To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless. —G. K. Chesterton
If you’re raising a student-athlete, or have been one yourself, then you know that eligibility is linked with school performance. There’s an academic threshold, and once it’s been crossed, that athlete cannot step onto the field or court. That student becomes ineligible to play.
This performance-driven mentality can follow us into theology, too. When we believe our behavior is linked to God’s ability and willingness to forgive us, we categorize sins as major versus minor. Minor sinners can experience Christ. But major sinners? We aren’t sure there’s hope for them.
Friends, listen carefully: Sin does not make you ineligible for redemption; sin is the reason redemption is necessary.
It frustrates me that our enemy so expertly twists the truth. He convinces us that our sin cancels the invitation to Christ, and our sin drives Jesus away from us. But here’s the truth: Because of our sins, Christ came for us. Because of our sins, Jesus invites us to Him.
The only question you have to answer is: Do you believe you were saved nearly 2,000 years ago on a hill outside Jerusalem?
“Do you see this woman?” Jesus asks His dinner host as the rest of the room watches a sinful woman wash Jesus’ feet beneath an awkward hush. “I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven” (Luke 7:44, 47).
Jesus looks at the woman crouched over his feet, her hair matted with dirt and tears, and says to her, “Your faith has saved you…” (Luke 7:50).
This woman believed Jesus was her Savior, and her only response to having her numerous sins forgiven was gratitude. This is the way the Kingdom increases: The greater your sin, the greater your gratitude will be for the finished work of Jesus.
Lord, am I the woman who has come to You in faith and washed You in gratitude? Am I the Pharisee struggling to understand how sinful people can experience You so intimately? Or am I the disciples, silenced by the awkwardness of Your unconditional acceptance of sinners? Thank You that Your Spirit indwells me and invites me into Your way of doing things. Lead me to Your feet, Lord, and use me as an invitation for others to join me there. Amen.
Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?