An Enormous Debt

In Luke 7 we read about a woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume, washed them with her tears, and wiped them off with her hair. When he sees this, the host of the party begins to think to himself about the sinfulness of the woman.

Jesus, explaining to His host what is happening, tells the story of two men who owe debts to another man. One of them owes a debt of 500 pence, and the other owes a debt of simply 50 pence. Since neither of them had anything to pay with, the man to whom the debt was owed simply forgave their debts.

Jesus asks Simon which one will love him the most, and Simon correctly responds that the one who owed the most and was forgiven the most would love the most.

I have read this story many times, and I usually think that I am like the one who owed 50 pence. After all, I am no murderer, nor have I knowingly stolen anything from anyone. In the eyes of most, I’m not all that bad. I probably have a pretty small debt with God.

But it just hit me that I am the man who owed 500 pence (at least). I am the one who could never ever pay off the enormous debt that I owe to God. My sins amount to a heap of debts to the Almighty One, and I have nothing with which to pay.

So when Jesus looks me in the eyes and says, “Your debt is forgiven,” I will forever be the one who is at His feet, washing them with my tears and drying them off with my hair.

I had never really put myself in the place of the sinful woman who clings to Jesus’ feet throughout dinner. I know I could never pay my debt, and I am grateful for Jesus and His willingness to pay it for me.