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Forgiven Much, Loved Much (Luke 7:47)

Sermon on 8 November 2020 by Ps Gaius


Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven – for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little. – Luke 7:47

To understand this message, let’s go to the verses before this in Luke chapter 7.


One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward to woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven – for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” – Luke 7:38-47

People know this woman as an immoral woman. Jesus knew it as well. However, this woman did things that caught people by surprise – she brought an expensive perfume, used her hair to wipe Jesus’ feet and kissed his feet. Simon was the host; he did not do things to welcome Jesus into his home, but the woman went beyond what a host would normally do to make Jesus comfortable.

In verse 47, the word “for” may be understood by some as “because” – the woman was forgiven because she loved much. However, there are other explanations. “For” could mean “hence”, “so”, or “that’s why” – the woman was forgiven, and that is why she loved much. Sometimes we do many good things, because we feel grateful. When we think we do not deserve it, we just want to love. The woman knew that Jesus had forgiven her. Therefore, she loved him much. It follows that in the next line in the same verse, it says he who is forgiven little, loves little.

Are we loving others on our own terms? Simon the Pharisee had judged the woman. He did not think that the woman should be touching Jesus, given her many sins. And in the next verse, he judged the Lord Jesus. He had invited Jesus to his house but because Jesus allowed the women to do the things that she did, he started to question whether Jesus was a prophet after all.

Jesus told Simon:

1. You gave me no water for my feet

2. You gave me no kiss

3. You did not anoint my head with oil

But the woman, whom Simon despised, did more than the 3 things above that Simon should have done.

Are we despising others? Are we judgmental towards others?

Do we have little sins or many sins? Do we think that we are more holy than others? Sin is sin. There is no bigger sin or smaller sin. The moment there is sin, we do not qualify to go into the presence of God. This is why we need Jesus, to wash us clean.

We love little, we think we just need little forgiveness, we think we have committed little sins. We think that we have only made small mistakes, and thus we need only a little bit of forgiveness. But as long as we have sin, we need to humbly come before Jesus Christ.

Attitude towards sin

All of us have sinned (Romans 3:23) and we fall short of the glory of God. We cannot keep committing the same sin. We need to get out of the vicious cycle. This is because it will lead us to death. Sin brings forth death (James 1:15).

Attitude towards forgiveness

Jesus sacrificed his life for us (Isaiah 53:4-6). Jesus paid a big price to remove our sins. Therefore, don’t keep sinning (1 Corinthians 15:34; Hebrews 6:6).

Attitude towards love

Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). His way is far better than our way and our thoughts. If we give thanks, we will know how to love. Free we have received, freely we should give (Matthew 10:8).

And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” – Luke 7:48

Jesus said this to affirm the woman.

Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” – Luke 7:49

God already showed miracles right in front of them, but they still doubted Jesus. This was because of their pride.

And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” – Luke 7:50

Do we have faith? All He needs is for us to believe.


Let us remember that we have been forgiven much. Jesus sacrificed His life in exchange for ours. Because we are loved much by God, let us take any opportunities we have to love much.

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