North Pointe Family!
In wrestling, when one competitor gains control by moving from the bottom position to the top position that competitor gains two points for a “reversal”. In Sunday’s passage, Jesus scored a “reversal” on Simon, the Pharisee. Simon thought he had Jesus because Jesus had let a sinner touch Him. At least in Simon’s mind, that was unthinkable. No self-respecting religious leader would let a sinner touch Him. Jesus then pulled a “reversal” on Simon with this short parable.
And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “A moneylender had two debtors: the one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”
Given the context, the sinner was the one with the debt of 500 denarii, while Simon was the one with the 50 denarii debt. Yet, in Jesus’ parable, the one with the greater debt came out on top. She loved more because she was forgiven more.
Jesus’ parable exposed the conflict He had with Simon about how a person gains acceptance with God. In Simon’s mind, God’s love was earned through good works. In Jesus’ mind, God’s love could not be earned through good works. Every person falls short of God’s standard of moral perfection. Therefore, God’s love was freely given through Jesus.
This Christmas, as we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us, let’s celebrate the great reversal. Let’s rejoice that Jesus has made God’s love accessible to us.