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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 7 - Verse 47

 

Verse 47. Wherefore I say unto thee. As the result of this, or because she has done this; meaning by this that she had given evidence that her sins had been forgiven. The inquiry with Simon was whether it was proper for Jesus to touch her or to allow her to touch him, because she was such a sinner, Lu 7:39. Jesus said, in substance, to Simon,

"Grant that she has been as great a sinner as you affirm,

and even grant that if she had continued so it might be

improper to suffer her to touch me, yet her conduct shows

that her sins have been forgiven. She has evinced so much

love for me as to show that she is no longer such a sinner

as you suppose, and it is not, therefore, improper that she

should be suffered to come near me."

For she loved much. In our translation this would seem to be given as a reason why her sins had been forgiven—that she had loved much before they were pardoned; but this is clearly not the meaning. This would be contrary to the whole New Testament, which supposes that love succeeds, not precedes forgiveness; and which nowhere supposes that sins are forgiven because we love God. It would be also contrary to the design of the Saviour here. It was not to show why her sins had been forgiven, but to show that she had given evidence that they actually had been, and that it was proper, therefore, that she should come near to him and manifest this love. The meaning may be thus expressed:

"That her sins, so many and aggravated, have been

forgiven—that she is no longer such a sinner as you

suppose, is manifest from her conduct. She shows deep

gratitude, penitence, love. Her conduct is the

proper expression of that love. While you have

shown comparatively little evidence that you felt that

your sins were great, and comparatively little

love at their being forgiven, she has shown that

she felt hers to be great, and has loved much."

To whom little is forgiven. He who feels that little has been forgiven—that his sins were not as great as those of others. A man's love to God will be in proportion to the obligation he feels to him for forgiveness. God is to be loved for his perfections, apart from what he has done for us. But still it is proper that our love should be increased by a consideration of his goodness; and they who feel—as Christians do—that they are the chief of sinners, will feel under infinite obligation to love God and their Redeemer, and that no expression of attachment to him can be beyond what is due.

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