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Everyone can be forgiven

Family Faith

June 10, 2006|By KIMBERLIE ZAKARIAN

John 12:3 tells us, "Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." (Holy Bible, New International Version)

Mary's act of devotion to our Lord was expensive and unusual. Not only was perfume typically poured upon someone's head, Mary used her hair to wipe Jesus' feet ? and a reputable woman in those days did not unbind her hair in public.

What can we learn from this act of devotion? Mary had been a prostitute. She possibly had heard Jesus' message and changed her life because of it. Out of gratitude to Christ, she humbled herself and washed his feet with her tears. She unashamedly performed this act, kissing his feet in appreciation.

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Only Jesus' life has given us freedom from our many sins. His sacrifice has set us free. Jesus' response to this woman's act of devotion is something that we can all take to heart: "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not pour oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven ? for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." (Luke 7:44-47)

Jesus then tells her that her sins are forgiven and to go in peace.

When we come to Jesus with our many sins, and oh, yes, we all have them, it is definitely the attitude of our heart that enables us to humble ourselves and say we are sinners. But it is God's love, and His love and power alone, that extends the necessary forgiveness. At times, we judge others for what we assume are their many sins. But even the greatest of sinners can accept God's grace. And we as Christians are to extend it as well. For he who has sinned much is forgiven much.

God is love; Jesus, the extension of that love. It takes no more than our repentance, acceptance of his sacrifice, and our gratitude toward it to be saved and extend that grace to others. Such a simple lesson for us all.

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