prostitute?  Could this be the same woman Jesus forgives and rescues from an angry mob ready to stone her for adultery in John 8?   Likely not.  The Feeding of the 5000 comes in Luke 9, after this story.  In John’s Gospel, we read this same story in chapter 6, before the adulterous woman account account in John 8.

How did this woman respond to being in Jesus’ love and acceptance for her?   She wept.  Her tears fell on his feet.  She wiped them up with her hair.  She took her expensive perfume and anointed his feet, and then she kissed his feet repeatedly.  Wow!  Such an overwhelming display of humility.  Such extravagant gratitude.

What is Jesus’ response?  What does He say?   This woman loves much because she has been forgiven much.   Simon is scolded by Jesus for nor demonstrating love and gratitude.   Simon doesn’t see the magnitude of his own sin.  Simon sees himself as righteous, as good enough.

Oh, how often I approach my Savior more like Simon rather than like this woman.  I forget the magnitude of my sin and the extravagance of God’s grace.  How about you?

“He who has been forgiven much loves much.”

Father, help me to see my sin for what it is so I can see your grace for what it is.  I want to love much!

Victorious #likeJesus

As followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been enlisted.

In Matthew 9-11 and Luke 7 & 12, Jesus continues his ministry throughout Galilee with the Twelve (and possibly others).  He tells them “the harvest is great but the workers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send more workers.”

Jesus’ words here remind me of the famous slogan:  The Few, The Proud, The Marines!  

The power of the Few…  those who are fully committed to the cause…  those who are equipped and deployed to the front lines…  those who charge the gates of hell confident they will prevail.  If just 10% are fully committed to the cause, they can effectively impact the other 90%.  Movements begin with the Few.

Immediately after this, Jesus commissions the Twelve, giving them authority and sending them out on mission to preach and to cast out demons.

Jesus shares the vision… the harvest is great.

Jesus shares the need… the workers are few.

Jesus gives the challenge…  I am sending you.

Jesus gives the caution…  rejection, hatred, betrayal and persecution await.

Jesus asks for commitment…  take up your cross and follow me.

Robert Mounce’s interpretation of Mt 10:23 is interesting. “You will not fulfill your mission throughout the towns of Israel before the Son of Man returns victorious from the grave.”  The NIV and others interpret it “before the Son of Man comes.”  I love the picture Mounce gives. Victorious from the grave!  The challenge is huge.  The cost is great.  But remember this.  Victory has been secured!   We WIN!

Now I’m pumped just thinking about that!!!

How differently would you and I approach the mission Jesus has given us- to proclaim the Gospel to all creation and make disciples of all nations- if we lived confidently believing that victory had been secured?