Q&A: Sin more to love God more? (Luke 7:41-43)

Does Luke 7:41-43 (see below) imply that sinners with "more sin" to forgive are likely to love God more than those who grew up in a Christian family or rarely have strayed?

Good question. If this is so, it has huge implications for how we follow Christ. Jesus' parables are often used to convey a truth that is not just of principle but also of experience. Parables are teaching stories. And stories allow us to engage a truth both intellectually and emotionally. As a result, it engages us in knowing something deeply.

In this case, this is less about the measure we have of sin and more about God’s measure. So the ultimate goal is much more about realizing  how much they have been forgiven, which is great for ALL of us in comparison to a pure, holy and good God.

Thus, it is not that the person who we think sins the most (from an earthly perspective) that loves the most but it is one who reflects upon our holy God and comes to a place of realizing just how great God is…and how much He has forgiven them. So as we get to know God more and more it is not earthly definitions but God Himself, in who He is, that defines concepts such as holy, sinlessness, goodness, etc.

So, Jesus is using the relationship that one who is forgiven much is usually the one that is most appreciative of what has been given. But the point is that ANY Christian come to the realization of what Christ has done for them.

A similar movement is in the Lord’s Prayer: forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. It is not saying that we get to be forgiven because we forgive, so much as one who realizes how much he has been forgiven can give forgiveness most freely. A person forgiven by Christ through faith in Him will be a person of forgiveness.

Why? Once one realizes their sin and turns to Christ, they are centered upon God (such as His holiness and purity) and the sin or wrong done to us seems small in comparison.

In all these things, they should be sending us back to a faith in God, not in our own behavior/actions. This helps us be God-centered and gospel-centered in how we think and live.

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“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him 500 denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back so he cancelled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

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

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

--Luke 7:41-43

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous
    Having been abused as a child, I was well into adulthood before I was able to forgive. Realizing my own shortcomings enabled me to come to the conclusion that my abusive parent had also been abused...and did the best possible with what was available to work with. Learning how God had forgiven me, I was able to forgive myself (for the anger and hate), and then my abuser. What peace and comfort come with God's forgiveness, and our forgiveness of others.
    • Brian
      Anonymous, We are thankful to hear of your story on the power of forgiveness. It sounds like a difficult journey but one that has brought you to new freedom in Christ. Thanks for sharing!

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