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Raving Fans

If I am able to look at the world with the eyes of God’s love and discover that God’s vision is… of an all-giving and forgiving father who does not measure out his love to his children according to how well they behave, then I quickly see that my only true response can be deep gratitude. —Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son

Imagine you and your neighbor work at the same manufacturing plant until, one day, you both lose your job. Soon, you’ve both missed payments on your home, and before long, you’re both called down to the bank, “Come in and let’s talk.”

You see your neighbor sitting in the lobby, and the man behind the oversize mahogany desk calls you into his office first. “You’ve missed some payments.”

Yeah, I know.

“You owe $35,000 on your loan.”

Yeah, I know, but it’s more than I’ve got.

“But here’s what I’m going to do,” the banker says, “I’m going to write off the loan.”

You skip out of his office and past your neighbor and declare, “What a top-notch banker!”

Your neighbor goes in for her turn and has the same conversation—but her debt was $350,000! Both of you are grateful, but who’s the bigger fan? Your neighbor, right? She’s a raving fan; everywhere she goes, she says, “You’ve got to meet this banker!”

This is the story Jesus tells in Luke 7, minus the mahogany desk.

“Simon,” Jesus says to His dinner host, who’s struggling with the sinful woman washing Jesus’ feet, “Which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. (Luke 7:42b-43)

When Simon tried to define this woman by her sin, Jesus flipped it around and defined her by His forgiveness.

“Her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown” (Luke 7:47). She’s a raving fan.

The lie tells us that the worse our sin, the less eligible we are for redemption. But Jesus tells us that the worse our sin, the more grateful we are for redemption—the more grateful we are for Him.

Jesus, the more sins of mine that You’ve forgiven, the more grateful I am. This statement flips my own logic upside down and inside out. Show me how to rest in Your forgiveness with a grateful heart. Amen.

Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?

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