"Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." (Luke 7:47 NRSV)
On another occasion, a woman came into where Jesus was eating with one of the religious leaders, and while He ate, she washed His feet with her hair and some expensive perfume. When one of the religious leaders objected to this type of woman, who was a prostitute, coming in and washing Jesus' feet, He said, "her sins, which are many, are forgiven."
When Jesus was hanging on the cross, he looked out at the people who had crucified Him and He prayed, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
What happens when we ask for forgiveness? First of all, we give expression to that desire within us to be reconciled--to be reconciled with God and to be reconciled with others. It is our nature to want to be with God and with others. We have a problem, though. It's called a sin problem. That sin problem causes us to act primarily in self-interest and in such a way as to separate us from God and from other people. We see this illustrated in the Book of Genesis in the story of the temptation. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden, and He said, "you can have everything here, but do not eat of the tree which is in the midst of the garden. Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." But both Adam and Eve gave in to the Tempter when he said, "if you eat of this tree, your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as Gods." Therefore, they disobeyed God. When we disobey God, we separate ourselves from God. This separation is overcome when we confess our sins, when we ask for forgiveness and when we admit that we have been wrong.
Dear God, please help me to obey, so that I may always be close to you. Amen.
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