Friday, May 06, 2011

Relentless Accusations

Remember when Magdalena was caught in adultery (John 8)? The Pharisees wanted to stone her. Trying to trap Jesus, they asked Him what He thought of Moses' law. He responded that "he who is without sin cast the first stone." The men eventually all dropped their weapons and wandered away. Jesus asked Mary, "Does no one condemn you?" No one accused her. No one condemned her. Jesus assured her, "Neither do I condemn you."

Another time, we hear the story of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus. I think we can surmise, by looking at what history and the different Gospel accounts tell us, that this woman is Magdalena. (But it's not really critical at the moment whether we have her identified.)

In Luke's account of the anointing of Jesus (chapter 7), we hear of Simon's accusation. This woman is a scuzz. She ought not be touching Jesus. Why is He allowing this anyway? Doesn't He know?!!? We know how the story proceeds: Jesus' response is to teach Simon that he who is forgiven much loves much. We know that Jesus forgives the woman.

But, now, think about that for a minute. He forgives her. What did she do? I mean, hey, in the story, she is doing something good. What's she's doing needs no forgiveness. On the contrary! She is honoring Him because she loves Him. She is right smack-dab in the middle of a good work! And He says, "Your sins are forgiven."

Is the forgiveness irrelevant? NO.

Jesus has this idea that --in the face of accusations-- the solution is forgiveness of sins.

Even when you're not doing something bad.
Even when your sins are stale and old.
Even when you've already been forgiven.

"I forgive you."
And again.
And again.

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