Jesus has accepted an invitation to dinner at a Pharisee’s home. Jesus accepts invitations from everyone, in hope that he will be able to bring someone else into his kingdom. He loves them and desires the best for them. He offers himself to them when he accepts their invitation to dine or talk or for his healing touch. Somehow a sinner has gotten to Jesus at the table and begins to love him with what she has: ointment and kisses, signs of her gratitude for what he has done and who he is.
The Pharisee judges both the woman and Jesus for this action. So Jesus tells a short story. And when all is said and done, Jesus pronounces forgiveness to the woman and tells her that her faith has saved her. The first words faith says are, “Thank you.”
Martin Luther rediscovered that faith is an act of gratitude for what God has first done for us. He chose us; we did not choose him. He came to die for us; we did not ask him to do so. He was raised from the dead to give us hope for new life. We did not ask for this either.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for coming, dying, and rising because you loved us first. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Hefner, Pastor of Shiloh Lutheran Church in Hickory, NC.